ANOTHER LOOK AT THE LAST DAYS
Firm Foundation Chapter 17
Jesus' Sudden Return and His Judgment
In History, God has always come at a sudden moment. The witness is there for people to see that God is working on the earth, but people do not respond properly to the signs. The coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah, where the people were concerned with the cares of this life rather than with the desires of God. Just as the wicked were taken away in judgment by the flood in Noah's day, so will the wicked be taken away in judgment at the coming of the Lord. On the "day of the Lord", or judgment day, God will destroy the sinners. Matt. 13:24‑30 is a parable concerning "Tares among Wheat", where the tares are the sons of the evil one and the wheat are the sons of the kingdom. At the end of the age, the angels will gather the tares (weeds that resemble wheat) and burn them with fire. The wicked people (those who don't bear fruit) are allowed to grow with until the end of the age, when they are gathered for judgment. God does not take them out until then because we would die also, since most of the main people that are sustaining the world are the wicked.
God will shake everything that can be shaken, but the kingdom of God will not be able to be shaken. We need to be ready, keeping alert at all times. Those who are not ready will be surprised at the Lord's coming.
The Signs of Jesus' Return
Matt. 24:3‑12 lists some of the ill signs that will increase in intensity before the coming of the Lord. In addition, verse 14 says that the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to all nations before the end comes. While the wicked become more wicked; the righteous will become more righteous and will restore much of their lost possessions.
Jesus said that he would return in the generation that has two signs: The rise of Zionism and the rebuilding of the state of Israel, and Jerusalem being liberated from Gentile dominion. Both of these signs have occurred, in 1948 and 1967 respectively.
Acts 3:21 tells us how long Jesus must remain in heaven before He returns:
Whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times.
By reading the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea, we discover that a two‑fold restoration must take place simultaneously before Jesus returns: the restoration of the church and the restoration of the nation of Israel. As the church becomes glorious, "multitudes of nations and kings will come into the Kingdom of God." Paul confirms that many Gentiles will come into the kingdom (Rom. 11:12‑27) and then "all Israel will be saved." The major thrust of Christianity went to Europe, then to North America, then to Asia, and it will finally come back to Israel. Salvation came to the Gentiles so that they would be blessed, and then the Jews would be jealous and earnestly seek the Lord God once again. There will be a tremendous revival for the Jews.
Restoration of the Nation of Israel
In addition, "through supernatural acts of God, all of Israel will come to repentance and the knowledge of the truth." The prophet Ezekial describes the last days after Israel has returned to her land. The Lord will cause Gog (which is probably Russia) to invade Israel. God will then cause supernatural acts of judgment to come upon Russia: an earthquake, every man's sword will be against his brother, a rain of hailstones, fire and brimstone. The nations will recognize God's glory and power and that He has saved Israel and that He lives. From that day on, Israel will acknowledge the Lord is their God, and they will recognize that Jesus is their Messiah and Redeemer. The Jews as a nation will see Jesus when then say to Him, "Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord." Jesus will rule from the city of Jerusalem and establish His kingdom for 1,000 years of peace. When Jesus returns as King, those who have overcome and have forsaken all to follow Him will rule with Him.