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Five Reasons Jesus Could Return in Our Lifetime

I wrote on this subject two years ago after confessing that though the Second Coming of Christ has always been a wonderful hope of mine, I have never really believed it would take place in my lifetime.

I've been too busy trying to do my part to complete the Great Commission--and leave the rest to God.

But, either I'm just getting older, or the stuff on the evening news seems to be overwhelmingly shouting out this world might not last much longer.

At any rate, I've got some new thoughts on why Jesus might return in our lifetime.

First of all, by "our lifetime" I mean within the confines of the 21st century. If by God's grace and good genes I live to be as old as my father did (94), then I could be around for another 20-23 years or so--until possibly 2045. My kids could live forty or fifty years beyond that.

At any rate, my family's lifetime would fit into the curvature of the 21st century. That's the time frame I'm talking about.

On the other hand, the Bible is clear that only the Father knows when He will bring about the cosummation of history (Matthew 24:36). Jesus himself said that this was the Father's prerogative alone, and that our focus should be to preach the Good News to all creation and until He comes (Luke 19:13).

That's been my passion now for over forty years--to do our part and we bring back the King.

But recently I've been thinking about a number of other unique factors that just might indicate that the wrap-up of history is not hundreds or thousands of years away. It's true that two millennia have past since Jesus' first coming to die for the sins of the world. It's also true that in some past generations, the Church thought that his return was imminent.

But we now live in an extremely unique era that is different than any other. Five key factors are enough to draw the conclusion that this might be the generation.

Here are my top five.

Completing the Great Commission

As a missionary, I've learned that God left us with a job to do: "This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14).

Notice the word in italics--then. The end of the Age and the Second Return of Christ is predicated on the Good News of Jesus' love being shared will ALL people on earth.

When the commission is fulfilled--and only then--is the return of Christ imminent.

Today, that command is attainable. As I detail in The Fourth Wave (released this year in Mongolian), we live in the first time in history where every single person on earth can be given a chance to be born again. In fact, this week I will be in Mongolia where a first generation Church is rising up to take Christ's message across Central Asia. That's unique, historic.

Today's global missions tsunami has never happened before.

Two hundred years ago, William Carey lamented that over one hundred countries were virtually unreached by the Church. Today, missions researcher Todd Johnson tells us that 141 countries are majority Christian with fifty-nine nations over half evangelized and only thirty-eight countries that are less than 50 percent evangelized.

We're reaching the nations also--the unreached peoples (ethnes) of the world. A global advance in missions has trumpeted God's love in over 12,000 people groups--with the final 3900 in our sights.

Five years ago I heard the leader of the world's largest missionary organization say something that stunned me. He said, "I believe the Great Commission can be fulfilled in the next eleven years."

After researching and writing The Fourth Wave, I'm convinced he is right. That incredible fact is the greatest reason that Jesus could return in our lifetime.  

Restoration of Israel

Hal Lindsey built his best-selling book around the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948. No other ancient nation has re-appeared in history like the Jews. No part of the world is more central to the today's news than this tiny piece of real estate in the Middle East.

Israel's existence shouts out God's existence for all the world to hear.

However, in The Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey made a mistake according to World Bible Society President F. Kenton “Doc” Beshore who holds five doctoral degrees in theology. Lindsey thought that a biblical generation was forty years. Beshore says a biblical generation is actually 70-80 years based on Psalm 90:10: “The days of our life are 70 years; and if by reason of strength they are 80 years.”

Dr. Beshore explains, “Jesus says in Matthew 24:34 that this 'born one,' or 'this generation' will not pass away until all these things be fulfilled. Israel as a Jewish boy, born May 14, 1948, that would grow up and become an old man until He comes in glory to establish His millennial kingdom. Now, how long is this generation—this ‘born one’? If you extend that from 1948, the outside date for the millennium would be 2028.

That puts us within thirteen years of possible end time scenarios.

Modern Tower of Babel 

This one has really grabbed my attention recently. Allow me to explain.

