This event, prophesied throughout the Old Testament (see Ezekiel 37:21 for an example), was fulfilled in 1948.
After that, the Bible describes a time of what it calls 'birth pains'. Things like:
- spiritual deception
- distress of nations
These birth pains, known as the 'beginning of sorrows', will increase gradually in frequency and intensity as this present age labors to give birth to the next.
This time of sorrows will lead directly into a seven-year period referred to by scholars as the 70th Week of Daniel (Daniel 9:24).
This will be a time of terrible tribulation featuring pretty much every horrible thing you can imagine (and a few beyond your imagination).
In Matthew 24:32-35 and again in Luke 21:29-33, Jesus warns His disciples to watch for the signs He described.
"...When you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place..." (Luke 21: 31, 32 emphasis added).
The million dollar question? What generation?
The footnote in our Nelson Study Bible reads:
"The most likely meaning of this verse is that when the end comes, it will come quickly. The events of the end times will fall within one generation from start to finish."
So, if the prophetic clock started ticking in 1948 when the Jews got their homeland back, that leads us to...
The next Big Question: How long is a generation?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO?) and the Global Health Observatory (GHO):
"Seventy years is the average life expectancy at birth of the global population in 2011."While these are definitely things that make us go hmmm...
We can't know for sure when Jesus is coming. We can recognize the importance of watching. Jesus warned:
"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectantly" (Luke 21:34).
As the world grows darker, the Christian's hope grows brighter. Why? Because Jesus also said:
"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28 emphasis added).A wise man once said: "Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it." - C. S. Lewis
- The Washington Times: Bibles decried as 'religious propaganda'; banned from Iowa State University hotel
- Financial News.com: Series of bizarre banker deaths rock financial world; eight since Jan.
- Fox News Channel: Government plans to begin 'monitoring' news organizations; 1st Amendment supporters cry 'foul'.