From the beginning, human beings have tried to solve their problems without God. Yet both the Bible and human history make plain that without the intervention of Jesus Christ, humanity will destroy itself! We can rejoice in Christ's promise that He will return soon to usher in a time of peace and joy for the whole world!
We are now at a turning point in human affairs! As traumatic world events begin to speed up and intensify their effects on each other, our CREATOR must and WILL intervene!
Jesus Christ instructed His followers to pray, "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). With the disgustingly high level of crime, violence, sexual immorality and general degradation in our society, it should be obvious that the Kingdom of God is not here yet! From one end of the Bible to the other, God's Word tells us that the literal GOVERNMENT of God will be set up on this earth at the end of this age! And we are commanded to prepare to be part of that Christ-led government— the Kingdom of God.
Yet millions of professing Christians seem completely oblivious to that paramount truth. They have been taught to "just believe" on the person of Jesus Christ. They have been taught to "lead a good life" and that somehow, some way, they will "go to heaven" when they die.
Many believe that the Biblical statements about Jesus Christ's literal return to this earth are restricted primarily to the mysterious book of Revelation or to certain vague Old Testament passages. And as "good mainstream Christians" they prefer to read the Psalms, Gospels and New Testament Epistles for "inspiration," without worrying too much about what the rest of the Bible actually says — or even what those books of the Bible actually mean! These people fail utterly to realize that the message of Christ's second coming and the Kingdom of God permeates almost the entire Bible. For that is our hope. That is a key part of our destiny!
Notice how Jesus encouraged the Apostle Peter and the other disciples. Peter had exclaimed to Jesus, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have? So Jesus said to them, 'Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel'" (Matthew 19:27–28).
Jesus was obviously talking about a literal government to be established here on earth! That's why He told us to pray, "Your Kingdom COME… on earth."
Near the end of His physical life, the disciples asked Jesus, "Tell us, 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 then gave them several "signs" to watch for which would indicate His second coming was imminent. But in spite of traumatic world events, millions obviously still won't "get it." For Jesus also explained, "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:37–39).
The Apostle Paul described Christ's second coming in this way, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17).
It is important to note that although the true saints meet the descending Christ "in the air" — the air of this earth's atmosphere — God does NOT promise His saints eternal life "up in heaven." Rather, as we see in Acts 1:11, Christ will "come in like manner" right back to the Mount of Olives from whence He rose. In fact, God's Word is very specific on that very point. For the prophet Zechariah was inspired to write, "Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. "And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…" (Zechariah 14:3–4). So Christ literally sets His feet once again on that big hill just east of Jerusalem! Then what?
"And the Lord shall be King over all the EARTH. In that day it shall be; 'The Lord is one,' and His name one" (v. 9). Christ the King will be ruling this earth from Jerusalem. And "ALL the nations" shall come up to Jerusalem during Jesus' earthly reign and learn to observe God's commanded festivals — including the Feast of Tabernacles! Jesus will obviously be ruling over physical nations here on this earth. But WHY should Christ return to planet earth? Aren't we getting along pretty well? Aren't most people relatively prosperous, healthy and happy? From the point of view of an all-knowing, all-loving God, is there a real NEED for Jesus Christ to return and RULE this earth as King of kings? Of course there is!
Let us now examine seven of the key reasons why God will send the living Jesus Christ back to this earth again — this time in total POWER and magnificent GLORY — to SAVE humanity from destroying itself and to TEACH all men the right way to live.
As far back as the 1950s, the world became aware that mankind could soon destroy itself. President Dwight Eisenhower stated, "Science now seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase human life from this planet."
That time came a few years later. And at present, science has developed several means of destroying all human life. These include atomic and hydrogen weapons, chemical and biological weapons and no doubt other weapons that are being developed even as I write.
A recent shocking development has been the revelation that Communist China has stolen vital technological secrets from the United States. As the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on March 6, 1999: "Working with nuclear secrets stolen from a U.S. government laboratory, China has made a leap in the development of nuclear weapons: the miniaturization of its bombs, according to administration officials."
In addition, we know that Russia is virtually coming apart and that rogue nations such as Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea can purchase nuclear, chemical and biological weapons "on the sly" from Soviet arms dealers. Regarding Russia itself, President Boris Yeltsin is a very ill man and if his successor turns out to be someone in the mold of Josef Stalin or Adolph Hitler — watch out!
Speaking very definitely of our time — just before His second coming — Jesus Christ prophesied, "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21–22).
