This week, an event takes place in Maryland which may or may not be something extremely significant. A huge group of diplomats are gathering first in Annapolis, Maryland and then in Washington to discuss peace in the Middle East. There are some who are saying that from this conference will come the peace treaty prominently mentioned in end times prophecy. Of course the same thing was said when President Carter got Israel and Egypt to sign a peace treaty as well as the Oslo Accord back in the early 1990's.
What makes this week's conference very intriguing is the predominant subject matter as well as the nations represented. Every Arab nation is sending a diplomat, including Syria and Saudi Arabia. Although this conference is a huge undertaking, it has barely been mentioned in the media. Again, this is very intriguing. Supposedly, the major items up for discussion are the Palestinian state and possible division of Jerusalem. Now this is past the state of intrigue; this is getting very interesting.
No major decision will be made or announced at this conference due to the shortness of the conference, but the groundwork will be laid for future meetings where details will be hammered out. The goal is for the final treaty to be done and signed before January 2009 when Mr. Bush leaves office. I sense a little déjà vu here. Almost the exact same thing was being done (on a more limited scale) during the last year of Mr. Clinton's term in office. At the last minute, the process fell apart, but who knows where it will lead this time.
If indeed, certain decisions are reached and a treaty is actually drawn up and approved by the various governments that partition Jerusalem and divide Israel; then we may very well be dealing with the long awaited peace treaty that signals the start of the final week of Daniel's prophecy. There is no way that week will start with the conference this week, but what is started this week could very well end with the formal signing of the treaty sometime within the next year that could start the final week of the world.
No man knows the day and time of Christ's return, but we can look for prophetic signs being fulfilled. Jesus laid out many signs in Matthew 24 and 25 that all speak of the end of the age. Most people are acquainted with earthquakes and wars, but there are many other things Jesus spoke of that all lead up to the end. The wise student of God's Word must never overlook the significance of what Jesus said was coming and how difficult the very end will be for those still there.
Most of us believe that at some point in the final seven years of Daniel's prophecy, there will be an event called the rapture of the church. I realize that not everyone believes in a rapture and the timing for those who do believe is split among different options. Many believe the rapture will take place at the start of the final week of seven years. Others believe it will take place at the mid-point or three and one half years after the start. Still others believe it won't take place until directly before the second coming of Christ. Others don't believe in a rapture at all, and strictly look only for the second coming.
Let us assume the rapture of the church happens at the start of the final week. Now let us assume the conference this week lays the groundwork for a treaty that could be signed next fall. If that treaty is the one mentioned in Daniel then the rapture could happen as soon as next fall. Whether you or I believe in this theory or not, what are your thoughts concerning our possible departure from this world being as soon as next September or October? Does this idea excite you or is it one that sends terror through your soul? I would pray we all would be thrilled at the possibility of departing this ugly world as soon as possible.
Let us assume the rapture of the church happens at the mid-point of the final week. Assuming all the above is still true, that would put the rapture somewhere in the spring of 2012. Now what are your thoughts? Are you now disappointed, or are you relieved and feel like sighing a huge sigh of relief? Hope deferred makes the heart sick the Bible says, and I would pray any delay in our exit from this world would generate at least a little feeling of disappointment.
Again, let's assume all the above is still true, but the rapture is at the end of the final week. That would put it in the fall of 2015. What are your thoughts on having to spend another 8 years on this earth, especially knowing from the book of Revelation and Jesus discussion in Matthew 24 how horrible things will get? In this scenario, from the spring of 2012 until the end; the world would degenerate into one gigantic sphere of death and destruction. Reading chapters 12 through 19 of the book of Revelation is not pleasant. Those chapters spell out the final three and one half years before the second coming of Christ---whenever it ends up being.
All these matters are in God's hands. We cannot dictate what and when any of these things will happen, God knows and that is all that counts. I do fear that the vast majority of Christians have no idea how quickly the end times might be upon us.
What if we only have until next fall until the rapture? What would our attitude toward life be if we knew we only had 10 months left on this earth? Certainly all that people hold near and dear would become quite meaningless. Certainly I would think the motivation would be there to witness to those who are not saved. Certainly I would hope the very reason for living would change radically. If a medical doctor looked you in the eyes and told you that you will be dead a year from now, how would you spend the next year? Would anything change, or would you still think and act as you always have?
The study of Daniel and the prophecies found in it are both exciting as well as difficult to grasp. We know for a certainty that there is one week still unfulfilled. We know that the final week starts with a peace treaty and that midway through the final week that treaty is broken and the antichrist is revealed. We also know that at the end of the week a great world war breaks out called Armageddon. Jesus Christ returns to end Armageddon and establish his kingdom on earth for a thousand years. These things we know, and knowing them keeps this crazy world in the right perspective.
I do not know nor does anyone else the exact timing of what is coming. I do believe personally that we are very near the end. Whether that means one day, one year, four years or ten years I do not know. All I know is that through study of the scriptures and honestly looking at this world, the end has got to be nearer than most believe.
I am not advocating looking at the news and comparing it to scripture to determine when the rapture might occur. This breeds dangerous problems which can destroy lives and relationships. Many books have been written saying the rapture would be in such and such a year. Many thousands of people believed and acted accordingly. They sold all their belongings, quit their jobs and waited. You know what? They are still waiting, along with the rest of us. This is the exact problem Paul was confronting when you read 1 Thessalonians.
As for me, I prefer to look at what is happening in the world and see if there is anything that could undeniably be the fulfillment of prophecy. If so, then I know we are one step nearer the glorious return of our Lord. When I see something potentially profound, such as the conference this week; my ears perk up and my eyes open wide for we just might be on the verge of witnessing a truly historic event.
Horrible plans dealing with Israel and Jerusalem will be unveiled this week at the conference. If agreement is reached on these ideas and an actual treaty is ever signed, there is no doubt this could be Daniel's treaty. All we can do is wait and see what happens, but for the moment, my heart is filled with excitement and anticipation. I believe we could very well be on the doorstep of the final countdown. If we are, then the time until we meet the Lord in the air is nearer than we could possibly conceive. If it is so; personally, I can't wait!!!
Amen brother . . . I believe all that needs to be fulfilled is fulfilled and we can be called home any moment. Although no one knows the hour or day we should be able to discern when the time is near. Israel did not know the time of their visitation therefore for near 2000 years they were dispersed to all parts of the world. In 1948 we witnessed the restoration of the Jewish State . . . Prophecy being fulfilled. I also believe this weeks meeting will be the beginning of even more prophecy being fulfilled. My head is lifted and I'm looking up because I know my redemption draws near.
Another prophecy which reigns loud in these times is:
Joel 3:2 (NKJV) I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.
Especially noted is the phrase: "They have divided up My land". Discussions on the division of Jerusalem, the Holy City, will be on the table.
Come Quickly Lord Jesus!
Blessings from NC