Many Christians today are looking for the return of the Lord and the rapture to bail them out of the troubles of this life, but God’s word reveals He is not returning for a frightened, powerless Church running for their lives, but a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:27) It’s not hard to see the Church today is not there yet.
There is a popular teaching the return of the Lord is imminent, that He could come back at any moment, but that contradicts many Bible prophecies that must be fulfilled before He returns. These unscriptural teachings are popular because they tell us what we all want to hear, heaven is near and all our troubles will be long gone. We could avoid being misled by this foolishness just by reading the Bible.
Some take it even a step further by setting specific dates for His return. There seems to be a new date set every year. I’ve given up wasting my time debating these people here on Z3 News because so far, none of them have shown any interest in what the Bible says. Then, when nothing happens on their big date, instead of humbly repenting of their errors, they continue stiff-necked, setting another date a few months later. They make the Church a laughingstock to the whole world. Many of us have seen their ridicule posted on social media and it’s well deserved.
According to the Bible, there are many major events that must happen before the Lord returns. Here’s a list of 15 of them.
- A major world war must happen after the antichrist receives his first crown. (Revelation 6:1-4)
- A major worldwide economic collapse with hyper-inflation must happen after the world war that follows the antichrist receiving his first crown. (Revelation 6:4-6)
- One fourth of the earth must suffer famine, pestilence and more killing with the sword after the events listed above. (Revelation 6:7-8)
- Great earthquakes powerful enough to move mountains and islands must happen in various places. There are prophecies about a 12.2 hitting the west coast of the United States, which would be far greater than any earthquake in history. (Matthew 24:7, Revelation 6:12-17)
- The third temple must be built in Jerusalem. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, Revelation 11:1-2, Daniel 8:11-14) This would require major political changes and a lengthy construction period.
- The kingdom of the beast must be established. (Daniel 7:23-27, Revelation 13) Today we see the United States standing in its’ way, so the rise of the beast kingdom would require major changes in global currencies, governments, economies, and militaries.
- The antichrist must make a seven-year covenant. (Daniel 9:27)
- The antichrist must pretend to honor the seven-year covenant for the first three and a half years when he ultimately violates it. (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15)
- The power of the holy ones must be shattered. (Revelation 13:5-7 and Daniel 9:27)
- A great falling away from the faith must happen. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Matthew 24:9-10)
- The man of lawlessness must be revealed to the world. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3)
- The Gospel must be proclaimed throughout the whole world. (Matthew 24:14)
- The Church must become holy, righteous, without spot or blemish. (Ephesians 4:11-16, Ephesians 5:25-27) Today, the Church is filled with compromise with sin.
- The Church must be built on the foundation of the ministry of the apostles and prophets. (Ephesians 2:20) Today, the Church is built on the ministry of pastors, teachers, and evangelists while apostles and prophets are mostly treated as outcasts, too spooky to even talk about.
- Believers must do greater works than Jesus did. (John 14:12) Many have done some of the works He did, but what about greater works?
For a more in depth study of these events, please see my post, Ten Things that Must Happen Before the Rapture.
How long will it take for all these things to be fulfilled? Considering their magnitude, many of these events will take years, so we still have a long way to go.
Although we don’t know the day or the hour of His return, He said we would know the season. Jesus compared it to how we know summer is near when we see leaves budding on a fig tree. (Matthew 24:32-33) So, God wants us to know where we are on His timeline and has given us many clues, not only in the Bible, but also prophetically.
In the 5-minute video shown at the bottom of this post, the late prophet Bob Jones shares a hundred-year prophecy he claims he received from God, which starts back in the 1950’s. The video was published September 26, 2009. The following provides a transcript of his comments.
“Years ago, he gave me a hundred year prophecy.
The 1950’s revealed the power of God… William Branham, AA Allen, Oral Roberts, and Jack Coe.
The 1960’s revealed the Spirit of God. That’s when the baptism of the Holy Spirit began to come into denominations.
The 1970’s was the Word of God. That’s when really inspired teachers began to be raised up and showed us new understanding of the written Word.
The 1980’s began to reveal the prophets of God, people who get the inspired word of God.
In the 1990’s, we began to get a revelation of the government of God.
In the 2000’s, we got the glory of God, a lot of these gold flakes and gold teeth and everything, it’s on the verge of revealing the glory of God.
The 2010‘s will reveal the faith of God. It’s not having faith in God, but having the faith of God.
The 2020’s will reveal the rest of God. We as the body will come into a place of resting in God where God will rest in us. In this rest, the enemy will not be able to do warfare because we are resting in God and He is resting in us and He will accomplish the things He means to do in a people that is at rest. He has always wanted a people that would come into His rest, but there never has been one, but it’s on the way.
The 2030’s will reveal the family of God. There will be such a unity. If you pick on one, you pick on them all. And intercession, where if you’re picking on one, intercessors are mediating all over. They come right in. It’s a family.
The 2040’s will reveal the coming forth of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom authority, Kingdom sons, sons of the Kingdom.
The 2050’s will reveal the sons of God. They’ll grow into where they have a light on and a likeness to the Son of God.
I saw up to 2060. That’s as far as I saw. And the church was here. It wasn’t beat down. It was walking in the glory of God. It had the power of God on it. It had power over death. It had power over weather. It had power over everything.
We are in a time of growing. I don’t know what season it comes in there, but there will be a season in those last 30 years to where death will have no part over those that are the sons of God. There is a generation, they won’t know death and I believe these youths that are getting ready and these youths that are being prepared now and those that are not yet saved, they won’t be afraid of death because they will go everyplace in the world. They’ll take it. They won’t be able to stop them. We know in the last days, some of these, that if you take their life, they have the power to raise it up again. I was seeing that kind of resurrection power in the Church in the last days. I don’t know when it will begin, but I really felt that it will begin in the 2030s.”
Bob Jones was not given a specific date or year for the Lord’s return. He was only shown events leading up to 2060 and did not even mention the Lord’s return, so perhaps some of what he saw happens after the return of the Lord. He even said, “there will be a season in those last 30 years to where death will have no part over those that are the sons of God.” Death will have no part over those that are the sons of God? That sounds like the millennial reign when the sons of God will be living on earth in our new glorified bodies.
Prophecies recorded in the Bible include events after the Lord’s return, so perhaps some of what Bob Jones saw also happens afterwards. Just because he described themes for each decade does not necessarily mean it all happens before the Lord’s return. The world does not end when the Lord returns. So, perhaps when Bob Jones saw Kingdom authority coming in the 2040’s, he was seeing the fulfillment of what Jesus said,
26 “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;
27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father;” (Revelation 2:26-27)
Then Bob Jones said, “The 2050’s will reveal the sons of God. They’ll grow into where they have a light on and a likeness to the Son of God.” God’s people don’t stop growing or developing after the Lord returns. Our lives will continue forever and ever with Him and we will continue learning and growing forever too. So, perhaps he was seeing our continued development during the millennial reign.
If everything he saw happens prior to the Lord’s return, it would mean we still have another 43 years to go, which sounds like an eternity. Many people living today will still be alive then, but many others won’t be. For example, Barack Obama, whom many of us believe will play a key role in end time events, will be 99 years old in 2060, which is old, but sounds possible.
The promise of the Lord’s return gives us great hope for the future, but we still have much important work to do while we’re waiting. So, regardless of the timing, we must stay focused on our current assignments while resting in the awesome promises for the days to come.
Author: James Bailey
James Bailey is a blogger, business owner, husband and father of two grown children. In 1982, he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. In 2012, he founded Z3news.com to broadcast the message of salvation by reporting end time news before it happens.