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Bible Prophecy 2020 - Optimistic Pessimism

News Image By Todd Hampson/ToddHampson.com August 04, 2020
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I am an optimist by nature. I tend to look at the glass as half-full and I tend to have a natural hope for the future. But today I come to you as an optimistic pessimist. Let me explain. I have some great news to share, but first, I have to share some tough news. 

Before a doctor can share treatment options, they must first give their patient the unadulterated truth. A doctor can't sugar coat the news that someone has cancer or a terminal illness. They are trained to separate themselves from the emotion of the moment to help their patients fully understand the reality of what they are facing. 

Likewise, when a police officer has to share the news that a loved one has died, there is no simple way to say it. There is nothing they can do to lessen the impact of the terrible news. But the news still must be shared. I'm not a doctor or a police officer, but I have some blunt news to share, then some great news to follow.


THE BAD NEWS

OK, where do I start? The signs of the times are screaming at us through a global pandemic, constant contradictory misinformation about said pandemic, a national and global economy that is holding on by a supernatural thread, mideast turmoil with Israel at the center, locust plagues of Biblical proportions, marxist cancel-culture groups destroying our cities, major civil unrest in multiple countries, the worst humanitarian crisis (in Yemen) the world has seen in decades, the US and China butting diplomatic and potential military heads in the South China Sea, murder rates exploding as various cities defund the police, prisoners being let out of prison en-masse while churches are told they can't gather or sing, freedoms eroding before our eyes, and--worst of all--much of the church is floating down stream like a dead fish instead of being the salt and light it was called to be. 

We seem to be watching our country struggle to survive right before our eyes. America--the greatest superpower of history--is not found in end-time Bible prophecy as a major player. Something terrible must happen to her before the tribulation begins.

Those are the cold, hard facts. Now, for some more bad news (don't worry, I'll get to the good news in a minute). First, I believe the next 3-6 months could be much more volatile than people are expecting. We simply must wake up to the fact that there is something MUCH larger at play in our country than mere political differences. Forget democrat vs. republican for a moment. What we're seeing is a globalist plan to take down America. 

This plan has been in place for decades and has progressively ramped up the past 12 years to never-before seen levels. There are very real, very well organized, very intentional, very prophesied (if I can use that as a term), very powerful people behind the scenes fomenting division, disorder, lawlessness, and instability in America. 


Globalists want to take America down because it will implode the world economy and they want to rise to power through order out of chaos. It's on our dollar bills, it's in their public speeches, it's out in the open. They don't even hide it any more.

Please research this for yourself and please prove me wrong. It's hidden in plain sight. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. Behind these globalists is an even bigger, more organized puppet master--Satan himself. Scripture tells us he is the "god of this world," the "ruler of the power of the air," and that he has levels of coordinated evil ranks in the unseen realm (Ephesians 6). 

He knows (by studying prophecy) that the rapture of the church is on the near horizon and he is aggressively positioning his chess pieces on the board. Fortunately he's no match for God and is only working to fulfill prophecy.

So, what does this look like in the seen realm? It looks like more waves of chaos to come. Whether you like Trump or not, please--for a moment--remove his personality and your thoughts about him from the picture. Now, view these few facts with as little bias as possible. 

We have an unexpected DC outsider in the White House who is a staunch Nationalist who understands (and pushes back against) the globalist agenda. That is the single fact that most people miss. The raw fact is that the president (love him or hate him) has thrown a major monkey wrench into the plans of the globalists--and they have been throwing a 4 year lawless temper-tantrum.

On a side note, if you want a bit of balance, I also feel the uptick of division in our country is related to Trump's "peace plan" which calls for the dividing of Israel's land [a bad thing], but that's another topic for another day. See Joel 3:2. Every time any American president get's close to officially calling for the dividing of the land--even with good intentions--we've seen tough times in America. I don't think this is coincidence. 

Here's why I share all of that. The globalists play for keeps and they see their moment slipping away. Between now and the election they will likely leverage anything and everything they can to increase social and economic chaos in their attempts to get a globalist into the White House. Now, here's the rub. There is no good outcome. 

If Trump gets in for a second term, the globalist temper tantrum will accelerate. Who knows what post-election plans the globalists--who see their moment slipping away--will implement. If Trump does not get in for a second term--they will move at lightning speed to get their agenda back on track. The gloves will be off. There will be no restraint. They don't want the moment to slip away. 

An increased animosity toward Christians and Jewish people will increase (and already is). Freedoms (including religious freedom) will likely be trampled upon even more if we don't stand up. Aside from divine intervention, we could be in for some tough times in America.

I'm not a prophet, but the above is my prayerful, Holy-Spirit-led take on what could be to come. I pray I'm wrong. I pray that the pandemic and riots cease, that our country turns back to God en masse, and that we can catch our breath and return to stability and normal life. But you and I both sense in our gut that is not likely to happen. It seems we're nearing a tipping point.

THE GOOD NEWS

Now for some good news. All of this lines up 100% with end-time prophecy. Events in our day are converging like no other time in history. We have more reason to believe the Lord is coming in our lifetime (perhaps very soon) than any other generation of Christians in the history of the church. Every Old Testament prophet except Jonah predicted Israel would become a nation again in the last days. 

