December 17 2021
Today, Friday December 17
God Program and Agenda for the Ages
Revelation 1:1-3 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Today I want to give an overview of what I believe to be God’s agenda for the future. But first let me remind us that God’s program involves three distinct groups of people. First there is the nation of Israel. Most of the Old Testament is about their story. The Old Testament is definitely a Jewish book. It was originally written in Hebrew, the language of the Jews, the seed of Abraham. God’s plan for Abraham and Israel was primary for them to show the world of pagans and idol worshippers who the only, true and living creator God is. And how the only way to know and have a relationship with Him, which is by faith.
All through the Bible you have also the story of Gentile nations. A Gentile is basically anyone who is not a Jew or of Jewish descent. It is clear that God had a specific plan for the Gentile nations as part of His program for dealing with Israel. Especially to punish them when they sinned against God by turning to the gods of the pagans around them.
When we come to the New Testament, Jesus introduces us to the Church (Matthew 16:18). As the Old Testament ends, it is obvious that Israel as a nation has clearly failed in worshiping God and in displaying His glory to the world. So for a period of time, (about 2,000 years), they have been set on the bench and the Church was born to take their place on the playing field. Today we live in the church age! The word church basically means, “the called out assembly.” The church has the same purpose that Israel had in the Old Testament, and that is to show the world who the true God is, and how to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ!
Now here is where it gets interesting! I personally and strongly believe that the church age will end with Jesus coming in the air to catch up His church. We call this the “rapture”. The New Testament teaches clearly that Jesus will come again (John 14:3; Acts 1:11), and He can come at any time. Shortly after the rapture of the church and next on God’s agenda is the revealing of the Antichrist. He makes a peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9) which literally starts the time clock for Israel again for a specific period of seven years. This is better known as the tribulation.
The Tribulation will end with Jesus coming to the earth where He will cast both the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). Jesus will also bind Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit and seal him there for a thousand years. Then Jesus will restore Israel and set on the throne of David in Jerusalem and rule the earth with His saints (believers from the church age) for a thousand years. At the end of His thousand year reign Satan will be released and he will deceive the nations to rise up against Christ, but his armies are destroyed (Revelation 20:7-10), and he will also be cast into the lake of fire.
At this time the Great White Throne Judgment will take place (Revelation 20:11-15), where everyone from all time will stand before God to find out whether or not their name is in the Book of Life. And whoever is not found in the Book of Life will also be cast into the lake of fire! And then the new heaven and the new earth will take the place of the old and we will enter eternity with the Lord!
I’m out of breath! I know that is a lot to consume but I trust it help you get ready for our study of Revelation which mainly covers what takes place during the seven years of tribulation on earth.