“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm …”
I’m not waiting anxiously for the end of the world – although it is coming, but not this week and probably not this year. Jesus said He would return suddenly and unexpectedly ( Matt 24:44 ), so you never know, but there is a lot still to happen – like the destruction of Damascus ( Isa 17:1 ), which the Bible forecasts but which has not happened at any time in history; and the uprooting from the western world of nearly ten million Jews – God says they are all to be regathered in the Promised Land ( Eze 39:28 and Mic 2:12 ) and that hasn’t happened yet, although the process has certainly started. Also still to happen is the salvation of multitudes of Moslems, because the last 40 nations still to be reached are almost all Islamic nations, and God says that He is going to have a harvest from every tribe and tongue ( Matt 24:14 and Rev 7:9 ).
I’m not waiting for the end of the world, but Jesus said to watch for the signs ( Matt 24:42 ). He must have had a reason for saying that.
Here’s why I think the times are significant: The western world is due for a shake up. Half the world has been fat and happy for a long long time, while the other half starves. Prosperity tends to make people spiritually lazy ( Matt 13:22 ). And Jesus said that the end won’t come until there’s a great falling away from faith ( Matt 24:10-13 and 2 Thess 2:3 ). By the way, the original Greek word in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 that is translated (in the NIV) ‘rebellion’, is ‘apostasia’ which, it seems to me, can only be truthfully translated ‘apostasy’, which plainly means ‘to fall away from faith’.
So, everyone’s faith is going to be tested. That’s biblical ( James 1:2-4 ).
Reasons why I think that the western world is due for a shake up:
- One out of every three Jews is back in the Promised Land. That’s a miracle, if you have eyes to see it. But the Jews have migrated to Israel rather reluctantly – out of the ashes of the Holocaust, through persecutions in Arab lands after Independence was declared in 1948, and after the collapse of communism in Russia. They have returned to Zion, by and large, as refugees. What is it going to take to uproot millions of Jews who are firmly established in the prosperous western world? Expect remarkable events.
- Private, commercial and sovereign debt levels in Europe, the USA and Japan are at staggering levels of risk. Expect anything from civil unrest to years and years of austerity. At some point, God says in Isaiah 2 and elsewhere, He is going to shake everything that can be shaken.
Fear not. Shelter under His wings. And rejoice that there will never be a better time to preach the gospel of Christ ( Matt 9:37-38 ).