The second coming of Jesus Christ will occur at the

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1 A Commentary by Bob Sullivan God is forever faithful Scriptural basis: Jeremiah 31: This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that the waves roar the Lord Almighty is his name: Only if these decrees vanish from my sight, declares the Lord, will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me. Psalm 148:3,6 3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars 6 He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. The second coming of Jesus Christ will occur at the end of a seven-year period of horror, the likes of which the world has never before experienced. That seven-year period is often referred to as the tribulation, with the final three and one half years known as the great tribulation. The tribulation is also referred to as the wrath of God, the wrath of the Lamb (Christ), and the Day of the Lord. There are two main reasons for the tribulation. First, it will be a time of judgment. Because of the death, burial

2 and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has provided the means by which mankind can be saved from its sinful nature and experience eternal life. The Folks in the Pews along with millions of people from the past, as well as the present, believe that the gospel message (Christ s death, burial and resurrection) is the only way that one can be reconciled to God. The Bible has been warning mankind that God will one day bring judgment because so many have rejected his wonderful gift (the gift of eternal life, received through acceptance of Jesus Christ). God is patient and does not want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9), and he is holding back his judgment that the world so greatly deserves. God must bring judgment on a world that has turned away from him, and he will do so through the coming tribulation. That is one of the many titles given to the specific seven-year period of judgment that will immediately precede the second coming of Jesus Christ. The second reason for the tribulation relates to God s love and devotion to Israel. While not all of those promises have yet been fulfilled, it can be stated with absolute certainty that they will. God s covenant with Abraham incorporated a number of components including the everlasting right to Israel that belonged to the Jewish people. As often happens with 2

3 wayward children, God had to discipline his people but his love and devotion to them has never wavered. When Christ visited the earth two thousand years ago, most of the Jews rejected him, in spite of the fact that the Old Testament foretold of his first coming. Had they paid attention to the Old Testament prophets, they would have known that he was their promised Messiah. Because they rejected Christ as their Messiah, God later imposed a state of blindness on most of the Jewish race. While it cannot be said of every Jew, most continue to reject Christ as their Messiah today. As a race, the Jewish people are still blinded to the truth because of the actions of their forefathers; however, that is going to change. The blinders will be lifted from Israel, and it is becoming increasingly evident that could occur soon. God s plan is to reveal himself to the Jewish race during the tribulation. As was the case when Christ came the first time, the Bible addresses his second coming in detail. No one should be caught off guard, yet, unfortunately, many will. Before the start of the seven-year tribulation, the Rapture of the Church (the church used this way means all who have accepted Christ as Savior see The Rapture 3

4 commentary) will occur. The Rapture will certainly include some Jewish Christians but the majority of those who will be caught up to meet Christ will be Gentiles. Immediately after the Rapture, God will shift his attention to the Jewish people so that they, too, can partake in the blessings that can only be achieved by accepting Christ as savior. Jesus Christ, the God of the New and the Old Testaments will fulfill every detail of God s covenant promises to the Jewish forefathers. There are currently a number of world events that relate directly to many ancient biblical prophecies. It is absolutely awesome to realize that we could be living in the time when Christ will return. To demonstrate this, we will examine several conditions that exist in the world today in light of those prophecies. However, it is important to recognize that we can only scratch the surface, as there are now so many world events that seemingly relate to various second coming prophecies that it would not be possible to touch upon all of them. It is amazing that tiny Israel could have a major impact on international events, yet that is precisely what the Bible says will occur in the last days. The stage for just such a scenario has been set and is clearly in progress today. We 4

5 live in a time when Bible prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes, almost on a daily basis. God s devotion to Israel is found throughout the Bible. While some would disagree, there is nothing in the Bible to support that God has forsaken Israel. The fact that Israel has been in a God-induced blindness in no way negates his eternal promises. It is true that God s promises were made to Abraham four thousand years ago, which, from mankind s perspective, is a very long time. On the other hand, we need to understand time from God s perspective. The New Testament Book of 2 Peter 3:8 says that a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. In other words, God transcends time, therefore, from his perspective, four thousand years is not a long time. It is significant that five sixths of the Bible is dedicated to Israel, therefore, Israel is obviously a very important matter. It stands to reason that if God was truly finished with Israel, he would have paid far less attention to it in the Bible. God takes Israel very seriously, and it is a subject that we need to pay close attention to if we are to fully comprehend God s end times plan. The scriptures chosen for this commentary testify to God s eternal devotion to Israel. Jeremiah 31: says 5

6 that the sun, moon, stars, and roaring seas would no longer function before Israel would ever cease to be a nation before him. When I awakened this morning, the sun shone brightly in the eastern sky, and I fully anticipate that the moon and stars will be out this evening. In fact, I am one hundred percent confident that the same pattern will occur tomorrow, and every day thereafter. Psalm 148: 3, 6 confirms that the Creator God placed the sun, moon and stars in the heaven for ever and ever. Israel will never cease to be a nation before God. God has a plan for Israel. While we do not know the details of that plan, we do know that the entire world will turn against Israel. It is no coincidence that Islam is committed to the elimination of the Jewish people, and that anti-semitism is exploding throughout the world. It is important to establish a baseline for our end times study, and that baseline is the undeniable fact that God loves Israel, and that he will be faithful to his eternal promises to it. This is largely what the tribulation is about, and we are seeing evidence that God s plan for Israel is unfolding today. The world is rapidly moving toward the time when all of prophecy will be fulfilled. By keeping God s love and devotion to Israel firmly in mind, we will clearly see that all scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). 6

7 As surely as the sun will come up in the morning, we can trust God s eternal words.! 2003, The Folks in the Pews Ministry Reprint guidelines: You are welcome to share this commentary in its entirety with the inclusion of authorship and copyright information. 7

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