1. Introduction and Summary
The world seems “on fire” and is headed to a world-changing cataclysmic event. It appears reasonable to say that World War III is imminent. World War III could very likely be the beginning of the “great tribulation.” Holding to pretribulational premillennialism, the rapture of the church will be before the “great tribulation. Therefore, the rapture may be very soon. This article briefly explains my reasoning.
A believer needs to be ready!
An unbeliever must repent of their sins and trust alone in Jesus Christ’s finished work on the Cross. A thorough description of God’s Plan of Salvation and a “Sinner’s Prayer” is at the end of this article. Now is the day of salvation!!!
All one has to do is look around the world and see evil-upon-evil, and it isn’t getting any better. The description of the “days of Noah” per Genesis 6:5–7 (NASB95) seems fitting for our world [emphasis added]:
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
While God has been patient (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:9), judgment is coming soon. One day Jesus will return in the rapture per 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 (NASB95):
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
While no one can be so bold as to predict a specific time for the rapture of the church, it seems imminent.
After Christ has called all believers to Himself, the great tribulation of Matthew 24:21 will begin. The gotquestions.org website [link: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the pretribulational view of the rapture (pretribulationism)? | GotQuestions.org] explains the sequence:
Pretribulationism teaches that the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation starts. At that time, the church will meet Christ in the air, and then sometime after that the Antichrist is revealed and the Tribulation begins. In other words, the Rapture and Christ’s Second Coming (to set up His kingdom) are separated by at least seven years. According to this view, the church does not experience any of the Tribulation.
Scripturally, the pretribulational view has much to commend it. For example, the church is not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 5:9), and believers will not be overtaken by the Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9). The church of Philadelphia was promised to be kept from “the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world” (Revelation 3:10). Note that the promise is not preservation through the trial but deliverance from the hour, that is, from the time period of the trial.
Dr. Wayne Grudem (Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (p. 1112). Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House) explains pretribulational premillennialism:
Pretribulational Premillennialism (or Dispensational Premillennialism): Another variety of premillennialism has gained widespread popularity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. According to this position, Christ will return not only before the millennium (Christ’s return is premillennial), but also it will occur before the great tribulation (Christ’s return is pretribulational). This position is similar to the classical premillennial position mentioned above, but with one important difference: it will add another return of Christ before his return to reign on earth in the millennium. This return is thought to be a secret return of Christ to take believers out of the world. The pretribulational premillennial view may be represented as in figure 55.4.
Dr. Grudem (Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (p. 1113). Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House) explains the sequence [emphasis added]:
According to this view, the church age will continue until, suddenly, unexpectedly, and secretly, Christ will return part way to earth, and then will call believers to himself: “The dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:16–17). Christ will then return to heaven with the believers who have been removed from the earth. When that happens, there will be a great tribulation on the earth for a period of seven years.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that World War III will begin the “great tribulation.”
3. The Jews Remain God’s People
Let’s keep in mind that the Jews are still God’s people. The gotquestions.org website [link: What does it mean that the Jews are God’s chosen people? | GotQuestions.org] reads:
The ultimate goal of God’s choice of the Jews as His chosen people was to produce the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would be the Savior of the world. Jesus had to come from some nation or people, and God chose Israel. God first promised the Savior/Messiah after Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3). Later, God specified that the Messiah would come from the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12). Later still, He narrowed the Messiah’s ancestry to the line of David (2 Samuel 7). Throughout their history, the people of Israel were aware of their “chosen” status before God (see 1 Kings 3:8; 8:53; Psalm 105:43; Isaiah 43:4; 65:9; and Amos 3:2). The fact that God has an eternal future for Israel is evident in that five sixths of the Bible bears directly or indirectly upon them—Jesus being the central figure who brought the Jews and Gentiles together (Ephesians 2:14).
A passage like Romans 9:1-6, 27-29 (NASB95) makes it apparent that Israel is still God’s people:
1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; … 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28 for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.” 29 And just as Isaiah foretold, “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity, We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”
Romans 11:1–5 (NASB95) describes the remnant of Israel:
1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.