Until the last few decades, it would have been virtually impossible for humanity to annihilate itself. Nowadays it is not only possible but — as Christ indicated — a certainty UNLESS God intervenes powerfully in human affairs. For the sake of those who have genuinely surrendered to God and are being led by the Holy Spirit, God WILL intervene "for the elect's sake." That is a KEY reason why Christ MUST return to this earth!
Again, speaking of the time just before His second coming, Jesus said, "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be FAMINES, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places" (Matthew 24:7).
Terrible famines have occurred in recent years across Africa and Asia. Large areas of Texas and other parts of the United States have experienced serious droughts in recent years — reminiscent of the "dust bowl" years. However, actual famine and human starvation have not yet been experienced in the United States or the other developed nations. Yet according to Jesus Christ, that is all going to CHANGE!
As many of you readers understand, the United States and other British-descended peoples are, in fact, among the descendants of the so-called "lost ten tribes" of Israel. Dozens of Old Testament prophecies speak directly to our people at the time of the end! Other prophecies are DUAL. That is, they had a smaller, earlier fulfillment through events that affected ancient Israel, but their wording clearly indicates that these same punishments will affect modern Israel (the U.S. and British-descended peoples) at the END of this age.
The book of Amos contains such a DUAL prophecy. In Amos 3, God is clearly addressing the prophecy to all 12 tribes of Israel — NOT just "Judah" or the Jewish people. God says, "Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: 'You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities'" (Amos 3:1–2).
Later in this same prophecy, God states prophetically to our people today, "'Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities. And lack of bread in all your places; yet you have not returned to Me,' says the Lord. 'I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered.'
"'So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,' says the Lord. 'I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, your vineyards, your fig trees, and your olive trees, the locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to Me,' says the Lord" (Amos 4:6–9)
A time of alternating drought, floods and FAMINE is clearly prophesied to affect our nations — unless we REPENT and turn to the true God in a way we have NEVER done before! As we shall see, these plagues are going to be AWESOME in their effect — devastating the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide! For any who do not yet understand the vital "key" to our prophetic identity, let me urge you to write or call us immediately to request your FREE copy of our powerful new booklet entitled, What's Ahead for America and Britain? This booklet explains clearly who we are in Bible prophecy and what future awaits our peoples. You truly need this booklet to UNDERSTAND the prophecies directly affecting America and the British-descended peoples in the very near future!
Notice again Matthew 24:7, "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, PESTILENCES…" So right after the alternate floods and droughts produce famine and MASS STARVATION, along come DISEASE EPIDEMICS of unprecedented proportions!
In our modern, scientific age, how can this be?
The answer is simple. When there is polluted water and polluted food — inherent in the prophecies regarding worldwide drought and famine — these are nearly always followed by disease epidemics. After Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, many victims had to pay up to $30 for a gallon of clean water! Even with this much money, one might not find clean water in many third-world countries. In any case, the coming punishments will be MUCH WORSE, because then — added to these other conditions — will be the horror of drug-defying disease epidemics! A hint of this horror was reported last August 17, in a leading Canadian newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen:
"A quiet epidemic is stalking the corridors of Ontario hospitals. The threat is a unique strain of bacteria whose prevalence has exploded by 2,000 percent in four years. It kills hundreds each year. And every 15 minutes, it grows more resistant to the most powerful antibiotics known to medicine… the more patients are treated with vancomycin — the so-called drug of last resort — the quicker the bacteria will become resistant to it."
Describing the punishment that is soon coming to modern America , Britain and Canada and other Israelitish nations, God inspired Ezekiel to write, "And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber's razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them" (Ezekiel 5:1–2).
God explains in verse 12 exactly what is involved here, "One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them."
Can we begin to imagine the tens of MILLIONS of men and women this is talking about, to whom God is NOT real, who commit adultery, lie, steal, cheat, lust, hate and take God's name in vain without even a second thought? Many of these people go to "Christian" churches, and like to imagine that they are "good people." Most of these people will NOT change until they are truly humbled by God. They will NOT accept correction from the Word of God. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:15–18).
Of course, these END-time plagues will affect the whole world, not only Israel. For after describing the "four horsemen" of false prophets, wars, famines and finally horrifying disease epidemics, John writes, "And power was given to them over a FOURTH of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth (Revelation 6:8). Most scholars recognize that John was not writing about one-fourth of the earth's land or sea surface, but about one-fourth of the ENTIRE POPULATION of this earth at the time of the end. Since the earth's population is approaching six BILLION people, this prophecy is speaking of the coming destruction of about one-and-one-half BILLION human beings!
