Standing atop a mountain plateau in the stark Judean wilderness, one can look down at the remains of Roman siege camps that eventually trapped some 960 Jewish men, women and children who had fled Jerusalem to Masada while the Romans slaughtered Jews by the thousands in the Holy City in A.D. 70.
Masada stands as a stark testimonial to a chapter in history most thought would never happen again. The scope of Roman savagery is a study in the fallen nature of godless, corrupt tyrants who have no regard for human life.
However, almost 2,000 years later, Christians and an estimated 40,000 people of the Yazidi sect sat trapped last summer on another mountain, awaiting death by starvation, exposure or execution while praying for deliverance. The United Nations estimated that 5,000 Yazidi men were executed and bulldozed into mass graves, while 7,000 women were being kept as slaves. This horror involves the annihilation of Christians and others who refuse to submit to the demands of the jihadist ISIS hordes running rampant through Iraq and Syria. more >>
Dr. David Jeremiah, megachurch pastor, bestselling author and popular Bible teacher, believes the End Times began in 1948, when a nation that features prominently in the Bible was re-established as a state for the first time in 2,000 years. In fact, considering "the whole scope of world history," Jeremiah would have to conclude that "yes, we are in the End Times," or Earth's last days.
"I personally believe that the End Times, in the sense of Bible prophecy, probably started for us in 1948 when Israel became a nation, because many of the prophecies in the New Testament especially, could not be fulfilled until Israel was at home in her nation," Jeremiah told The Christian Post in November.
The Shadow Mountain Community Church senior pastor, who took over that position from another prophecy buff, Dr. Tim LaHaye, examines perhaps one of the most intriguing books of the Bible in his latest work, Agents of the Apocalypse. more >>
In Agents of the Apocalypse, Dr. David Jeremiah, noted author and Bible teacher, takes a new approach to unpacking what is possibly one of the Bible's most popular yet confusing books — and he recently shared his thoughts on why America seems absent from the Book of Revelation and other prophetic writings regarding the eschaton.
Revelation, the final book of the Christian Bible, has long served as a source of inspiration and speculation for pulpits, printing presses, and movie studios. The colorful apocalyptic work is credited in the text to Jesus Christ's "servant John," also described as a prophet. John, not to be mistaken with Jesus' apostle, some scholars argue, tells of experiencing several visions, some of them related to future happenings, such as Jesus Christ's Second Coming and God's final judgment of the world.
Apocalyptic work by its nature reveals hidden or secret things, but, perhaps unlike John's original audience in the first century, modern Christians have long wrestled over possible meanings of Revelation's pervasive and perplexing symbolic imagery. more >>
Christian apologist Don Stewart and evangelist Greg Laurie both agreed during a recent discussion about the End Times that it is a mistake to deny that terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State in the Middle East and other parts of the world, are rooted in the Islamic religion, something they and others believe as fact.
"There's so many groups. What we are dealing with in a broad spectrum is Islamic terrorism," Laurie said during his interview with Stewart Thursday evening at the Harvest Orange County church in Irvine, California. "So, I think it's a mistake when someone stands up and says, 'You know these people are not Muslims.' Well, aren't they?"
Stewart responded, "Yes, they are." Adding that the first thing that politicians such as President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry (and George W. Bush, Laurie added), say is that "it's this peaceful religion that's been hijacked and that it's not Islam." more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, has questioned whether news coming out of the Middle East is a sign of the end times.
First published on billygraham.org last week, Franklin Graham noted the various incidents of persecution facing Christians throughout the world.
"The killing of Christians by Muslims from Indonesia to Bangladesh to Pakistan. China tearing down church buildings," wrote Graham. more >>
Actress Alexa PenaVega discussed the end times as they are found in the new rapture-inspired film "The Remaining" this week.
In theaters Sept. 5, "The Remaining" is based on Revelation 8-9 and follows a group of friends who are celebrating a wedding when apocalyptic events leave them fighting for their lives. At first, different beliefs divide the group, but the catastrophic events eventually lead them to a church where they must choose between redemption and survival. While the film did not change PenaVega's views on the story found in Revelation, the actress admitted its many complexities, for both believers and non-believers alike.
"I don't want people to be confused, because for a long time people were calling the things coming and attacking us [in the book of Revelation] demons," PenaVega told The Christian Post. "I don't know how to correct people, I don't know what the creatures are called but they certainly aren't demons. In the Bible, they are described as things that essentially God sends down to torture the people who are left - it sounds horrible! But that's the balance I try to find. How do you explain this to people who don't quite understand, and do it in a way that doesn't turn them away, but brings them closer?" more >>