One thing that has always surprised me is how many Christians are surprised by world events. For example, the current nuclear threat by the Russians has brought a lot of questions about Armageddon, especially if we will see the battle of Armageddon in the next few months.
The answer is no. We do not know the exact time of Armageddon, but we do know where it falls in the timeline. According to Revelation 19, Armageddon takes place at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. We know from Daniel 9:27 that the Tribulation Period starts when many nations and the Antichrist sign a covenant over the city of Jerusalem. The Tribulation has not yet begun, so we can conclude that Armageddon is not a few months away.
These facts lead to the question, does this whole Russian nuclear threat have anything to do with Biblical prophecy? The answer – sort of. There is no Biblical prophecy about the Russians’ use of weapons of mass destruction. However, one of the signs of Jesus’ second coming is “wars and rumors of wars.” The Russian threat fulfills that sign.
Could the Russians (or any other nation) use nuclear weapons? Yes. But Armageddon is not yet. Armageddon has a set time and place in Biblical prophecy; as discussed previously, we are not there yet. But we do know it is coming someday.
As Christians, as we see the signs, why are we surprised? As mentioned earlier, God told us there would be wars and rumors of wars. Why, then, does the invasion of Ukraine (or any other military action) surprise us? We do not know what specific wars, or rumors thereof, may come around, but we should not be surprised that they happen; God told us they would.
Eleven times in the New Testament, when it comes to Christ’s return, we are told to “watch.” God expects us to watch so much that He believes we should know what is happening.
After giving the most vivid description of the rapture in Scripture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), God immediately says, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2).
The “ye have no need that I write unto you” above is equivalent to saying to a heart surgeon, “You don’t need me to tell you how to fix that heart valve. You already know about all that.”
Christians should know that the return of Christ comes like a thief in the night. This thief reference means that Jesus’ return will come unexpectedly. Jesus told us no one knows the day or the hour (Matthew 25:16). However, in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, He compares His return to a woman in labor.
Here is how not knowing when and the woman in labor coincide. The signs of pregnancy come early. A missed menstrual cycle and morning sickness are usually the first signs. There are signs throughout pregnancy – weird food cravings, moodiness, fits of crying for no apparent reason, increased belly size, and so on. The signs are there; there is no doubt; a baby is on the way. However, with all those signs, no one knows the day or the time the baby will come. Yes, there is a due date, but that is an educated guess based on the sign of the last menstrual cycle. Without being induced, few births (about 4%, according to parents.com) occur on the actual due date.
As the time of birth gets closer, contractions begin. As many women know, sometimes contractions start, raising expectations, then stop, and everyone must wait for another day.
And so it is with Biblical prophecy and Christ’s return. Like morning sickness and food cravings are early signs of pregnancy, the recreation of Israel (1948) and the Israeli recapture of Jerusalem (1967) are early signs of His return.
Other signs – wars, rumors of wars, famine, pestilence, catastrophic weather, and more, like contractions, will increase in frequency and intensity.
The rapture is comparable to a woman’s water breaking. After that, the contractions go into hyper mode, reaching nearly unbearable proportions. Also, once the water breaks, the exact moment of birth is still unknown, but now there is no doubt the baby is coming.
The signs are all around us. Christian, are you watching? God expects you to. It appears contractions have started. How soon before the water breaks?
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.