On the Verge

by Greg Laurie on May 9, 2024
So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!
—Luke 21:28

The Bible tells us to be aware of the signs of the times. Things are happening in our world today that are indeed signs of the times, alerting us to the fact that Christ is coming back. The Bible describes these signs as labor pains.

We also could compare prophetic events to closely placed dominoes. When the first one falls, the others will go in rapid succession. And we are on the verge of it.

In my opinion, the next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church, that moment when God will call all true believers to meet Him in Heaven. Sometimes, people confuse the Rapture with the Second Coming. However, these are separate events.

In the Rapture, Jesus comes for His church. In the Second Coming, He returns with His church. The Rapture comes before the judgment, the Tribulation period. In the Second Coming, Jesus comes with judgment.

Following the Rapture, the Antichrist will emerge on the scene. He will be a charismatic, brilliant, politician-type who will have economic and military solutions. Initially he will reveal himself as a man of peace and even help the Jewish people rebuild their temple.

But three and a half years into the Tribulation, he will commit the abomination of desolation, erecting an image of himself in the Jewish temple and commanding people to worship it. The Tribulation will culminate with the Battle of Armageddon, which will be fought in the Middle East.

Then Jesus Christ will return in the Second Coming, which will be followed by the Millennium, the thousand-year reign of Christ on Earth. Lastly, Heaven and Earth will become one as the New Jerusalem descends from Heaven to Earth. All these events are yet to come.

What, then, are some of the signs of the times that we should be aware of?

I would say the emergence of China as a military and economic superpower would be a sign of the times. Another is the diminishing of the United States of America, which we don’t find in the last days scenario. Then there is the growing aggression of Russia and the emergence of Islam.

As these events come together, they will center around Israel and Jerusalem. The Bible tells us, “On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves” (Zechariah 12:3 NLT). Students of the Bible will pay careful attention to these events, especially any mention of attempting to wipe out Israel.

So, what are we supposed to do when we hear about events like these? Jesus said, “So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:28 NLT).

If we really believe Jesus Christ is returning, then it should affect our conduct. First John 3:3 says, “And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” (NLT). We should seek to live godly lives. Look up and live purely.

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