Beliefnet
Is it the End of the World?

Another clear sign we are in the last days is the issue of Jewish religious life. Unfortunately, too many of my Christian friends say things like, “How can you support Israel? Those people aren’t even religious.”

How sad. How pathetic. First of all, anti-semitism sparks much of that kind of talk. Sadly, people just don’t like Jews. So they say things they have no idea about.

When I visit Israel, I see clearly that Ezekiel 37 is being fulfilled. For one thing, the Jewish people are being revived spiritually. It is happening. I saw this anew when I was there over the summer.

On a partition near the Western Wall, I saw a copy of the Scriptures. It was a reminder that prophecy is true—the Lord is preparing to give them a heart of flesh and be their Lord forever.

What a faith-builder.

Another sure sign that we are living in the biblical last days is seen in Israel’s coastal plain, where most of the country’s population resides. Tel Aviv, the second-largest city, with over 400,000 residents, is home to much of Israel’s military industrial complex, and its high-tech industry.

Iran in particular has promised to wipe Israel off the map, an incredible threat that the international community does not take seriously. Should the Iranians (or anyone else capable) launch a nuclear missile strike against Israel, the coastal plain would be target number one.

I do not worry though about Israel being wiped off the map, and my view has very little to do with making such a prediction from the safe confines of the U.S. I don’t worry about it because God has promised to protect Israel supernaturally. (See Isaiah 54:17).

Tel Aviv isn’t going anywhere.

For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. (Isaiah 51:3)

This week, I am interested in the “signs” that we are living in the last days, as prophesied in the Bible. The thing I find astonishing is that so many clear signs are rooted in reality.

Take the remarkable reclamation of the land of Israel. Indeed, in the southern part of the country, that once-forbidding area of the Judean Hills, the Israelis have planted palm groves that have taken root and are thriving. When you consider that the whole country was barren a mere few decades ago, it is truly amazing.

The north has been blossoming like a garden for some time, but now the south is following suit. Only people who do not want to see are missing the clear fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

I’m never afraid to say that even though probably a majority of people around the world today would equate the study of Bible prophecy with flat-earth advocacy, I know prophecy is legitimate and relevant for our times.

Just this past week, developments in the Middle East point to a prophecy that teachers and students have anticipated for a long time.

In Ezekiel 38-39, we find the famous “Gog/Magog” prophecy, which points to a future event: the invasion of Israel, by neighbors and European countries. In verse 5 of chapter 38, Iran (Persia), Ethiopia, and Libya are mentioned in this confederacy. We know Iran’s intentions, and Libya this week took a turn toward shariah law, thus growing even more hostile to Israel.

Scholars for a long time have been ridiculed, however, because they believe this event is yet future. In verse 12, we see that Gog comes to Israel to “take a spoil.”

This has puzzled prophecy watchers for a long time, since aside from its high-tech industry, Israel isn’t particularly wealthy. At least, no natural resources to make anyone sit up and take notice.

That was before the discovery of a vast natural gas field in the Mediterranean. Suddenly, off-shore, Israel is primed to become immensely wealthy. And the nations surrounding her will not abide that; they will determine to take down the flag of Israel permanently.

Yet the Lord has also promised to savagely destroy Gog’s army, as it arrives at the “mountains of Israel.”

I believe this event is on the horizon. If one sheds the liberal bias against prophecy, one can see fairly clearly that Ezekiel 38 and 39 are in fact real, future history. Israel will be re-gathered. The surrounding nations—already hostile—will gather together for war. A northern leader will hatch an evil plan of invasion. And Israel will survive.

Mocking Bible prophecy doesn’t render it invalid.