Reflections on the Holy Scripture

The Bible speaks of the past and the present, but it also speaks of the future. The Bible prophesies the final days of earth and existence in the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, and in a few other books. These times, known as the End Times, will mark a period of destruction and sadness before God creates a New Heaven and New Earth.

The Rapture

According to the Bible, near the end of time, God will take all Christians who are alive on this Earth to Heaven. He does this so that His people will not have to live through the last few years of time, which will be the most terrible time in all of history. The term for this is the Rapture, and though the Bible doesn't actually use that word, that is what this idea is commonly called.

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV

After the Rapture

After the Rapture, there will be a seven-year period of time where God deals great judgment on this world to punish the corruption of the remaining world. This period of time is known as the 70th Week of Daniel, in the middle of which the The three and a half year period in the End Times in which God releases His wrath upon the world. Great Tribulation begins. The judgments that will occur during this time will result in the most terrible chapter in the history of this Earth; everyone will suffer, and more than half of the remaining population will die.

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

~ Matthew 24:21-22 NKJV

Also, Satan, the Devil, will make a final attempt to solidify his rule over Earth and defeat God once and for all. In the end, however, Satan will easily be defeated by God when He arrives at the end of the Tribulation to set up His Kingdom on Earth.

The Mark of The Beast

During the Tribulation, someone whom the Bible symbolizes with a seven-headed beast will assume political power over the entire earth. This man (who will be referred to as the Beast here) will be assisted by a False Prophet, who will declare the Beast as God and force everyone to worship the Beast as such. Defiance will result in death. In addition, the False Prophet will enforce all trade and commerce by declaring that a Mark be placed on the forehead or the right hand of everyone. People who refuse the Mark face execution.

15 [The False Prophet] was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

~ Revelation 13:15-17 NKJV

Before the Mark is enforced, however, God will warn everyone to not take the Mark. Anyone who takes the Mark will doom themselves to Hell. Therefore, it is imperative that anyone who belongs to God refuses the Mark, even if it means death. Once the mark is taken, there is absolutely no hope for eternal life.

Nobody is exactly sure how the Mark will be manifested. Some feel that it is likely the Mark will be some kind of implant, like a microchip. Others believe the Mark to be a tattoo. Ultimately, how the Mark will be manifested is irrelevant. We can be sure that God will warn us of the Mark before it is enforced; there will be no way to "accidentally" take the Mark.

How do we know the End Times are near?

Before the End Times, there will be an increasing urgency for a World Order. As the world begins to fall apart politically, economically, and morally, there will be a need for peace. The general population will lose hope in religion and discourage dependence on it; sense of nationality will become less important. And finally, a need for a World Leader will become apparent.

The things listed above can all be seen in today's world. What we face today is an increasing sense of secularism, and in fact, religion is beginning to be looked down upon. All of the world's governments are getting together, and the economic crisis is calling for a World Establishment. Socialism is beginning to loom on the horizon as political figures begin to seek more control. In these times, we are seeing the Bible's prophecies come true. Perhaps one of the most obvious signs will be when the world turns against Israel.

There are a couple of additional signs that have come up in the beginning of 2009. The call for a World Government was mentioned briefly at a recent meeting of world powers, as well as whispers of a possible world currency. Also, the Bible states that the ancient city of Babylon will be rebuilt and will become the center of world commerce during the end of the End Times. Early in 2009, various world powers have declared intentions to work together to revitalize Babylon.

Additionally, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, the Antichrist (referred to as the man of sin here) will desecrate God's sanctuary, the Temple of Jerusalem. However, the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. when the Romans conquered Jerusalem. So, the Temple must be rebuild at some point. According to a poll that took place in the summer of 2009, 64% of Israelis said that the time is right for the Temple to be rebuilta, which shows yet another sign of the fast approaching End Times.

If there is a time to get right with God, it is now. Time cannot wait any longer.

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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