Indications of the Last Times Believer’s Bible Commentary - William MacDonald There are many indications that the Rapture may be near. We consider the following as straws in the wind: 1. The formation of the State of Israel in 1948 (Luke 21:29). The fig tree (Israel) is shooting forth, that is, putting forth its leaves (Luke 21:29-31). For the first time in centuries, the Jews have a national existence in their own homeland. This means that the kingdom of God is near. 2. The rise of many other nations (Luke 21:29). Jesus predicted that not only the fig tree would shoot forth but all the trees as well. We have recently witnessed the demise of colonial governments and the proliferation of new nations. It is an era of new nationalism. 3. The return of Israel to the land in unbelief (Ezekial 36:24, 25). Ezekial prophesied that it would only be cleansed from their sins. Israel today is largely an agnostic nation; only a small (but very vocal) segment of the people are orthodox Jews. 4. The ecumenical movement (Revelation 17, 18). We understand Babylon the Great to be a vast religious, political, and commercial system made up of apostate religious bodies that profess to be Christian, perhaps and apostate Protestantism. Christendom is becoming increasingly apostate (1st Timothy 4:1; 2nd Thessalonians 2:3) and is moving toward a world super-church. 5. The worldwide increase in Spiritism (1st Timothy 4:1-3). It is sweeping over vast areas of the earth at this moment. 6. The drastic decline of moral standards (2nd Timothy 3:1-5). The daily newspapers offer plenty of evident of this. 7. Violence and civil disobedience (2nd Thessalonians 2:7, 8). A spirit of lawlessness is abounding in the home, in national life, and even in the church. 8. People with a form of godliness but denying its power (2nd timothy 3:5). 9. The rise of the anti-Christian spirit (1st John 2:18), manifested in the multiple of false cults which profess to be Christian but deny every fundamental doctrine of the faith. They deceive by imitation (2nd Timothy 3:8). 10. The tendency for nations to confederate along lines that approximate the line-up of the latter day. The European Common Market, based on what is known as the Treaty of Rome, may lead to the revival of the Roman Empire — the ten toes of iron and clay (Daniel 2:32-35). 11. Denial of the impending intervention of God in the affairs of the world by way of judgement (2nd Peter 3:3, 4). To these could be added indications such as earthquakes in many countries, the threat of worldwide famine, and the increasing hostility among nations (Matthew 24:6, 7). The failure of governments to maintain law and order and to suppress to maintain law and order and to suppress terrorism creates the climate for a world dictator. The building of nuclear arsenals gives added meaning to such questions as, “Who is able to make war with him?” i.e., the beast (Revelation 13:4). Worldwide television facilities may be the means for fulfilling Scriptures describing events that will be seen simultaneously all over the planet (Revelation 1:7). Most of these events are foreseen as occurring before Christ returns to the earth to reign. The Bible does not say they will take place before the Rapture but before His appearing in glory. If that is so, and if we see these trends developing already, then the obvious conclusion is that the Rapture must be near at hand.