Jesus indicated that the generation that sees Israel become a nation again would be the generation that witnessed all end-time events. I am 100% convinced that the rapture will occur prior to the revealing of the antichrist and the beginning of the tribulation period. 


As for our country, I truly believe that the rapture of the Church (perhaps along with other events) is what ultimately weakens America, collapses the world economy, and prepares the way for the rise of the antichrist.

On this point, I've noticed a gigantic uptick in confusion and error about when the rapture will occur. The enemy is trying to create battlefield confusion at a time when we need to be crystal clear about the times and order of events.

Here are 7 reasons to firmly believe the rapture will occur before the tribulation. By the way, that doesn't mean we won't face some tough developments before the rapture. Look around. In case you haven't noticed, we're already in tough times.

1. We are not appointed to Wrath (1Thessalonians 5:9)
This and many other verses clearly say we are not appointed to wrath or that we will escape the coming wrath. The entire tribulation period is God's wrath. Jesus is opening the seals at the beginning and by the 6th seal judgment, the inhabitants of earth clearly state they know that it is God's wrath (Revelation 6:15-17).

2. Departure Before Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3*)
Scripture teaches a great falling away from truth in the end-times (1 Timothy 4:1,2 Timothy 4:3), but the Greek word in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 literally means "departure." Strong's concordance says the root word aphistémi means: to lead away, to depart from (Usage: I make to stand away, draw away, repel, take up a position away from, withdraw from, leave.) Another reason I feel this is referencing the rapture is that by saying a great falling away "must occur first" then that detracts from the doctrine of imminency (the consistent scriptural teaching that the rapture could happen at any moment).

3. Jewish Wedding Traditions
All of the symbolism related to end-time events mirrors ancient Jewish wedding traditions. Jesus used that tradition in his teachings. In ancient Jewish (specifically Galilean**) wedding traditions, the groom would leave the father's house, travel to the desired bride's home, pay a great price for the bride, have his offer accepted or rejected, become legal bound if accepted, and go back to the father's house to prepare a place for his bride. 

At a specific time known only to the father he would send the son to fetch the bride. The groomsmen would announce the grooms arrival, then the bride would be lifted up on a seat to be carried away with the groom. The two would enter the wedding chamber for 7 days then there would be a great wedding feast after the marriage was consummated. 

Space does not allow, but every single one of those details lines up with the order of key first-coming and second-coming events. Here is one key passage: John 14:2-3-- My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (**There is a great film that unpacks this beautifully called: "Before the Wrath" - available from Prophecy News Watch here.

4. Imminency
The clearly taught doctrine that the Lord could return at anytime.

5. Our Blessed Hope
Titus 2:13 calls the rapture our "blessed hope." It is what we're looking forward to. Nowhere does scripture tell us to prepare to endure Hell on earth. Every instance of the Lord's return is painted as something we look forward to with joyous anticipation. Most believers in the tribulation period will be martyred. That is not a "blessed hope".

6. Old Testament Types
Two judgments clearly prefigure the final time of God's wrath on earth: the flood of Noah's day, and the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. In both cases, God removed the believers prior to judgment. There are many other types and figures that point to this pattern as well.

7. Rapture Designed to Encourage
In the main text on the rapture (1 Thessalonians 13-18), Paul concludes by saying, "Therefore encourage one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18)".

Now, here's THE Good News. Your sins can be forgiven and you can look forward to the rapture and eternity with the Lord in Heaven. If you have never accepted Christ, now is the time to ask him to save you and receive his free gift of salvation. 

Sometimes we make it too complicated. Becoming a Christian is simply accepting Jesus is who he said he was (God in the flesh), and believing that his death and resurrection were for the purpose of paying your sin debt. We can't work for salvation, it has already been paid for. We simply need to receive the gift and trust in Christ.

THE TREATMENT

So, as believers how now should we live? What can we do in these trying times? Here are a few marching orders.

First, it's no time to play around. This is not a playground, it's a battleground. We need to get serious with the Lord and serious about our faith. If you are a believer it's time to read your Bible seriously. It's time to seek the Lord sincerely and deeply. It's time to turn from anything that pulls us away from a quality relationship with the Lord. 

Second, we simply MUST understand the times. If you are fuzzy on Bible prophecy, now is the time to get unfuzzy. God means what he says and says what he means. We CAN understand what the Bible teaches about prophecy and the end-times. Don't settle for anything less than clarity. Wrestle with Scripture in prayer until you have it.

Third, we must take it one day at a time. The weight of world events can be overwhelming. Swimming upstream and being a countercultural Christian who studies prophecy like the watchmen we were called to be is hard work. Most people won't get you. That is ok. 

Be like Jeremiah and be prepared to say what God calls you to say even though most will misunderstand, ignore, or even mock you. You are not running the race for them. You are running for an audience of One! Spending time in his word and in prayer daily is critical. Focusing on one single day at a time is freeing as we trust our Savior for our marching orders for that day.

Fourth, if you're not a believer, now is the time to believe. Time is short. How short? I don't know, but I know that every breath is a gift and life has not guarantees. If you sense a stirring in your heart to come to the Lord, do not ignore it. Respond to the Holy Spirit who is drawing you to Jesus. I promise you He is real and the Bible is true. 100% of it! Soon enough, our faith will be sight!




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