While there are other OT passages, Jeremiah 31:7–9 (NASB95) teaches that Israel remains God’s people:
7 For thus says the Lord, “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise and say, ‘O Lord, save Your people, The remnant of Israel.’ 8 “Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great company, they will return here. 9 “With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.”
4. Believers are to Support Israel
Since its reconstitution in the Middle East, the United States has been a good friend of Israel and to the Jewish people. The Bible teaches that we are supposed to support Israel per Genesis 12:1–3 (NASB95) [emphasis added]:
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
The same teaching is in Genesis 27:29 (NASB95), which reads [emphasis added]:
29 May peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, And may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you.”
The U.S. is strongly supporting Israel in the Israel-Hamas war. So, why do I think we are on the brink of WW III?
5. The World is on the Brink of World War III
Please note that these scenarios are merely my estimates from various news sources. Of course, I could be wrong. But, I believe the probability of World War III is reasonably high.
There is much political pressure at home and from abroad for America to decrease or cease its support of Israel in the war. Below are two scenarios as I see them.
If the U.S. remains strong in its support of Israel, Israel will go forward with a full invasion of Gaza. It is likely that a full invasion of Gaza will bring in Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies. The war will become more intense and most likely draw the United States into armed conflict. Russia and China (possibly even North Korea) will not stand idly by so that at the end of the day there will be armed conflict between major nuclear powers. The parties to war will make mistakes and miscalculations so the use of nuclear weapons is very likely, if not imminent. The world will be in a war like it has never seen before.
If the U.S. decreases its support of Israel, Iran and its proxies will become emboldened to attack Israel. The war will become more intense to the point Israel will believe that its very existence is in jeopardy. Israel will decide to use nuclear weapons against Iran and the world will be in a war like it has never seen before.
If there is a nuclear holocaust, I am not certain it will before or after the rapture, but it will happen. It will most likely be post-rapture and kick off the “great tribulation.”
In conclusion, it is my opinion (and merely my personal opinion) that the world is in the “days of Noah.” The Israel-Hamas war has triggered a disturbing outbreak of hatred against Jews. The Jews are God’s chosen people. God will bless those who bless Israel. God will curse those who curse Israel. God cannot be pleased with the worldwide hatred of His chosen people.
It is my opinion (and merely my personal opinion) that the world is on the brink of World War III because there is no good scenario for resolution.
If the U.S. continues with its strong support of Israel, Israel will move forward to eliminate Hamas and this will cause Iranian proxies to join in the war against Israel. The eventual result of such an expansion will be a world war between nuclear powers.
If the U.S. deceases or ceases its support for Israel, Iranian proxies will become emboldened and expand the war against Israel. The eventual result will be a world war between nuclear powers.
A believer needs to be ready because the rapture of the church may be just around the corner!
If you are not a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you need to get ready!! Please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart, pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word. If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ.
God’s Plan of Salvation
In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe. As a part of His creative actions, He made humans (male and female) in His image to know Him. For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve. But Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God, whereby Adam’s sin was passed down to all of humanity, creating a separation between God and humanity. We cannot do anything to bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell is our eternal destination. Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy, God provided us with the only means of salvation through Abraham’s lineage by sending the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, God’s only unique Son. While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, thereby fulfilling the Law, and died a substitutionary atoning death on the cross, taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all people. Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, thereby exhausting God’s wrath against humanity. God now calls on every unbeliever to repent of their sins and completely trust in Christ alone that Jesus died for their sins and rose to life from the dead. Every unbeliever who repents and trusts in Jesus Christ will be forgiven of all their sins (past, present, and future) and born again as a new creation in Christ, possessing guaranteed eternal life with God.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 26, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7-25; Genesis 3:1-7, 22-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; Matthew 1:18, 20, 24-25; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 2:17; 9:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Acts 17:30; 26:20; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.
Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life. I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell. But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven. I now repent of my sins and completely trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation. Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You so much for saving me. I am now Yours forever!
(Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).
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