Perhaps you have noticed the "wild and crazy weather" much of the world has been experiencing in the last few years. Many records are being broken. The "worst" of this or that is reported regularly in the news.
It would be easy to say "coincidence" IF one did not understand the biblical prophecies pointing to these very things! However, when you understand, you will realize that we have so far experienced just a mild portent of what is yet to come. For, describing Christ's second coming and the magnificent Temple that will be built at that time, God says, "For thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will SHAKE heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will SHAKE all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the Lord of hosts" (Haggai 2:6–7). Indeed ALL nations will be "shaken" by the Almighty God in the most MONUMENTAL earthquakes imaginable. For God says that "EVERY mountain and every island will be moved out of its place" (Revelation 6:14).
So far, the worst earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and tornadoes have struck more thinly populated areas of the earth as a whole. But the time is coming — and soon — when they will begin to devastate the big metropolitan areas in the major cities of this earth.
Even the power of our latest hydrogen bombs is dwarfed into insignificance in comparison with the destructive capacity of EARTHQUAKES. It would take the combined force of TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND atomic bombs of the Hiroshima class to begin to release the equivalent energy of only ONE of the major shocks in the earthquake which struck Mexico City a few years ago!
Because of REBELLION against God and His physical and spiritual LAWS, men will have to be literally SHAKEN to their senses. But in His mercy, God is going to CUT SHORT the days of this terrible punishment so that Christ may come as King of kings to teach man how to live by God's physical and spiritual laws before mankind becomes any more DEPRAVED than it already is!
Someday — probably within the next 15 years or less — when your city, your home, your little "world" is suddenly SHAKEN by a devastating HURRICANE, volcanic ERUPTION, or EARTHQUAKE — you will begin to see a real NEED for Jesus Christ's second coming to SAVE man from the results of SIN against his Maker!
The suicide rate of America's young people continues to rise. And over much of the world — in spite of our modern technology — people's lives are becoming more MISERABLE.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Allen Drury wrote these words a few months ago — just before his death at the age of 80, "We live in the Republic of Feel-Good, in a time when all the scum of America is rising to the top. The worried voices of the honest, the decent, the goodhearted and the levelheaded express their concerned dismay. Ever louder rises the chorus of the scum to drown them out. Down, and further down, sinks America as the scum steadily gain ground."
More and more books are coming out like Robert Bork's recent work, The Death of Outrage. The authors of these books — like Drury — express a sense of loss and hopelessness in the face of our growing immorality, our growing selfishness and rejection of almost all the good and decent values of the past.
In much of our western society, youth suicide is a powerful reminder of the utter emptiness and lack of purpose felt by so many. "'Ireland has the fastest-growing rate of youth suicide in the world, and almost one in four suicides occur among those aged between 15 and 24,' the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin said in a statement at a recent conference on the subject" (San Diego Union-Tribune, March 14, 1999).
In the United States, nearly one out of every 150 people is in prison — a figure no other democracy comes close to matching. Many of the new inmates are drug offenders. The FBI recently reported that arrests of people who use drugs is at an all-time high. Drug use has markedly increased among our youth — especially for powerful drugs like heroin and methamphetamines. Are our young people trying to ESCAPE the real world which they consider empty and miserable by immersing themselves in the world of drugs and alcohol? In our confused, do-your-own thing "value system," America is no longer sure about what is right and what is wrong. So our cities are increasingly unsafe. More and more American high school girls get pregnant. About 1.5 million little human beings are murdered here each year while still in the womb. Yet we print on our currency, "In God We Trust." Are we a hypocritical nation?
The Apostle James was inspired to write, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty" (James 2:10–12).
Notice that the "law" James is writing about is clearly the Ten Commandments. He states that Christians will be "judged" by that law (v. 12). In addition, the Ten Commandments are specifically called the "law of liberty."
If obeyed, the Ten Commandments would liberate mankind from war, crime, divorce, drunkenness, drugs, AIDS and most of the mental and emotional tension and guilt that haunt so many people.
But a nation or a people without true values — and especially lacking in obedience to the "law of liberty," the Ten Commandments — will eventually become a nation of miserable, confused and often suicidal people who have NO GOALS, no real PURPOSE in life, experiencing a profound emptiness in their day-today existence. Because God "rebukes and CHASTENS every son He loves," the Almighty will soon intervene and PUNISH our peoples in order to SHAKE them out of their rebellious and miserable ways!