You remember the story of the Tower of Babel that is found in Genesis 11:1-9. After the global flood as people began to re-populate the earth, all human beings spoke one language and decided to build an immense tower in the plains of Shinar (modern-day Iraq) that would reach up to heaven.

God looked down on this united, technological advance and said, "The people are united and speak one language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them" (Genesis 11:7).

The text seems to indicate that the power of united technological advance in the hands of sinful people might ruin the planet, either then, or in the future. So God confused their languages to put a stop to this diabolical human achievement and scattered the people all over the world.

These scattered peoples have now become the 200 nations or 16,000 people groups of the world. Dividing them up was a way of restraining or limiting evil.

Now we live in possibly the first time period since Babel where the world is uniting through technology, and commerce. English is becoming a universal language, and technology has advanced to where modern sinful man could again do some very evil and disruptive things by tampering with genetics or nature.

Human cloning looms on the horizon. I saw an article recently about medical advances that could cause human beings to live to 1000 years old. Check out this article on the subject.

Medical advances are good, but in the hands of evil, God-less people they become nothing less than frightening.

Have we arrived at another moment in history where human beings, united and technologically advanced, will find "nothing impossible to them" once again, forcing God to step into history through the return of Jesus Christ?

Weapons of Mass Destruction.

One of those things that fallen human beings have figured out is how to make bombs that can destroy cities, nations, and in enough quantity, even most of life on planet earth. It appears that the present United States administration is prepared to allow the largest terrorist nation on earth--Iran--to get atomic bombs within the next ten years.

Hubert Humphrey said one generation ago:

"For the first time in the history of mankind, one generation literally has the power to destroy the past, the present and the future, the power to bring time to an end."

Though Albert Einstein did not participate in the Manhattan Project, his letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt proved to be the crucial turning point in the weaponization of the atom. In 1954, the last year of his life, he admitted to an old friend, "I made one great mistake in my life—when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made."

Add to that chemical and biological weapons, and other forms of mass terror, and one is inevitably drawn to the conclusion that God may just have to enter history once again to stop mankind from destroying themselves.

A One World Government

There has never been a one-world government. Ghengis Khan created the largest land empire in history, but that was just from Mongolia across central Asia to the outskirts of Europe. The Romans controlled a good swath of the earth from 44 BC to 476 AD, but their Pax Romana only included North Africa to the far reaches of what is now Great Britain. In the 20th century Hitler tried and failed and the Soviet Union influenced at one time a large portion of the globe.

But never the entire world--200 countries on six continents, divided by oceans and seemingly impenetrable barriers.

Until the 21st century. Today we have a United Nations. The world's lone superpower, the United States is decaying from within and withdrawing from the international scene militarily. A global economic collapse could usher in a global government of some sort to stop the chaos and bring some semblance of order.

Then there is the possibility of a global caliphate. If Isis isn't stopped, its ominous black flag could soon be flying over more territory than we wish to contemplate.

I believe the 21st century is the first time in history that a true one world government is possible. We have the communications technology to do it, there is a sociological trend in that direction, and a global economic bubble which could burst worldwide and plunge us into a new dark age where people would be crying out for a governmental savior.

Enter the Anti-Christ, whatever or whoever he or she is, and worldwide controls on freedom. Sound far-fetched? Not after watching the news on television in 2015. 

When I finished writing this article, I clicked on the Drudge Report (the number one web-site in the world for news). It's main headline said: "World Elite Gather to Plot Future."

Hmmm. Maybe I'm on to something.

I'm not making a prediction--just watching and praying. And continuing to do my part in bringing the love of Jesus to the world. That positive could be linked to an awful lot of negatives.

But then comes the final positive: The majestic return of the King of kings and Lord of lords!

Are you ready? Are you fulfilling your assignment to bring back the King?






Reader Comments (1)

Yes indeed we are ready!!! Our prayers continue for those we know and love who have not yet come to the saving grace of Jesus, but that too is in His hands.

Thank you for your faithfulness in the many years of ministry in service to God.

We love you and pray for you!

Larry & Gerry
June 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGerry & Larry Buckner

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