Written by: Rev. Robert Goodbread
In the last year, there has been much speculation about the year 2012 predicting it to be the end of the world. Prophecies from Nostrodomus, interpretations from the Mian calendar and many others supposedly point to the year 2012 as the year when the world will possibly end. Movies have been made about it, specials on television all discussing the possible end of the world. Even going so far as intermingling Bible prophecy with their view and interpretation of prophetic writings of many other religions to bolster their theory. Even the belief among the Christian community that we are indeed in the Last Days.
What are we to make of it all? The scripture says that “no man knows the day or the hour of the coming of the Son of man.” Interpretation: There is no way for man to know exactly when his end will come. The truth is that if tomorrow the Trumpet of God were to sound and the catching away of the church (the Rapture) should occur, it would be many years before the World would come to an end.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
We know that following the Rapture there are seven years of the Great Tribulation which will culminate in the Battle of Armageddon. Immediately following the seven years of the Great Tribulation, scripture teaches us that Christ, together with his church, will rule and reign over the world for 1,000 years.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4
Following the Millennial reign of Christ we know the scripture declares that Satan will be released for a short indeterminate period of time. After that period of time, we know the Earth will be destroyed by fire. Long story short, by scripture we know that if the Lord were to give the command for the trumpet to sound tomorrow, there would be at the very least just over a thousand years before the end of the world would come.
“7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:7 – 9
“10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10
Having laid that foundation, one must ask themselves why all of a sudden is there this interest in the end of the world? It is true that throughout history there have been periods when we became preoccupied with our own demise. While I disagree with the premise that the end of the world is upon us in 2012, I do feel strongly that we are very quickly approaching the return of Christ which will trigger the beginning of the end. I believe that the Lord himself has quickened within our Spirits the realization that we are indeed very near the coming of the Lord. Some two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul said it like this: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11. I would venture to say that there are very many Christians alive today who carry within them this same sense that we are near, very near the return of Christ. The “signs of the times” are all around us. The condition of the world, the fulfillment of so many prophecies, and advancements in technology, all point to the soon return of Christ. We currently have the capability to indeed implement so many of the things referred to into in bible prophecy. Up till now, this has NEVER been the case. All this points to the fact that we are nearing the time of the Lords return. Recently I heard a statement that Billy Graham made in a crusade in the 1960’s commenting on the world’s interest in the end of the world. “It is remarkable that those in the world, college professors and researchers, are saying more about the end times than many preachers in the church today”. Through their own malicious motivations, secular media personalities and the like are being used by God to awaken not only the world but even those in the church to the fact that His return is “nigh even at the door”! In my personal opinion, today’s clergy should be using every resource at their disposal to sound the alarm to the church and to the world and warn them that Jesus is coming!
Are you ready should the Lord return today? Are you a Christian that has grown cold and indifferent? I would like to personally invite you to recommit your life to Him anew! If you do not know Him and have never been saved, you can receive him by confessing your sins and asking Jesus to come into your life and forgive you of your sin. He will forgive you, write your name in the Lambs Book of Life and you will be READY to meet him should he come back today!
Rev. Robert Goodbread