The United Nations Conference assembled in San Francisco in the spring of 1945 to found an international political entity to preserve PEACE. Men and women of many races and colors were there from fifty-four nations — representing the majority of human beings living on the earth.
As the conference opened, General Jan Smuts of South Africa declared: "If San Francisco fails, then I see nothing but STARK DISASTER before mankind."
"It is no exaggeration to say," said Anthony Eden, "that the work on which we are making a start here may be THE WORLD'S LAST CHANCE…"
Yes, those were the words we were hearing and reading back in 1945 from the acknowledged LEADERS of modern human civilization! But go back even further. Recall that even the League of Nations — formed after World I — was basically the same type of organization, formed for the same basic purpose. It, too, was called "man's last hope for peace"! As all the world knows since World War II began, the League of Nations miserably FAILED!
The real ANSWER is contained in the Word of God. The book of James reveals part of it: "Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures" (James 4:1–3).
Human nature is basically hateful, resentful, competitive and SELFISH. Until HUMAN NATURE is changed, we will have war! "Where is the Security Council on Kosovo?" said Herbert S. Okun, a former American ambassador and an adviser to the United Nations on international drug issues. "or Ethiopia? Or even Iraq?"
The United Nations and Security Council are NOT stopping the bloody conflicts raging all over this earth! It is vital to realize that man cannot and WILL NOT solve his problems apart from the intervention of the Great GOD who gives us life and breath. One of the great military leaders of modern times grasped this fact very clearly. In an historic address to the joint houses of Congress, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur stated: "The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence, and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years,. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh" (The World's Great Speeches, p. 596, Dover Publications, 1958).
Though thousands of "modern" ministers, priests and religious teachers believe otherwise, the inspired Word of God is very clear about the fact that the Living Jesus Christ WILL return to this earth as King of kings. In fact, we just read that in Revelation 11:15! It all gets down to whether you actually BELIEVE what the Bible clearly says over and over.
The Prophet Zechariah was inspired to write, "Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…" (Zechariah 14:3–4). And verse 9 continues: "And the Lord shall be King over all the EARTH. In that day it shall be; 'The Lord is one,' and His name one."
So Christ will rule over the nations on this EARTH after He returns — NOT up in heaven. Jesus Himself makes that clear in Matthew 25:31–34: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'"
Since "all the NATIONS" will be brought before Christ for judgment at His second coming, the setting is obviously here on this earth. For not any rebellious nations or individuals will be allowed in heaven!
What happens to the "overcomers" — those who in this life fully surrender to let Christ live His obedient life in them through the Holy Spirit? "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations; 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'; as I also have received from My Father" (Revelation 2:26–27). The faithful saints are given RULERSHIP over the carnal nations on this earth. For, in the beginning of the Millennium, they will need to be ruled with "a ROD of iron" until they are able to be taught God's way of life based on His Ten Commandments. Jesus Christ will be King of kings. Under Him will be the twelve apostles who are placed over the twelve nations of Israel — joined perhaps by resurrected saints such as Daniel and Paul who may rule over the Gentile nations — those whom they served in their human lifetimes.
Under these outstanding leaders in the Government of God on earth will be those faithful saints who have truly "overcome" and SURRENDERED themselves to do God's will and to keep His commandments through the Spirit of Christ within them. For God's Word tells us: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those WHO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS of God and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12).
Actually, the belief in a literal one-thousand year reign of Christ on earth with the resurrected saints was part of the ORIGINAL GOSPEL — the message preached by the original Apostolic Church and preserved among God's faithful people for many generations! However, it was gradually stamped out of professing Christianity by the reasonings and imaginations of various bishops and monks during the Dark Ages. Even the highly respected secular historian, Edward Gibbon, discovered this in his massive research of that time period. In his landmark work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he wrote:
"The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection" (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon, Vol. I, p. 403).
Within the lifetimes of many of us, this part of the "Lord's Prayer" WILL be answered, "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on EARTH as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
Speaking in the first person, Jesus promises to return quickly, "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work" (Revelation 22:12). God grant that our "works" may be pleasing in His sight so that our "reward" may be truly fulfilling. For Jesus Christ is coming SOON. We have seen seven vital reasons why Christ MUST RETURN to save mankind — not the least of which is that He PROMISED to do so. God speed that day!