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Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Current Events and End Times?

Last night I had the chance to get to an Internet Café and read the headlines for a while. Among the things I saw: The fighting in Lebanon/Israel continues, Syria is putting its military on alert, Iran’s leader continues to proclaim the imminent demise of Israel, world leaders are condemning Israel, violence in Iraq continues, not to mention a whole host of other wars and rumors of war, natural disasters and moral degradations.

The reality is that much of this should not be a surprise. Israel, as a nation, was restored in 1948, fulfilling Biblical prophecy that the people of Israel would return to their land after being the objects of malice and scorn by the nations of the world (see Ezekiel 36-37). We all know, unfortunately that the Holocaust is one of many examples of the people of Israel being objects of scorn by this world. It was within three years after the Holocaust that God’s promises to restore Israel came true.

Why does this matter now? Ezekiel goes on to prophesy a great, cataclysmic battle in which many nations will unite against Israel, including Persia (Iran). So many of the pieces to what Ezekiel described 2600 years ago seem to be in place. This will be a forerunner to the end times after which Christ will return. Is this in the process of happening? No one can say for sure, but we should not be surprised to see Israel being persecuted. The good news is that God will protect Israel.

I have referred before to the books of Joel Rosenberg, a NY Times Bestselling author who has written some Tom Clancy-esque novels based on these very prophecies, which have eerily reflected the events we’re currently seeing. I highly recommend his website: joelrosenberg.blogspot.com. I also recommend picking up a copy of his series, which begins with the book The Last Jihad, which talked about a major terrorist attack on the USA leading to a pre-emptive war with Iraq. This book was written about two years before the war in Iraq.

Are we living in the End Times? We cannot yet say for sure. All of time since the resurrection of Christ is considered the end times, but I’m speaking of the prophetic last days of Matthew 24, Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation. Jesus said we would not know the day nor the hour (Matthew 24:36). But He did encourage us to be watchful and seek the signs. In Matthew 24:32 and following He said: “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” What is the “it” He refers to? “At that time, the sign of the Son of Man [Christ] will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the hour winds, from one end of the heaven to the other.”

It’s easy to dismiss this. But remember what Peter said about it all, in 2 Peter 3:3: “you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say ‘Where is this “coming” that he promised.’” Later, he writes: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.”

1 Comments:

Blogger Mark true said...

Thanks for the book reference, Chris. I'm in the middle of the last "Left Behind" book, which is very well written and thought provoking. I'll look into the books you recommend next!

Keep cool. Here, the heat has broken somewhat. Hope it gets down to you soon.
-MT

7:54 PM  

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