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WARS AND RUMORS OF WAR

     When Jesus was asked, "What shall be the sign of thy coming?"  He replied saying, "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet (Matthew 24:6)."

     U.S. News and World Report recently reported (March 28.1983), "NOW AT WAR: 1 IN EVERY 4 NATIONS.  A new study from a Washington think tank details a little known fact; Forty-five nations- a fourth of the world's countries-- are now fighting wars.  The Center of Defense Information "World of War" report shows 40 conflicts in progress; 10 in Asia, 10 in Africa, 10 in Mideast, 7 in Latin America and 3 in Europe.

     Are we seeing prophecy fulfilled?  Are we in the latter days?  Could Christ rapture us out at any moment?  I believe the answer to all these questions is yes.  

     Hosea the prophet clearly tells us that the latter days are a specific time when the Jewish people would return to the State of Israel after being dispersed throughout the world for nearly 2,000 years.  "For the children of Israel shall abide many days (2,000 years) without a king (Israel has no king), and without a prince (Israel has no heir to the Jewish throne), and without a sacrifice (Israel has no blood sacrifice), and without an image (Israel worships no images), and without an ephod (Israel has no priesthood), and without teraphim (Israel does not have household gods); Afterward shall the children of Israel return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the Latter Days (Hosea 3:4-5)."  Amazingly the Jewish people have returned to the State of Israel as of May 14, 1948.  So we must be in the Latter Days.

     Can you believe it?  Right now forty-five nations of the world are at war with one another.  One out of every four nations are at war.  At the same time the Jew is back in Israel.

     The rapture is the next event in God's program (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).  This is when Jesus Christ will return part way from Heaven and catch us out to meet Him in the air.  "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and 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)."

     Yet there are no prophecies for the rapture.  All of the prophecies are for the second coming which occurs seven years after the rapture at which time we return with Jesus Christ when he establishes a 1,000 year kingdom here on earth.  (Revelation 20:4-6).

     If the prophecies are of events that will happen after we leave at the rapture, and we can see many of these occurring today, then we must be very close to the rapture.

     As Jesus said, "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (near) (Luke 21:28)."

     There are many other things that Jesus mentioned would happen after the rapture.  Some of these are as follows:

1. Jewish people will return back to the State of Israel. (Isaiah 11:11-12; 66:8; Jeremiah 30:1-3; 31:8-11; Ezekiel 37:21-25)

2. There will be great blasphemies spoken against God. (Revelation 13:60)

3. Christians will come under attack and be persecuted. (Revelation 13:7)

4. Knowledge will increase and abound. (Daniel 12:4)

5. Travel will increase. (Daniel 12:4)

6. There will be an increase in occurrences of and interest in supernatural happenings. (II Thessalonians 2:8-12; Matthew 24:24)

7. Wars, threats of wars and conflict between nations will increase. (Matthew 24:6-7; Mark 13:7)

8. Strife and discord within the family will increase. (Matthew 10:36)

9. There will be inflation and no financial security. (Ezekiel 7:19; James 5:1-3)

10. There will be a famine with starving humans and animals killing people for food. (Matthew 24:7; Ezekiel 5:16-17)

11. Pestilence and epidemics will spread. (Ezekiel 7:14-15; Matthew 24:7)

12. There will be false Messiahs. (Matthew 24:4-5; 24:24)

13. Drug abuse will rise. (Revelation 9:21)

14. Russia will invade Israel. (Ezekiel 38:16)

15. Libya, Ethiopia, Turkey and Iran will ally with Russia. (Ezekiel 38:5-6)

16. Ten nations will unite out of the West. (Revelation 17:12)

17. Sin will increase. (II Timothy 3:1-5)

18. Homosexuality, sexual immorality, and pornography will increase. (Luke 17:28-29; Jude 17-19)

19. Earthquakes will increase worldwide. (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8)

20. Antichrist will rise in power. (Revelation 13:1-11; II Thessalonians 2:1-3)

21. The Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Israel. (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:27)

22. There will be talk of world peace. (I Thessalonians 5:1-2)

23. There will be a false One World Church. (Revelation 17)

24. There will be a World War--Armageddon. (Zechariah 12:3)

     This is a very incomplete list of the things that would happen during the tribulation.  But we do get some idea of the types of things that will occur.

     I believe the rapture is near.  After we leave at the rapture Jesus said, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall ever be (Matthew 24:21)."  To watch the current news fit the Bible prophecies is something we can all do as we see the time of Christ's return approaching.  We should be watching, looking for Christ's return.

     "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for redemption draweth nigh (near) (Luke 21:28)."

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