Friday, January 13, 2017

Is Jesus Coming Back in 2017?

"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." – Luke 21:36

One More Night with the Frogs

I find it extremely intriguing and have often wondered at a particular conversation that took place between Moses and Pharaoh in Exodus 8:8-10. With frogs in the palace and in every house in Egypt, Pharaoh called Moses in and pleaded with him to intercede for him with God and send the frogs back into the river. Moses, said, paraphrasing, “When do you want this to happen?” Pharaoh’s response was, “Tomorrow.” Tomorrow? Seriously? Why tomorrow? Why not right now? Why spend another night with the frogs? I feel the same way when I look forward to the return of Jesus. I don’t want to wait until tomorrow. I’d just as soon it happened right now! I hope I don’t even finish writing this post.

Is Jesus Coming Back in 2017?

I can unequivocally respond with yes/no/maybe. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the time is ripe for Jesus’ return. There is evidence that some events have yet to transpire before Jesus’ return. There is no way that anyone can rule out either possibility.

Yes, Jesus Is Coming Back in 2017

There is evidence that make Jesus’ return in 2017 very possible:

·         From September of 2016 to September of 2017 is a Year of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee was a year that took place every 50 years. Among other things that took place in a jubilee year, land was returned to its original owners. The idea was that the clock was to be reset and things were to be restored to the way they were before. During the last Year of Jubilee, Israel regained control of Jerusalem, which had been lost to them since the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD.
·         Astronomical (not astrological) signs point to it. Before you get up in arms, remember that in the first chapter of Genesis, God set up the stars “for signs and seasons.” The Star of Bethlehem is one instance of an astronomical sign that everyone is familiar with. Christian astronomers have recognized a sign that is to appear throughout 2017 and culminate in September, which follows Revelation 12 to the letter. I won’t go into detail, but it is a fascinating sign that you should check out at 23 September 2017. (Please do not freak out on me, it’s just a possibility to consider.)
·         70 years since Israel was restored as a nation. Many or you will immediately bring up that Israel didn’t officially become a nation until May of 1948. Though, officially, that is true, the declaration for the establishment of Israel came on November 30, 1947. The moment that decision was announced, five nations rose up to invade Israel and prevent it from being returned to the Jewish people. Ezekiel’s prophesy of the dry bones was fulfilled when an Israelite army sprang up, seemingly out of nowhere,  and began to defend its land in response to that invasion, which culminated with the state of Israel being established in May of 1948.
·         70 nations of the UN meeting to divide Israel on January 15, 2017. Two days from now, this meeting will convene in Paris. It is quite possible that this will be the last straw in God’s patience. Consider Psalm 2… “Why do the nations rage and plot a vain thing? He who sits in heaven will laugh at them… Then He will speak to them in His anger… I have set My King on My Holy hill in Zion!”

No, Jesus Is Not Coming Back in 2017

There is evidence that Jesus is not going to come back in 2017 as well. Though I believe that Revelation has mostly been fulfilled before 70 AD, I also believe that God will deal with the nation of Israel and the church through a period of tribulation. I believe this because I believe that what happened at the end of the Jewish age in 70 AD was a prototype of what will happen at the end of ALL time. Though things have gotten bad, I don’t know that we’ve seen that sort of tribulation to this point. The attempt to divide Israel, the overwhelming support the evangelical community provided for Trump and the enormous battle for a One World Order on the world stage are really just getting started, in my opinion.

Maybe, Jesus Is Coming Back in 2017

In His discourse on the Mount of Olives in chapter 24 of Matthew, chapter 13 in Mark and chapter 21 in Luke, Jesus warned His disciples that when the armies began to invade Jerusalem not to go to Jerusalem. The normal course of action in that day was to flea to the citadel for protection. 1.1 million Jews who had fled to Jerusalem, according to Josephus, the historian, were killed by the Roman siege and destruction of the city. Christians escaped that siege because they were obedient to that warning of Jesus. Will Christians be removed from the coming destruction? It is a possibility.

The Alamo or a Great Revival

There came a point when Santa Anna’s army had surrounded the Alamo mission in Texas when Colonel Travis called all of the men who were in the Alamo together and explained the situation to them. If they stayed, they would buy more time for Sam Houston to put together the necessary troops to drive Santa Anna out of Texas. Travis made it clear that staying meant that every one of them would die. Reportedly, he drew a line in the sand and asked those who would stay to step across that line. We know they stayed.

What does that have to do with Jesus coming back in 2017? I think Christians are surrounded and besieged on every side. We are at a point where a line is being drawn in the sand and we’re going to have to decide whether or not we’re going to step across that line. Stepping across that line might mean bringing extreme persecution down on our heads or there is another possibility. And that’s what makes me want to give the answer “maybe” to whether or not Jesus is coming back in 2017.

Unlike Travis and the men who stayed to fight in the Alamo, Christians face the possibility that by making our stand we might actually win. Christians all over the world have risen up against the New World Order. Christians have begun to take a stand and proclaim with great boldness that Jesus Christ is Lord! Instead of this being the end, this could be an opportunity for the greatest revival that has ever taken place in history. Imagine it! It gives me goose bumps to think of something like a Pentecost happening all over the world, today! The only thing better would be heaven itself.

The Parable of the Virgins

Regardless of whether you answer yes, no or maybe to the question of Jesus returning in 2017, I think there is a parable that ought to come to the forefront of the mind of every Christian. This parable comes from Matthew 25. Keep in mind that this came after Jesus discourse on the Mount of Olives in which He answered the disciples questions about His return.

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” – Matthew 25:1-13

To understand this parable, you must understand that Jesus has used the illustration of the bride and the wedding to talk about His relationship with the church. Marriage in the time when Jesus said this to His disciples was composed of three phases:

·         Contract or betrothal. In which the promise of marriage was agreed upon.
·         Consummation. This occurred when the groom came and took the bride into her chamber or tent and consummated their union.
·         Celebration. The wedding procession left the place where the consummation took place and went to the house of the groom’s father for the seven day wedding feast.

The time of the first phase was indefinite. It basically lasted until whatever was agreed upon in the contract was fulfilled. Check out Genesis 29 for the best illustration of this.

Jesus signed the contract for our betrothal with the sending of His Holy Spirit as His seal. We are only waiting for Him to return in order to consummate the marriage.

Keep Plenty of Oil for Your Lamp

Just like the virgins in the parable, we can be certain that the groom is coming soon. We can wait with eager anticipation that eminent return, but we must have plenty of oil for our lamps. The error the five virgins made was to think that it was so close that they had plenty of oil and were forced to go buy more oil. While they were gone to buy oil the groom came and they were left behind.

Personally, I don’t want to spend another night with the frogs. I would much rather meet Jesus in the air right now. Jesus may or may not come for us in 2017. The only safe place to land in all of this is to keep watch, do not be misguided and keep plenty of oil on hand for your lamp, just in case He’s delayed.

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