“…turn from their wicked ways…” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
To living men no time can be as solemn as “the living present,” whatever its characteristics; and that solemnity is immensely deepened in an age of progress unparalleled in the history of the world. But the question arises whether these days of ours are momentous beyond comparison, by reason of their being in the strictest sense the last? Is the world’s history about to close? The sands of its destiny, are they almost run out, and is the crash of all things near at hand?Earnest thinkers will not allow the wild utterances of alarmists, or the vagaries of prophecy-mongers, to divert them from an inquiry at once so solemn and so reasonable. It is only the infidel who doubts that there is a destined limit to the course of “this present evil world.” That God will one day put forth His power to ensure the triumph of the good, is in some sense a matter of course. The mystery of revelation is not that He will do this, but that He delays to do it. Judged by the public facts around us, He is an indifferent spectator of the unequal struggle between good and evil upon earth. – Sir Robert Anderson – The Coming Prince – 1841-1918.
Sir Robert Anderson wrote a book titled “The Coming Prince”, a must read for all believers in Christ. He was also the head of Scotland Yard and as such was fully aware of the evil of his time; he witnessed plenty of human depravity during his stint at Scotland Yard. Through his writings it can be seen that he too longed for Jesus’ soon return. Even in his day he knew that the earth was very close to its last day. He died in 1918 which was exactly 30 years before anyone would see Israel become a nation again. God did not allow Anderson to see Israel enter once again into the land He had promised them and become a full fledged sovereign nation. But just a few years after Anderson’s death a generation would be born that would see Israel re-established in their own land.
Jesus makes the following statement so everyone reading these scriptures would understand. “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Matthew 24:34. Jesus is speaking of future events so the generation that would be witnesses to all the signs that He had just mentioned should be fully aware that all these thing will be fulfilled during the life span of that particular generation.
The disciples Jesus was addressing would not witness all those signs as they were going to occur long after they were gone. Of course, they didn’t know how many years would pass before this prophecy would be fulfilled. After all, they were still living in the land God had given them when Jesus spoke about the events that would unfold just prior to His second coming.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” Matthew 24:15. Jesus had earlier told His disciples that “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:2. He was speaking of the destruction of the Jewish Temple, but then, after laying out some end times events, He tells them that when they see the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy of Holies they should flee, get out of Dodge so to speak. Clearly the Jewish Temple is standing again, and this time something even more horrible and evil was coming.
Some of Jesus’ disciples would live to see the temple destroyed and many Israelite people slaughtered and the rest scattered. But not one of them would ever see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel come into view. Why? Because it would not happen for some 2,000 years further on into the future. But those Jews who remain in their self-imposed blindness will see this abomination take place.
The generation of Jews Jesus is speaking about will see the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy Place (the Holy of Holies) because they will be the last generation remaining just prior to and remaining through the Great Tribulation. The disciples asked Jesus what would be the signs of the last days and Jesus laid it all out for them. Those signs are obvious for us today, but those disciples asking for the signs can be very thankful they didn’t live to see what’s about to come down.
I believe when Jesus spoke of this particular generation He was referring to a full age span. According to national statistics a generation’s age span is approximately 70 years. More importantly according to God’s word we read “The days of our years are threescore years and ten…” Psalm 90:10a. So the generation that saw Israel reborn as a nation in 1948 is currently still with us. Some would be a little older than me. I was born 3 years after Israel became a nation but my sister who was born in 1944 could be considered a part of the generation that witnessed the most prophetic event of the 20th century. In the 21st century many of the folks of that generation are still here and will witness the biggest event since God entered His creation and became a man, the man Jesus Christ.
I’m not date setting I’m simply stating what the Bible plainly speaks of happening just before all these things (signs) occur. The 1940’s generation is just about out of here when we consider the average age span nowadays is 70 years. We can all agree that from 1948 to 2018 is a span of 70 years. 2018 is less than 8 years from now.
Could it be possible that 2018 just might be a very significant year prophetically speaking? I’m not referring to the Rapture. I believe in the doctrine of imminence when speaking about the Rapture of Christ’s Church. Therefore, clearly we can see that by all these calculations the Rapture could very well be on the cusp nearness wise.
Nobody can perfectly place a date on when the seven year tribulation period will begin and we don’t really need to. There’s no question that it will have a beginning and it will have an end which believers in Christ will never see. There’s also no question as to how soon it will occur. Why do I make such a blatant and outlandish statement? Because God Almighty told us, in His word, that when we begin to see these things we are to look up for our redemption draws nigh. I just read the news again and guess what? Sure enough, these things are beginning to unfold.
This commentary may seem to contain recurring themes similar to some of my past writings, but I believe as we draw closer to the end the importance of being observant and knowledgeable concerning prophecy is paramount for all those who are truly following Jesus Christ. Spiritually speaking, we all need to be on our toes. Anderson was convinced the end was near, and so it was. We on the other hand are so close now that the luxury of complacency should have been replaced with the anxiety of the moment.
Now, here’s why I’ve written this commentary. I see a major problem occurring today among those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. Many of God’s children are enticed with and even enjoying very wicked lifestyles. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. We should pay close attention to what God tells us.
The end is in sight, therefore shouldn’t we who are called by His name (Christians), be turning from our wicked ways? Let’s think about it for a minute. Have we? This time in which we live is certainly the last of the last days. Everyone who professes to be following the Lord Jesus Christ should be evaluating their lives and looking in the mirror to see who’s looking back. Is Jesus looking back at you and smiling that smile that says “Well done my good and faithful servant”? Or is the world looking back at you and whispering “You’re one of us”.
Wickedness abounds, just look at the news. It seems to me that Christians are somewhat responsible for this wicked and perverse generation. God tells us to turn from our wicked ways. We must pray and seek His face, realizing we are all just sinners. We must humble ourselves before our Great and Holy God. Then and only then will He hear us. The key word here, folks, is humble. Humble ourselves.
God gives us prophecy and as those prophecies are being fulfilled we need to open our eyes to the facts and not be afraid of them. In Daniel 9:2, Daniel was reading the prophecies of Jeremiah and he understood what was happening in God’s timing. He understood that the captivity was about to come to an end. As we read End Time prophecy we need to open our eyes to what is happening.
There are a lot of old time Bible teachers who have been at home with Jesus for a long time now and according to biblical prophecy they were way off base in their teachings. It was not their fault; God has opened up more for us to understand in these last days. Many prophetic scriptures remained hidden to the eyes of past Bible teachers. But now, in these last days, biblical prophecies are laid wide open for all who diligently seek to fully grasp.
The generation that witnessed the rebirth of the nation of Israel has not yet departed from the scene. The tentative end to that particular generation won’t come about until somewhere around the year 2018 (culminating in a 70 year lifespan). Then, of course, there’s the 7 year tribulation period that will immediately precede Jesus’ return. That tells us that perhaps the beginning of the tribulation week will fall sometime in 2011. Again, I’m not date setting, I’m only postulating a theory based on an exegesis reading of Scripture.
Then again, Jesus said “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” Luke 12:40. So if we think the above End Times scenario could not possibly be correct, then it might be.
[by Ron Graham]