|The End Times
I believe that it is most important for Christians to simply believe that Jesus will come again in glory--period. I certainly also believe, as scripture states, that believers will be raised to join Jesus in the air--the so-called "rapture."
Gavin Finley, at his website www.endtimepligrim.org makes an interesting connection between the Jewish holidays and the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to come again. Click on the following link for his outline:
Finley also makes an equally interesting explanation about the importance of believing that, following his return, Jesus will literally rule for a thousand years on earth on the throne of David. Click on the following link for that explanation. (At the very least good information to consider.)
The information directly below, is from a different author and amounts to a short summary of the end times scenario that is put forth by most “dispensationalists” about the last days before the coming of Christ Jesus. As usual in most of their predictions, Christians will escape suffering and persecution by being taken away or “raptured” by Jesus before all the really bad stuff starts. They believe Jesus will “rapture” all Christians to himself, before the antichrist starts causing real pain here on earth (tribulation – persecution, suffering). Others believe this will happen halfway through the tribulation itself. Still others insist none of it is to be taken literally and is simply being fulfilled in ways we'll never understand.
I say, let us remain always watchful for Christ's return. For true believers, it will be a time to rejoice.
Proposed Chronology of the Tribulation Period
(From “After the Empire” by Mark Hitchcock--interesting reading)
1.The Re-gathering of Israel (Ezekial 37). It began in 1948, will continue through the first half of the Tribulation period and will culminate at the second coming of Christ.
2. The Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4:13; Revelation 3:10).
3. Beginning of the Tribulation
A. The Antichrist appears in Europe as an insignificant ruler (“a little horn”). He overthrows three of the kings in the reunited Roman Empire (Daniel 7:8). He is elected to power over the reunited Roman Empire by the leaders of the individual nations (Rev. 17:12-13).
B. Israel signs a covenant of peace with the Antichrist, the leader of the Western Confederacy (the king of the west) (Daniel 9:27, Revelation 6:2).
C. The result for Israel is security in the land (Ezekial 38:8, 11, 14).
4. Middle of the Tribulation
B. These two kings under the rule of Gog will be annihilated by God (Ezekial 38-39).
5. The End of the Tribulation
A. The bowl judgments will be poured out in rapid succession in the final days of the Tribulation (Revelation 16).
B. The great harlot, the city of Rome and the false religious system that prevails there, will be destroyed by the Antichrist (Revelation 17 – 18).
C. The kings from the east will invade the land of Israel where the Antichrist is headquartered (Revelation 16:12). The armies of the king of the west and the kings from the east will gather at Armageddon to fight one another (Joel 3:9-11; Revelation 16:12-16).
D. The armies gathered to fight will see the sign of the Son of Man in the sky (Matthew 24:30). They will combine their efforts to fight Christ (Psalm 2:2-3; Revelation 19:19).
E. Jesus will return as King of kings and Lord of lords with his army from heaven to slay the gathered armies with the breath of his mouth (Psalm 2:9, Daniel 11:45; Joel 2:12-17; Zecharia 14:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:20-21).
6. After the Tribulation
7. The Millennium (Ezekial 39:21-29, Ezekial 40-48; Revelation 20:1-6).
"Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching." (Luke 12:35-36)
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. (Jeremiah 23:5)
(The text will return after I've finished. Pardon the delay.)