Friday, May 22, 2009

What if?

Yes, it's been my habit to publish once a week, but something very unusual is happening and I feel it's best if I get this written as soon as I can. In the past couple of weeks there have been a series of events, which, if taken together seem to be painting a picture of biblical importance.

Most believers are familiar with the scenario detailed in the Bible concerning the beginning of the period of time called the tribulation. It lasts for 7 years and is divided into two equal periods of 3 1/2 years; the first called the Tribulation, and the second called the Great Tribulation. The Tribulation period begins with an event described by the prophet Daniel as being a "confirmation" of an existing peace agreement between Israel and it's enemies declared by the individual known as the antichrist. The second period of time, or the Great Tribulation occurs when the antichrist breaks the covenant and declares war on Israel 3 1/2 years later.

Of importance to believers as well is the fact that an event called the rapture takes place before the tribulation begins. This is when Jesus returns, not to the earth but in the clouds, to take His believing Church to heaven with Him as a reward for their faithfullness. Jesus told us many times that it is important for us as believers to watch for the signs of His return, as He intends to give us plenty of warning that the time of the rapture is near. So what events in the past couple of weeks am I concerned with?

First of all, the prime minister of Israel has visited with President Obama at the White House just this past week to discuss the peace process in the Middle East. It has been reliably reported that while cordial, the two leaders did not agree on many issues in regards to moving ahead with the existing plans for peace. Second, President Obama has scheduled a visit to the Middle East for the first week in June. It has been reported that on June 4, while in Cairo Egypt, the president plans on giving a speech regarding the peace process. Reports are that he intends to unveil a new peace initiative based on the existing plans with a time line of implementation lasting 4 years. It has also been revealed that a part of this plan includes the division of Jerusalem so that it can serve as the capitol of both Israel and the new Palestinian state.

It was reported today that yesterday in Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech in which he stated emphatically that Jerusalem will never be divided, so it becomes obvious that a conflict is going to occur between Israel and the nations that support the agreement President Obama will propose. The article in the Jerusalem Post which describes the coming announcement by President Obama includes one very interesting paragraph at the end. It states that it is entirely possible that President Obama knows that Israel will not agree to the provisions and is including them on purpose with the intent to cast blame on Israel for it's failure at some point in the next 4 years.

Why am I concerned? Let's see here. A world leader is set to make an announcement confirming the existing peace process between Israel and it's enemies in just 2 weeks. Since it includes terms we know Israel will not agree to, it is doomed to failure. With a time line of only four years, at what point will the negotiations collapse? Maybe 3 1/2 years? Is it possible that these are the events described in the book of Daniel as the beginning of the tribulation?

I don't know, but if they are, that leaves only two more weeks for the event we believers have been watching and praying for to occur; the rapture of the Church. Also interesting is the fact that the birthday of the Church, known as Pentecost, will occur at the end of this month. What a birthday present that would be!

Shall we watch together?