Musings of a Bookworm - Signs and Library Books

Those of you who check my blog every now and then might recall that about two months ago I made a post regarding a book I was reading. The book was entitled: "Are We living in the End Times?" by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Well, I'm still reading it. It's a library book and I've had to renew it twice at the library already, and I'll probably have to try to renew it a third time this week. I tend to take a while at reading non-fiction books because my fiction book usually distracts me. Since this book is coming up for renewal yet again, I decided I better wait on starting my next novel until I get a little further in "Are We Living in the End Times?" It's an excellent book really, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in doing more research on Bible prophecy.
Reading about Bible prophecy and the end times also tends to inspire me, so I thought I'd finally follow through on that promise to blog about what I learn from reading this book.
One of the major focus points of "Are We Living in the End Times?" is that many of the conditions that must be present before the major end times prophecies can be fulfilled are already in place today, and that the Rapture of the church could occur in our generation. I certainly am looking forward to the day when the Lord will return and instantly take us home, as any Christian does, and I found their arguments for an emminent Rapture very encouraging. I thought I would paraphrase a few of those arguments here.

One thing I have learned from this book was that Matthew 24 and 25 are two very important chapters on end time prophecy. I've read those chapters many times, but I never actually took the time to try to understand exactly what was being said. Tim Lahaye considers this to be a sort of outline of the end time prophecies given to us by Jesus Himself.

One thing that I never really noticed before (or maybe it's just that I never appreciated it before - it's amazing how the Lord can show you something new in something you've read a thousand times already) is that in Matthew 24:3 the disciples specifically asked Jesus what would be the signs of the end times and of Jesus's coming. Isn't it nice that the people who were closest to Jesus when He was on this earth had the foresight to ask a question like that? Jesus's answer was that (1)"Many will come in My name saying 'I am the Christ' and will decieve many", and (2) that "there will be wars and rumors of wars".
If we look at those two signs and consider the state of the world today it's amazing. The book discussed how at this time in history there is more deception and division within the church than ever before. And it's true, there are so many different denominations of churches, and some of the doctrines presented today are not supported by scripture.

As for the second sign Jesus mentioned that there will be wars and rumors of wars, and that "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom". The authors said in their book that they believe that Jesus was referring to a specific kind of war. The authors compared the the term nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom to other portions of scripture, and they surmise that this phrase could be referring to a war started by two nations that would quickly involve the whole world, which could fit with the curcumstances of World War I. The pestilences and famines that are mentioned after that would match up with the flu epidemic and famines that killed so many people right after World War I. More people have died in wars in the last hundred years than in any other period of human history.

After listing these two signs Jesus said that these would be "the beginning of sorrows" which is a term that is used elsewhere in scripture to describe a woman in labor. These signs represent the very first birth pains, and as Tim Lahaye describes it in his book "in most cases she does not look for the birth of the child immediately; she looks for another birth pain".
Tim Lahaye's interpretation of the "signs" Jesus mentioned may or may not be accurate - only time will really tell. But the book definitely convinced me that the world is in a better position for the return of Christ to Rapture His church than at any other time in world history.

Well, rats, I wanted to write about some of the other signs mentioned in this book, such as Israel becoming a nation(Ezekiel 37), and the belief that the generation who sees Israel's "fig tree" blossom "will by no means pass away before these things are fulfilled" (Matthew 24:32-34), or the increase in knowledge and travel predicted in Daniel 12:4, or the rise of China and China's significance in the war of Armaggedon (we're the first generation to see China expand and grow like it has since World War II). But I think this post is already extraordinarily long, so I'll close for now. If you want to read more about it you might just have to stop at the library and rent the book. Or maybe I'll have time to do one more post about it before I return it; we'll see!
I hope you've found some of these "signs of the end times" as encouraging as I have. Since I've begun reading "Are We Living in the End Times?" I'm more encouraged and hopeful that the Lord will indeed take us home before I die, and I feel like I have more reason to really believe that than I had before. If you've never done it before, I recommend you pick up a copy of a book on Bible prophecy by an author you trust and start reading it - I think it's one of the best things to boost your walk with the Lord, because it will remind you that He could return at any time and will encourage you to live as if He might!
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