Marching Toward the End

June 04, 2009

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” – Luke 21:20-24

Those are some pretty terrifying words for Israel, and pretty terrifying for the Gentiles, too. But up until a few decades ago, it all seemed to be more theory than possible reality. How could Biblical prophecy in Israel be fulfilled if there was no Israel?

Scripture talks about “until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Now when is this going to end? When the church has taken the Gospel to every people group on earth, Jesus says, “then the end will come.” The end of what? The end of the age of the Gentiles. Jesus makes it very clear, no one knows the exact date.

But we do know, in God’s unfolding plan for history, that 1948 was a key date. Why? It was the rebirth of the nation of Israel. It was largely Gentiles who allowed this to come about. Obviously Jewish people wanted it to happen, but it was the UN and the United States – largely Gentiles – that allowed this to take place. The creation of the state of Israel sent a tremor through Bible-believing Christians around the world. All their lives, Christians had been reading prophecies about Israel and the second coming of the Lord. Before 1948 the prophecies could not be fulfilled because there was no Israel. Then in 1948, Israel was reborn as a nation, and now all of the sudden these prophecies could be realized! Amazing!

Jesus is coming soon – the stage is being set. Will you be ready?