Bible Question:

Where are we are on the biblical timeline?

Bible Answer:

The Bible provides us with many signs that reveal where are we are on the biblical timeline.  A previous study titled, “Prophecy of The Future” provides a summary of the future, but here is a brief overview of the future events. In brief, the Bible reveals that the universe is quickly approaching the end of time and the removal of Christians from the earth (the Rapture) is the next major event. The rapture occurs before the Tribulation. Following the Rapture is the Tribulation Period, seven years that end with the Second Coming of Christ which will usher in a 1,000 year kingdom on the earth. The Rapture occurs when Christ comes to remove Christians. Next comes the Tribulation Period which begins with 3.5 years of peace followed by 3.5 years of terror. Then the Second Coming of Christ occurs, followed by a worldwide 1,000 year kingdom which will be ruled by Christ.

 

Timeline of the Future

Signs of the End Time –  Given by Christ 

In Matthew 24:3 Jesus’ disciples asked what are signs of His return and the end of the age.

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “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  (NASB)

Then in verses 4-28 Jesus gave them a long list of signs. Verses 4-8 are the initial signs. Verses 9-14 provide us with more serious signs that will occur before the rapture.

Verse 5 – Individuals claiming they are Christ
Verse 6 – Wars and rumors of wars
Verse 7 – Famines and earthquakes
Verse 9 – Christians will be persecuted
Verse 10 – Christians will be betrayed
Verse 11 – Many false prophets will appear
Verse 12 – Lawlessness will increase and people will become more unloving
Verse 14 – The gospel will spread to every part of the earth

Verses 15-28 give us signs of things that will occur in the last half of the Tribulation Period.

Verse 15 – Abomination of desolation occurs.
Verse 21 – Great tribulation is in process

Verses 29-30 describes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Signs of the End Time –  From Other Parts of the Bible 

There are ten other signs that are given in Scripture that either agree with those given by Jesus or are in addition to those given to the disciples. The following chart summarizes these signs or prophesies.

Signs of The Future

Destruction of Jerusalem

One of the earliest signs was the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army because they had rejected Jesus Christ. This prophecy was given by Jesus.

For  the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and  surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation. Luke 19:43-44 (NASB)

In Daniel 12:7 the prophet prophesied that Israel would be shattered. This is the identical prophecy that Jesus gave.

Kingdom Is Still Future

In A.D. 90-100, the apostle John writes,

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears  we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 1 John 2:28 (NASB)

It is clear from His words that Christ has not yet come. He wrote this verse after Jerusalem was destroyed and the nation of Israel was shattered. Those who are Preterists claim that Jesus came at the destruction of Jerusalem, but both Scripture and the early church disagree. Also in Luke 17:22 Christ told the disciples that they would not see the kingdom.

And he said to the disciples,  “The days are coming when you will desire  to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. Luke 17:22 (NASB)

This further reveals that the rapture, tribulation, Second Coming of Christ and the kingdom did occur before A.D. 95.

Israel Must Return to the Land

Isaiah 11:11 reveals that the nation of Israel was prophesied to return to the land and that occurred in 1948.

 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people,  from Assyria,  from Egypt, from Pathros, from  Cush, from Elam, from  Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. Isaiah 11:11 (NASB)

There are many other prophesies about Israel returning to the land in the minor prophets and especially in the book of Zechariah (Hosea 3:4-5; Micah 2:12; Zephaniah 3:20; Zechariah 2:6-13; 10:1-8; 12:1-9; 14:1-21).

Knowledge Would Increase

For example, Daniel 12:4 prophesied that knowledge would increase.

But you, Daniel, shut up the words and  seal the book, until  the time of the end.  Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:4 (NASB)

It is obvious to any adult that knowledge is not just increasing today, it is exploding.

Peace In Israel

The major sign that we are waiting for is peace in Israel. This must occur according to the prophecy of Daniel 9:27.

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week,  and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until  the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. Daniel 9:27 (NASB)

The tribulation period will occur after the peace treaty of Daniel 9:27 occurs. It is important to note that a peace treaty might occur in the Middle East that is not the peace treaty described in Daniel 9:27. Once this peace treaty occurs, the temple in Israel can then be built. Then Christ’s prophecy (Matthew 24:15) and Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:27) about the abomination of desolation can occur since a temple will exist.

Conclusion:

In summary, we are waiting for a peace treaty to occur in the Middle East that includes peace for Israel. That was prophesied by Daniel 9:27. Once this occurs, the rapture will occur and the tribulation will start.  It is possible that the rapture occurs before the peace treaty since it comes like a thief in the night. Either way, the world will be a miserable place in which to live as all the demonic forces and the nations of the earth literally attack Christians and the nation of Israel.

 

Reference Links:

Prophecy of The Future
Does the rapture occur before the tribulation period?
The Church Is Missing
Can people become a Christian after the rapture?
Where is the scriptural support that says Jesus will reign on earth?
What is the Valley of Dry Bones?
Did Jesus’ Second Coming occur in 70 A.D.?
Studies in Revelation
Studies in Daniel