By Jim Fletcher
I got an interesting email this past week from a high school sophomore. She is writing a paper for an honors English class and selected eschatology as her topic! That’s encouraging, given the sweep of apostasy in our country today. It gives one hope that there are people out there interested in the Bible.
The student asked me why I believe we are living in the end times.
Of course I said, Israel.
Overwhelmingly, this is the reason. The student seemed genuinely interested. She also asked about study materials: “Should I study the Bible or the Mayan calendar?”
Amazing! What kind of world do we live in? Imagine if a Sunday school student at Charles Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle had asked if she should study the Bible, or the Hindu Vedas. Imagine what C.H. Spurgeon would have said!
(Actually, I pointed the girl to Mark Hitchcock’s superb new book on 2012…)
But it points to a problem; we have young people who are eager to know things, willing to study. Yet there is so much bad teaching out there polluting our culture, young people don’t know what is true and what is not. Plus, they often get bogged down in the details when they do encounter Bible prophecy teaching.
It is important to tell them to remember the basics, and the most “basic” basic out there is this:
The Jews have re-entered history.
This is the pivot for any discussion of truth in our world today. I was able to share with this girl that the prophets foretold of Israel’s rebirth thousands of years before it happened. There is massive biblical evidence that the return of Israel in our day is supernaturally inspired.
And what a tremendous witnessing tool, especially for youth. That kind of information bridges the generations, so that when you share with a young person that God has revealed Himself in a dramatic way through the rescue of His people, he or she can grasp it and see that the thing is a miracle.
What a comfort in today’s awful world. If you visit with a young person about the Bible, point out Isaiah 54:17. There is tremendous discussion today (and fear) about Iran’s nuclear capabilities and threats toward Israel.
Folks, my Bible says that no weapon formed against the Jewish nation will work. Period. With confidence (not bravado; God hates pride), we can continually point out that it doesn’t matter what the mullahs do in Iran; they will not get rid of Israel.
And I was just reading in the latest issue of the Jerusalem Report that Turkey and Israel’s relationship is on the rocks. For years, the Turks have been friendly with the West. But if Ezekiel 38-39 is true, won’t Turkey “turn”? Of course. The country teeters on the brink of an Islamic caliphate existence, much like Iran. I have a friend in international politics — a believer — and he predicts that sooner rather than later, Russia will find herself in “chaos” and linking arms with Iran to export still more terrorism around the globe.
Gog is standing up.
Does not all this point to the fulfillment of prophecy, the anticipated end-times invasion of Israel?
We can point out these news items and geopolitical realities to students, so that they can see the hand of God in our world today.
You can see how creative you can be. I was recently in New York and stopped at a newsstand in the airport. From Harper’s to the Economist, there are tons of stories that (quite unintentionally, of course!) point to the fulfillment of prophecy.
If we read that Hillary Clinton says that settlement activity must stop “forever” in Israel, we see that geopolitics in our world today is bringing the Bible sharply into focus. This is the beginning of the end for Israel’s enemies and allies, for we are told that all will abandon her in the end. It’s happening.
There is such a thirst for something real among young people today. If we can just see that Israel itself is, among other things of course, a huge witnessing tool…what a difference we could make in this sorry, tragic world.
Iran Launches Air-Defense Exercise - Wall Street Journal
Israel tries to mend relations with Turkey - Xinhua
Germany attacks Israel settlement plan before visit - Reuters
2012, the Bible, and the End of the World - Mark Hitchcock (Book)
It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine): How to stop worrying and learn to love these End Times - Jim Fletcher (Book)