The End is Nigh: Ten Reasons Why - Pete Garcia -
While it is impossible to know the day or hour of the Rapture of the Church (Mark 13:32), it is however, possible to recognize the season of His return and our subsequent deliverance (1st Thess. 5:1-3, Hebrews 10:25). For those who would assert our ability to even wonder when Christ could return as soft date setting, just remember that Christ chastised the Pharisees' and Sadducees, as well as the city of Jerusalem, for not recognizing the season of their visitation (Matt. 16:1-4, 19:43-44).
We are to be actively watching and waiting for the Lord's soon return (Luke 12:37). This does not mean we sell all of our belongings and move to a mountaintop to idly wait, but to live our lives recognizing that our departure is soon at hand. We are to hold loosely to the things of this life, and to understand the temporary nature of our current existence. When we do this, we renew and sustain our hope and faith in Christ, whilst living in a world that is aggressively falling apart.
With that, I have put together ten definitive signs that point to the very soon return of Christ for His Church. However, there is a bit of a divine-paradox going on here. The Rapture of the Church is the only sign-less event noted in Scripture. Every other prophetic event has either signs for, or other things that lead up to it. The Rapture does not.
So how can see evidence for an event that has no preliminary evidence?
The Bible plainly teaches that the Rapture happens before (or pre) Daniel's 70th Week (aka...The Tribulation or the time of Jacob's Trouble). There are two primary purposes for the Tribulation: 1) to discipline Israel and bring her back into relationship with God, 2) to destroy all the Christ-rejecting nations of the world in their current state (Jeremiah 30:7-11). Since the Church was not present in any of the first 69 Weeks of Daniel, we can confidently conclude that we are likewise not in the 70th Week of Daniel.
Furthermore, the 70 Weeks of Daniel were exclusively determined for the Jews, and Jerusalem. As members of the Church (i.e., the multi-membered, corporate, body of Christ), we are beneficiaries (through Christ) of the six must-happen things listed in Daniel 9:24;
- finish the transgression
- make an end of sins
- make reconciliation for iniquity
- bring in everlasting righteousness
- seal up vision and prophecy
- to anoint the Most Holy
Since national Israel still largely rejects the Messiahship of Jesus, we know that this last week of years must still be future. Besides, if we are already seeing signs for events that happen after the Rapture, naturally, the Rapture must then be all the sooner. Therefore, since we cannot look for signs of the Rapture itself, we must look for signs of Daniel's 70th Week.
1. Israel. Clearly, the super-sign of the end times is the rebirth of the nation of Israel. The reason we can be certain it is the super-sign, is because there is no other explanation for the supernatural hatred for her amongst the nations. Not even the most egregious and tyrannical nation on the planet, North Korea, evokes as much vitriol from the leftists, godless, socialists, and Islamists. The world has not seen this level of Anti-Semitism since the pre-World War II days in Europe. Unfortunately, this demonic hatred is not only at the geopolitical level, but also even within Christendom. Movements like Reformed and Covenant theology, as well as eschatological positions of Amillennialism, Preterism, and Post-Millennialism, were all designed to discredit Israel's legitimacy as both a nation, and as the rightful heirs of the Genesis 15 endowment. Deuteronomy 30:1-10, Ezekiel 37
2. Jerusalem. The fact that Jerusalem is back under Israeli control, especially in light of how she reacquired it, is simply miraculous. And since 1967, the world has furiously tried to wrest control of Jerusalem back out of Israeli hands. However, as of December 6th, 2017, President Donald Trump became the first gentile world leader (in over 2,000 years) to officially recognize her as the sovereign capital of the nation of Israel further enraging anti-Semites around the world. Zechariah 12:3, Luke 21:24
3. Damascus. Isaiah 17 predicts this Syrian city's ultimate and total destruction as a city. The fact that the Arab Spring has largely blown over and subsided around the rest of the Middle East, but has continued to linger in Syria, speaks to the prophetic nature of the circumstances there. Not only that, but it became the casus belli to draw in the major players mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39.
4. Gog and Magog. The fact that we are seeing this coalition form before our very eyes over Syria is a sure sign that the Rapture of the church is extremely near. Never before has Russia, Iran, and Turkey (all formerly competing empires) ever collaborated economically, militarily, and politically with a common goal in mind. Listed by their ancient names, modern day Russia, Turkey, and Iran have formed an anti-Israel/US alliance that are currently building their forces literally tens of miles from the Israeli border (to her north). They are not there because they care about Basher Assad, or his regime. They are there because of its proximity to Israel and wealth (spoils). Two things about this stand out to me:
Israel's allies are either unable or unwilling to help (Ezekiel 38:13)
God defeats this coalition so spectacularly, that spiritual Israel finally awakens, and the people finally demand to rebuild their third temple (Ez. 39:22, 28-29)
For the past two-thousand years, Jesus has been actively building His body the Church (i.e., the corporate, multi-membered, universal body of Christ- as noted in Matt. 16:18, Col. 3:8-11). The reason this event (Ezekiel 38-39) indicates that the Rapture is near, is that this war is the event where God returns His full attention back to My land Israel and My people the Jews (Ez. 38:16). The Church is no longer in play on the earth, which makes sense. Again, the Church was not in play in the first 69 Weeks of Daniel's 70 Weeks, why should we be in the 70th? It seems to me that Gog/Magog serves not only as the weathervane event, but also as the transition period into the final 70th Week.
