WORLD PEACE and World Progress?

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Bible Prophecy Provides Evidence That God Exists For All To SEE

WORLD PEACE and World Progress?

WORLD PEACE and World Progress?

WORLD PEACE and World Progress

What a shock the events of the last 100yrs have been! The dream of progress and peace has faded. Two terrible world wars with countless regional wars, millions of slain and untold damage and suffering, have been followed by the development of the mostly frightfully destructive weapons ever invented.

The varying solutions in which the "wise men" of this world have trusted in have all been exposed as false.

Despite greater education there has not been any higher moral standards displayed by the world at large, in fact the opposite would be more true, widespread growth in dishonesty, greed, violence and crime.

The Christian religion, far from converting the nations, is in decline all over the earth.

Democracy in politics has not proved the magic cure for social evils that was expected.

Finally - cruellest blow of all - science has proved a frighteningly double-edged weapon.

Far from being an era of peace, this "civilised" last century has become an age of strife and violence. No wonder the attitude of so many people is one of pessimistic resignation.

Furthermore there seems little any one can do.

Now what has Bible prophecy to say about all this?

It has a clear forecast of the "last days", "the time of the end", when the career of mankind in the earth will come to a critical point. It is not a picture of continuing progress and peace, but rather of world in trouble and fear. The clearest and most striking example of this is found in what Jesus says to his disciples, when they asked him what would be the sign of his return to the earth and of "the end of the world". He tells them first about the fate of the Jewish people:

“They (the Jews) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles (the nations), until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24).

He went on to provide a number of signs to these last times of trouble;

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:25-28)

Now this is a brief description of what we have already considered in prophecy concerning Israel. The Jews were to be driven as captives into all nations: Jerusalem was to be subject to Gentile powers. Note that Jesus implies a limit to this: "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled". We have seen the beginning of this in our own days: Jerusalem is no longer dominated by "foreign" powers - it is under the control of Israel itself.

The Prophecies Concerning Israel

These are the richest of all, both in the detail of their predictions and in the abundance of the historical confirmation of their truth whereby we have witnessed there fulfilment over the last 100yrs. We shall confine ourselves to the simple facts concerning Israel's remarkable destiny.

The Old Testament records for us how God made distinct promises to Abraham (about 1800 B.C) which meant, among other things, that his descendants would become a people (Israel) who would take possession of the land of Canaan, later called Palestine. About 1400 BC the people of Israel were brought out of Egypt at the Exodus under Moses, and 40 years after began to take possession of the land promised to them. But while they were still in the wilderness, before they entered the land, they were solemnly warned by God through Moses of the fate which would overtake them if they turned away from their God to worship idols and imitated the ways of the pagan Canaanites. The 28th chapter of Deuteronomy is a most remarkable prophecy - and was a terrible warning - of the calamities which would come upon the Israelites if they were disobedient. The reader is recommended to read the whole chapter for himself. Here we have space only to outline the main features:

"But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments . . . the Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known . . . And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all the nations whither the Lord shall lead thee . . . The Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other . . . And among these nations shalt thou find no ease . . ." (Deuteronomy 28:15, 36-37,64-65).

Again the prophecy is quite clear. Israel were to be scattered among the nations, there to live in very uncomfortable circumstances, the object of scorn and contempt. How forcibly their history has proved the truth of these words! The scattering of the Jews throughout the world began in the days of the Assyrians in the 8th century BC The process continued through the Babylonians in the 6th century. After a partial return from Babylon in the days of the Persian kings, a community of Israelites lived in their land from about 500 BC to the days of Christ, successively dominated by the Persians, the Greeks and their successors, and finally by the Romans. In AD 70, 40 years after the crucifixion of Christ, there occurred the most terrible devastation of all. The city of Jerusalem was sacked by Roman armies because of rebellion; the temple was burned and the Jews were scattered as captives over the Roman world. There they have been found ever since, literally "from one end of the earth to the other".

And they have indeed, until very recent times, found "no ease". Suffering persecution and at times extermination- the pogroms in Russia in the 19th century and Hitler's policy of genocide in the 20th are only the most recent examples - the Jews have everywhere been subject to vilification and derision, so much so that their survival as a recognisable race is one of the marvels of history. Again we note the fact that this prophecy of Israel's fate has remained true for over 2500 years. Who could have foreseen that, despite all the scattering and the persecutions, the Jews would remain for centuries a recognisably distinct race, right up to the present day?

But there is more . . .But the most incredible feature of the prophecies about the destiny of Israel is yet to be told, for the prophets also clearly foretell an unexpected change in Israel's fortunes.

Consider, for instance, these predictions through the prophet Jeremiah, delivered nearly 600 years before Christ:

"For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah . . . and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it..." (30:3)

"Now therefore thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel . . . Behold, I will gather them out of all the countries, whither I have driven them, in mine anger . . . and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: and they shall be my people and I will be their God . . ."(32:36-38)
"I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity . . ."
(33:7)

Again, there is no doubt about what the prophet is saying. The process of Israel's scattering and persecution is to be reversed. The Jews are to return to the very land from which they were expelled over 1900 years ago, and to dwell there in comparative peace. The three brief quotations from Jeremiah, given above, could be multiplied many times over by similar declarations from Isaiah and Ezekiel.

We have little need to go into great detail to show how these prophecies of Israel's restoration have been most accurately fulfilled. The Zionist Movement was active among the dispersed Jews in many countries in the late 19th century. The establishment of Palestine as a National Home for the Jews in 1917 led to a rapid increase in their numbers in the Land. When this provoked the hostility of the Arabs, the Jews fought off an attempt to suppress them in 1948, and established their own Jewish State. This was enlarged in 1967 after a second attempt in the Six Day War; as a result Israel recovered much of their ancient historical territory, and Jerusalem became the capital of their State under their own rule, for the first time in 2500 years. In short, the emergence of an independent Jewish State in the Middle East has been a most unexpected development. Less that 100 years ago no political observers would have thought it possible.

We are not here concerned with the "politics" of the situation. We are concerned solely with Bible prophecy. There are other things the Bible has to say about the Jews. The prophets tell us, for instance, that there is to be a great crisis in the Middle East, and that Israel will be brought to repentance before their God. Only then will the prophecies of final restoration and peace come to pass. Here we wish solely to emphasise that the prophets foretold the return of Israel to their land, and we in this century have actually seen their predictions begin to be the fulfilled.

Learn here about God’s Purpose with the Earth