In the Future
The bible is more than just a history book telling us what God has done in the past, the bible also tells us what God is going to do in the future, how things will end. The bible has many
prophecies, a lot of which have come to pass, over 300 foretold about Jesus, but there are also prophecies that have yet come to pass. These are known as the end time prophecies. Jesus talked about
His return and what would happen. Old testament prophets also prophesized about what would happen in the end times. One of the more well known of the end times prophecies was told by Jesus in Mark
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory
This is Jesus’ prophecy of His own return which He says will be after the tribulation. The tribulation is a period of seven years when God will send His judgments against the world for all the sin. The book of revelation is an end times prophecy of what will happen during the tribulation and after. There are also prophecies of things that will happen leading up to this. When the disciples asked Jesus about the end times He told them in Mark 13:5-8
And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
This prophesy is a general one and ever since Jesus said this people have pointed to it and to wars and disasters at the time to say “the end is near”! But Jesus also gives a more specific prophecy of what to look for in Matthew 24:15-16
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
The desolation that was prophesized by Daniel that Jesus is referring to is in Daniel 9:27
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
In this prophecy, Daniel is talking about weeks of years, or seven year periods. the person who Daniel is referring to is believed to be the Antichrist who will set up a world government and make a seven year covenant with Israel. This seven year period marks the beginning of the tribulation when God will judge the earth. During this time, Israel will have rebuilt the temple and will return to their system of sacrifices to God. Half way through this covenant, the Antichrist will break it and desecrate the temple. This prophecy would need the fulfillment of another prophecy from Ezekiel 38:8
After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. Ezekiel 38 predicts the reformation of Israel which happened in 1946 and a future attack on Israel by a coalition of countries when God will supernaturally destroy the attackers while defending Israel. This attack won’t happen until Israel is dwelling securely, but the part about Israel bring gathered from many peoples has come to pass.
Another much talked about future prophecy is Christ coming to take His church, also known as the rapture. Paul talks of this in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
The rapture is when God takes all believers up to heaven before He sends His judgments against the world. Jesus talks of this day in Matthew 24 starting in verse 36
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. and later in verses 40-42 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming
This is the prophecy to be most concerned about because Jesus said no one knows when it will happen and only people who have put their faith in Jesus, that He died for their sins and are forgiven, will be taken. Everyone else will be left behind to suffer God’s judgments. Jesus warns us to be prepared, are you prepared?
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton (all verses)