5. The Kings of the East. While Russia, Turkey, and Iran are inescapably drawn toward Syria, the US is being inescapably drawn to the other side of the world because of the threat from the East. North Korea has been a thorn in the side of US foreign policy since the 1953 Korean Armistice. However, things have been turned on its head with the election of President Trump and his stubborn unwillingness to play politics as usual. Due to a number of factors including nationwide malnutrition and starvation, growing corruption and an escalation of desperation, the status quo of the past is no longer an option. Only three outcomes are possible for the Kim regime of North Korea:
- War with regime change
- Denuclearization and reunification
- Economic Collapse
All of these are unacceptable outcomes for the Chinese regime. The Chinese prefers the status quo, because it gives them a measure of leverage over the United States. They also realize that after 17 years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US military (in its present state) barely has the capacity, resources, or manpower to conduct itself simultaneously in two major theaters of war as we once did in World War II. The Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia are all key US allies that require our immediate protection should China engage any of them (or us) militarily. This would require the US to shift most or all our assets around the globe to meet the Chinese military threat. Our unwillingness to come to Israel's aid in a Gog/Magog scenario may be because we are fully engaged elsewhere and cannot respond.
6. The Pace of Modernization. The new arms race is not nuclear, it is digital. Nations around the world are racing to corner the market on artificial intelligence (AI), crypto-currency, quantum computers, genetic editing/cloning/modifications, data collection and mining, surveillance, lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS), and many more. In fact, technological advancements are moving so rapidly today that an inevitable breakthrough in any one of these areas could upend the current geopolitical balance of power. Of particular note is CERN's experiments (dimensional portals, teleportation, etc.) in Europe, which could rapidly change the balance of power in their favor. Furthermore, AI opens the possibility for demonic entities to inhabit inanimate objects (as opposed to people). If demons can use Ouija boards, imagine what they can do with autonomous (or "sentient") system and robot.
7. The Inescapable Threat. The world currently faces numerous, seemingly unsolvable crises (real or perceived) that demand their attention. Issues like: Climate change, economic instability, exploding population growth, weaponized immigration, the decline of fiscal currencies and other 20th century legacy institutions, increasingly hybrid forms of terrorism and crime, cosmic threats (comets, asteroids, solar storms, etc.), global travel and pandemics, and natural disasters (super-volcanoes, tsunamis, 9-10.0 earthquakes, etc.). Even the threat of these have caused tremendous anxiety amongst the world's leaders and populations. Luke 21:25-26
8. Peace and Safety. The more destabilized the world becomes, the more the people will clamor for peace and safety. People will willingly trade their liberty for security, which is what globalists have wanted all along (i.e., the Hegelian dialectic). Although this has been the case for the last thirty-years or more, the call for it has only intensified as the world has increasingly become more unhinged. While this is a passive sign, it is however, the one phrase Paul told us to listen for that would precede immediate the destruction caused by the Rapture. 1 Thess. 5:1-3
9. Godlessness. The Apostle Peter remarked that in the last days, scoffers would come mocking that Christ had not yet returned (2 Peter 3:3-4). Paul wrote that in the last days, perilous times would come (2 Tim. 3:1). Paul's definition of perilous interestingly enough, did not include war or natural disasters, but how treacherous and wicked men would become. Jesus stated that in the last days, because lawlessness abounded, the love of many would grow cold (Matt. 24:12). Furthermore, Jesus stated that the days surrounding His return would be similar to Noah and Lot's day, both of which were noted for being exceedingly violent and wicked (Luke 17:26-30).
The rise in godlessness and the general lack of fear/respect for God began back in the 19th-century when man first began to progress in both science and technology. Many humanistic philosophies were simultaneously being developed. Existentialism, Marxism, Darwinism, Secularism, Socialism, Eugenics, Higher and Lower Criticism, etc., were all devoted to either doubt, reinvent, or dismiss God and the Bible. Either through coercion, deception, or manipulation into the public and higher education systems (even seminaries), these humanistic doctrines became the new modern dogma of the left. While I believe that all of God's attributes are limitless, there is one, which I suspect, is not. That is His tolerance of evil. God is longsuffering, but that longsuffering will not go on indefinitely. At some point, God will have to bring judgment upon this earth because His righteousness demands it. Ruth Graham (Billy Graham's wife) was quoted as having once said that if God does not punish America soon, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Since the left dominates the media and the government (both state and federal), it has wide platforms for these humanistic philosophies to grow; the intent being to stamp out true, biblical Christianity being its first and foremost priority. Why such fierce opposition to Christianity, as opposed to Islam or communism, both of which have long, sordid, proven track records of death and violence? The answer is that Satan is currently managing this planet, and will tolerate anything and everything, except for the truth. In fact, we have arrived at such a time now that the godless are mentally, spiritually, and physically unable to distinguish right from wrong, up from down, or male from female, etc. Luke 4:5-7, Romans 1:18-32, Ephesians 2:2, 1 Peter 5:8
10. Convergence. While each generation could claim one or two from this list, none but ours could claim all of them. The sad fact is that this list is hardly comprehensive at all. There are so many more things pointing to the soon return of Christ that written space here does not allow for. Daniel was told that the end would come as a flood, and a flood-indeed it is (Daniel 9:26). However, it is not only the convergence of signs that is noteworthy; there is also the convergence of believers all coming to the same conclusions.
At no point in church history, has so many believers from so many spectrums all been so convinced that we are living in the last days. I believe this speaks to the Holy Spirit's witness to us all who are awake and watching. Granted, most of the mainstream and aberrant churches and movements (Emergent, Hebrew-roots, Social Justice Gospel, Prosperity Gospel, Seeker-Sensitive, etc.) are sound asleep, the watchers are not. We may disagree on some of the finer points of eschatology; we all generally agree that these are what the Bible describes as the last days.
Even So, Maranatha!