The prophet Jeremiah wrote two books of the Bible, the one bearing his name and the book of Lamentations. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet; nearly one-fourth of the occurrences of the word “weeping” in the Bible come from the pen of Jeremiah.
Roughly the first half of the book of Jeremiah is God’s warnings to Israel. If you do this, then I will do this; type thing. However, in Jeremiah 25:8-9 it changes from if you do this to “Because ye have not heard my words, Behold, I will … utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.”
We witness Jeremiah’s message evolve throughout his book from (and I am paraphrasing), “Stop, or God is going to get you!” to “God has had enough; the punishment is coming.” to “the judgment of God has arrived.”
As time went on, Jeremiah’s message changed as God told him and as events around him took shape. “The Weeping Prophet” cried when no one would heed God’s warnings; he shed tears when God said, He had had enough and judgment was coming, and Jeremiah wept when he and his countrymen were being carried off into slavery by Babylon.
Let’s move forward to today. We live in fascinating times. Since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, which is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel 37, Christians have been anticipating the rapture and the return of Christ to this earth. The rebirth of Israel was a major event because many of the yet to be fulfilled prophecies of the Bible involve Israel in one way or another. With Israel’s return to the scene, these Biblical prophecies can now take place.
The major prophetic events coming up on God’s calendar are these — the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58).
The seven year tribulation period (Daniel 9:27; 12:1-12).
The rebuilding of the Temple (there is no specific prophecy about rebuilding the Temple, but several prophecies happen within and around the Temple, so we know it must be rebuilt).
The Antichrist will establish a one world economic system with some form of identification placed inside everyone’s right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16-18).
The return of Jesus Christ at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 14:4).
The Millenium – Christ sitting on the throne in Jerusalem for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-10).
Following The Millenium is the final judgment of the unsaved and the ushering in of eternity for the redeemed (Revelation 20:11-22:21).
Since the rebirth of Israel, we are watching these events inch closer. In last week’s column, I noted how the alliances are forming for the battle of Ezekiel 38-39, a fight before Armageddon. In other areas, many economists are warning of a worldwide economic collapse and the need for a universal identification system. The changes and the severity of the weather, terrorism, “distress of nations, with perplexity” (Luke 21:25) as governments face problems that seem to have no solution. All of these are Biblical prophecies to take place during the Tribulation, and we are watching them taking shape around us now.
Just as God told Jeremiah that Israel was going to taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar, and the prophet watched as Babylon conquered one of Israel’s neighbors after another, he knew it was only a matter of time before God’s prophecy would be history. We are watching the events needing to happen for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies to occur. Think of it this way — a fancy dinner is not served until the place settings are in order. As far as the end chapters of the Bible are concerned; we are watching the table being set.
I will end with a hypothetical situation. Supposed preaching the gospel was outlawed. Some time after the passing of this law the government comes to you and makes you an offer. They will give you 15 minutes of air time on every TV and radio station. You can say anything you want without ramifications. Do you give a speech on how we need to fight to get our rights back, or do you take your allowed time to present the saving gospel of Christ to all of America?
As we see the days of the Rapture, Tribulation and His return taking shape before us, we know these events are coming just as sure as Jeremiah knew Babylon was on her way. What should be our message today? What should be our message? Have we shed tears for the sinful condition of our country as Jeremiah did for his? Do we believe what God said would happen will?
Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Visit his website, [email protected] All scripture KJV.