We come today to the tenth and final installment in this series of Bible Studies on "Signs of the Times". It has been enlightening to see how current events fit into the broader picture of Bible prophecy, reminding us that the coming of Christ must surely be soon. I hope, that through these articles, you have gained a whole new appreciation for the amazing accuracy and relevance of the ancient prophecies of Scripture.
RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED
In this final study, we come back again to the nation of Israel. If you remember, we began this entire series talking about the importance of Israel, how that after 2500 years, Israel has become a nation again. The regathering of dispersed Jews from all over the world, their return to their homeland, and the establishment of a new Jewish state in 1948 was the bedrock Bible prophecy upon which all other end time prophecies are predicated. Now we come full circle, back to Israel again, in this last lesson. We conclude with the Resentment towards Israel that will ultimately lead to the showdown that will rock the world at Armageddon.
CONSIDER THE WORDS OF JESUS
First, let's consider the words of Jesus in Matt. 24:9, where He said "You will be hated by all nations for My name's sake". This is in the context of Jesus' description of the Tribulation Period, when all Jews will have to run for their lives to get away from the persecution of the Anti-Christ.
God's people, Israel, have been hated throughout history. The prime example of this, of course, was during Hitler's Nazi Germany, and the holocaust. There is still strong feelings of Anti-Semitism all around the world today. No other group of people have been subjected to more hatred and bigotry than the Jews.
CONSIDER THE OBJECTIVE OF RADICAL ISLAM
Third, there is the avowed objective of the radical Islamic extremists to "drive Israel into the sea", to "wipe the Jews from the earth" (actual quotes of Islamic leaders). Our country has been trying to appease the Palestinians for decades with the idea of a separate Palestinian state in the Middle East. But the problem is: the Palestinians don't want their own land. Under the influence of Hamas and Hezbollah, they want to annihilate Israel.
CONSIDER THE PROPHECY OF ZECHARIAH
Fourth, there is the great prophecy of Zech. 12:2-3 in which God declares: "And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples". In other words, Israel will be a foreign policy nightmare, a "burden" for all the nations of the world. How true is that! To say that the Middle East has become the most pressing foreign policy problem in the world is an understatement.
CONSIDER HOW THIS STORY WILL END
According to the Bible, the Anti-Christ will come to power as a great "peacemaker" and sign a peace treaty, a covenant, with Israel guaranteeing their security for major concessions on their part (probably giving up a lot of their occupied territory). But in the middle of the 7 year tribulation, this traitor, this "abomination of desolation" will break his treaty, betray Israel, and "sell out" to the enemies of Israel. Think this is far-fetched? Just this past year, our own President signed a treaty with Iran, Israel's most dangerous enemy, that left Israel wondering which side we are on! We are already witnessing the beginning of the end. Keep in mind now, that when the Bible talks about all nations being gathered together against Israel at Armageddon, it means all nations, including us--the only ones who have historically been their friends.
AND THEN CHRIST COMES BACK
Just when it looks like Israel is about to be totally annihilated by the armies of the world, Jesus will return in great power and glory, and destroy all the armies of the earth. Read Rev. 16:16 with 19:11-21 and Zech. 14:2-3. When you think about it, Christ can't come back in His second coming until the resentment against Israel grows so strong that it leads to the battlefield called Megiddo. God will save His people once again, just as He did so many times in the Old Testament. Israel will not be destroyed. Rather, she will be elevated above all the nations of the earth. Israel will be, for 1000 years, the very headquarters of the Kingdom of Christ, where He will rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.