Many people don’t believe we are the generation who will see the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the evidence is all around us.
When the Lord’s disciples asked Him about the signs of the time of His return, He answered by giving them the following list of early warning signs, which He described as birth pangs.
- Appearance of many false prophets (Matthew 24:5)
- Wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6-7)
- Famines (Matthew 24:7)
- Earthquakes (Matthew 24:7)
The birth pangs would be followed by a time of tribulation, which would include the following signs.
- Increased persecution of believers (Matthew 24:9)
- A great falling away from the faith (Matthew 24:10)
- More false prophets (Matthew 24:11)
- Increased lawlessness (Matthew 24:12)
- Most people’s love will grow cold (Matthew 24:12)
- The rise of an evil king attempting to rule from the temple in Jerusalem, which implies the temple will be rebuilt (Matthew 24:15)
The Lord Jesus further explained the generation that sees these signs will not all pass away before all of them are fulfilled (Matthew 24:32-34). So when we see these signs, beginning with the birth pangs, we know we are getting close. In other words, these events will not drag on for hundreds of years, but will all be fulfilled within a matter of decades, within the span of a generation, which scriptures define as seventy to eighty years (Psalm 90:10).
One of the major events that must be fulfilled before the Lord’s return is the rebirth of the nation of Israel. The Lord Jesus did not mention it specifically in his list, but he implied it by giving instructions to the people of Judea to flee to the mountains when they see the lawless one enter the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:16). So they must be living in the land of Judea at that time.
The prophet Isaiah stated it more directly:
11 Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11-12)
Isaiah specifically stated they would return to the land of Israel from the nations of the earth “a second time” because it already happened once before after their exile to Babylon and Assyria. Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled with the re-birth of modern Israel on May 15, 1948.
No other nation has ever returned to their homeland to rise again after being conquered and scattered among the nations, but Israel has done it twice. For the first time in nearly 2,000 years, the instructions given to the people of Judea by the Lord Jesus can be fulfilled.
I believe Israel’s rebirth in 1948 marked the beginning of the season of birth pangs. Wars and rumors of wars followed immediately as the new nation was invaded the next day by mechanized armies from five Arab nations in what appeared to be a quick ending to their new nation. Israel had no navy and no military aircraft. Their fighting force consisted largely of emaciated holocaust survivors. Yet against unbelievable odds, God gave them the victory.
More wars followed in 1967 and 1973. Israel was attacked in 1991 by scud missiles from Iraq, which did amazingly little damage as the missiles were either shot down, missed their targets, or in some cases miraculously blown out to sea. Even during times of peace, Israel has been constantly terrorized by Islamic militants. Yet, surrounded by enemies on all sides and hated by most of the world, Israel has not only survived, but has thrived as a military power and an economic miracle.
The rebirth of Israel was such a significant event in the spiritual realm, evidence shows the earth itself was changed and has never been the same. Data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which is a scientific agency of the United States federal government, shows a dramatic increase in major earthquake activity ever since the rebirth of Israel. The graph below shows earthquake activity in ten-year increments from 1900 to 2019.
The chart shows earthquakes over 5.6 magnitude because that is the threshold for major destruction. Amazingly, the final decade, 2010 to 2019, is still in progress with over three years still remaining, but it has already exceeded all previous periods. The trend is clearly up and accelerating.
The USGS has no agenda, no reason to fabricate historical data. Yet, the evidence shows the earth has been reeling ever since the rebirth of Israel. I believe we are seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of what the prophet Isaiah saw:
19 The earth is broken asunder, the earth is split through, the earth is shaken violently.
20 The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, for its transgression is heavy upon it, and it will fall, never to rise again.
21 So it will happen in that day, that the Lord will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on earth.
22 They will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon, and will be confined in prison; and after many days they will be punished.
23 Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and His glory will be before His elders. (Isaiah 24:19-23)
Earthquake activity will continue to increase until the Lord returns, climaxing after the seventh bowl of God’s wrath is poured out. Then there will be a great earthquake unlike any other in history.
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.”
18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.
19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (Revelation 16:12-14)
Just as the Lord Jesus prophesied, Isaiah identified increased earthquake activity as a sign of the Lord’s soon return. Surely we are the generation who will see all of these things fulfilled.
It is time for God’s people to understand the hour is late and it is time to prepare for His return. It is time for pastors to stop avoiding teaching these scriptures for fear of alarming the people. God will hold them accountable.
Let us not be like the five foolish virgins who were unprepared when the bridegroom returned. They missed His return because they failed to keep oil for their lamps. Those who were ready went into the wedding feast, but the five foolish virgins knocked on the door, saying, “Lord, Lord, open up for us.”
He answered, “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.”
We must be on the alert, keeping oil in our lamps, because we don’t know the day nor the hour (Matthew 25:1-13).
Author: James Bailey
James Bailey is an author, business owner, husband and father of two children. His vision is to broadcast the good news of Jesus Christ through blog sites and other media outlets.
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