roSeven Prophecies That Must Be Fulfilled Before Jesus Christ's Return
Previous generations have thought that Jesus Christ would return in their lifetimes, but they were proven wrong. Many people alive today think that Christ's return is imminent. Certainly, the Bible contains prophecies that could not have been fulfilled until this generation.
Shortly before His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus Christ delivered a major prophecy of end-time events, recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. He was asked by His disciples: "When will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3).
Jesus responded with a description of conditions ...view middle of the document...
shows us that if Jesus Christ does not intervene in world affairs, the human race will be faced with extinction. It's crucial to note that humanity has had the capability for self-annihilation for only a little more than 50 years, since both the United States and the Soviet Union developed and stockpiled hydrogen bombs and the world had to learn to live with "mutually assured destruction."
At that time there were only three nuclear powers (Britain being the other). By the middle of the 1960s France and China had joined the nuclear club. Today at least eight nations have nuclear warheads and the number looks set to increase with a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Of course, the more nuclear powers we have in the world, the more likely it is that someone will use this deadly force for evil.
Although international attention has been focused on the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran during the last few years, little attention has been given to the possibility of some or all of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of radical Islamists.
During the ongoing crisis in Pakistan, the Taliban and al-Qaeda and their sympathizers have steadily gained more power, territory and influence, making nuclear terrorism more likely. Consider the consequences for the rest of the world if Osama bin Laden (or others like him) had access to nuclear weapons!
Meanwhile, Russia and China are determinedly flexing their military muscles, raising fears of a return to Cold War–era tensions.
The good news in all this is that Christians have an assurance that Jesus Christ will intervene to save mankind from annihilation. This prophecy could not be fulfilled until man had the potential for self-extinction through weapons of mass destruction. Again, only in the last 50 years has this become possible.
2. A Jewish homeland had to be reestablished in the Middle East
Geopolitically, the central focus of end-time events is Jerusalem and its environs, what many people refer to as the Holy Land.
Luke 21 is a parallel chapter to Matthew 24. Notice Luke's account of Christ's long prophecy that answered the disciples' questions: "Teacher, . . . when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?" (Luke 21:7).
In response, Jesus showed that Jerusalem would be the central focus of the political and military upheavals that would immediately precede His return: "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near . . . For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled" (verses 20-22).
Anyone living a century ago would have found these words nearly impossible to comprehend. Jerusalem in ancient times had been fought over countless times, but for four centuries from 1517 the city had been at peace within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire. Jews lived there as a minority under Turkish rule. But this was going to change...