Almost 2,000 years ago, the apostle Peter prophesied that in the last days scoffers would appear, arguing against the possibility of Christ’s return. The very argument he said they would use is today one of the most common among skeptics:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4 (KJV)
In addition to ignoring Christ’s own promise to return, this argument is built upon a faulty premise: that “for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Is this really true?
In light of bible prophecy, simple observation would argue otherwise.
Things Continue Just As They Have For Nearly 2,000 Years
Just as the apostle Peter prophesied nearly 2,000 years ago, this is the most common argument put forth by the non-believing public. They argue that same signs of Christ’s return have appeared to previous generations – all of whom believed Jesus would return in their lifetime. But is this true? In making this argument, such people regard their proclamation that “everything has remained just the same since Jesus left” as some sort of self-evident truth. And, as we all know, things are pretty much the same now as they were in the first century. Right?
Does anyone really believe this? Or do they simply delude themselves into believing it?
This is such an absurd position that, in order to argue it, one must believe the following events are normal and not unprecedented as history would otherwise suggest:
1) The Gathering of the Jews in Israel
Numerous biblical prophecies foretold of the re-gathering of Israel as a nation. Approximately 2,700 years ago, God revealed to the prophet Ezekiel a “Valley of Dry Bones” (Ezekiel Chapter 37). God spoke of these bones (the Jews) gathered together and covered with flesh and muscles (re-gathered from the nations) with life being breathed into them (a dead nation brought to life once again).
“Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.” Ezekiel 37:11-13 (KJV)
Beginning in the late 19th Century, the birth of the Zionist movement culminated in the gradual emigration of Jews from all over the world to resettle the land of Israel. Each decade the number of returning Jews increased, until finally the nation of Israel came to life once again in 1948.
The claim that “everything has remained the same” since Christ first appeared doesn’t account for the nation of Israel. In 1948, Ezekiel’s prophecy was fulfilled right before the eyes of bible prophecy skeptics, and the world hasn’t been the same since.
2) Israel Becomes a Nation in a Single Day
In addition, the bible prophesied that when Israel became a nation again, it would do so in a single day:
“Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.” Isaiah 66:8-9 (KJV)
This event occurred in our generation on May 14, 1948. From the year A.D. 70 to A.D. 1948 – the overwhelming majority of the time since Christ first appeared – Israel did not exist as a nation.
The claim that “everything has remained the same” since Christ first appeared just doesn’t make sense. The nation of Israel exists once again, and just as the bible stated, it came into existence in a single day.
3) Jerusalem and Judah Will Become a Burdensome Stone to the World
The bible prophesied that, in the last days, Jerusalem and Judah would become a burden to the world. In fact, they would become irresistible targets to neighboring nations who would send their armies to besiege and conquer:
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:2-3 (KJV)
This prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes. Since 1948, the nation of Israel has been besieged, at one time or another, by every neighboring nation in its geographic vicinity. Against great odds, the modern state of Israel has fought and survived four major wars – in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 – as well as numerous violent conflicts. Today, the City of Jerusalem, and Israel itself, are the epicenter of world attention. The Arab threat of war over Jewish possession of Israel and Jerusalem is a constant threat to world peace and international stability, making this geographic area a heavy burden on the world’s leaders.
The idea that this is simply “business as usual” or that “everything has remained the same” since Christ first appeared is utterly ridiculous. Despite its historical prominence, Jerusalem has never been “a burden for the world” until our generation.
4) The Rise of the Gog / Magog Alliance
The bible prophesies that, in the last days, Russia and a coalition of Muslim nations led by Iran will gather a horde of armies together in an effort to wipe Israel off the map. Israel will appear defenseless in the face of this massive invasion force with none of its worldly allies willing to come to its defense. However, God is Israel’s greatest ally, and He vows to make his presence known to the entire world by supernaturally destroying the armies allied against Israel:
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” Ezekiel 38:14-16 (KJV)
Is this business as usual? A coalition of these particular nations has never existed in history – at least until the present generation. Today, Russia and Iran are integral partners in a strategic anti-Western alliance. The other nations mentioned by Ezekiel are all anti-Western Muslim nations, and it’s not unreasonable to believe they would join Russia and Iran in a quest to destroy Israel.
5) Calls for Global Government
The bible also prophesies that, in the last days, one man will rule the world via global government:
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Revelation 13:7 (KJV)
Although this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled, our generation has been witness to unprecedented global cooperation and interdependence. Ours is the first generation in history that could seriously consider global government. In fact, given the current trend of technological development, global government will soon become a necessity.
As a result, the claim that “everything has remained the same” since Christ first appeared is just plain absurd. The prospect of a truly global government has never been realistic for any generation in human history. But for our generation, it remains a very real possibility.
6) The Increasing Power of Human Technology
Is human technology the same now as it was in past generations?
Prior to our generation, most students of bible prophecy found it extremely difficult to comprehend certain end times prophecies. However, with the development of advanced technologies, many students can now see how such prophecies could be fulfilled.
For instance, how could the whole world “stare at the bodies” of the two witnesses in Revelation 11?
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” Revelation 11:7-10 (KJV)
For the first time in history, this prophecy can be fulfilled through worldwide satellite coverage on cable news networks. As of now, the poorest people in the world don’t have access to cable news networks, but the cost of video technology is declining rapidly. As a result, it’s not difficult to imagine a day in the not too distant future when the entire world population has access to high-bandwidth video feeds via cell phones, PDAs, or other handheld devices, making it easy for them to view an unfolding event in real time.
The amazing increase in the power of human technology in our generation opens the door for the fulfillment of such prophecies as the world looking at the bodies of the two witnesses, the Antichrist controlling world commerce, and the Antichrist conquering the entire world in a short period of time. Therefore, with each passing day, the notion that “everything has remained the same” since Christ first appeared continues to lose its credibility.
7) A Dramatic Increase in Travel and Knowledge
Over 2,600 years ago, it was revealed to the prophet Daniel that the end times would be marked by a noticeable increase in human travel and knowledge:
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4 (KJV)
According to the Book of Daniel, two things will markedly increase just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
Not only have transportation and knowledge increased, but their power and widespread use have done so exponentially. Simple observation has clearly shown this to be the case in the centuries since Daniel first recorded this prophecy.
Knowledge and transportation are now widely available to both rich and poor now more than at any other time in human history. In generations past, most people never wandered more than a short distance from their childhood homes. Today, people routinely fly to the other side of the globe and back. In generations past, the world’s collective knowledge could be summed up in few hundred books. Today, millions of books and billions of Internet documents illustrate the unprecedented explosion in human knowledge.
Given the clearly observable dramatic increase in humanity’s knowledge base and ability to travel, how can anyone buy into the notion that “everything has remained the same since before the times of our ancestors”?
The seven prominent events outlined above are not the only events unique to our generation, yet they serve as a clear signal to the human race that ours is the generation that will witness Christ’s return.
Obviously, everything has not remained the same since Christ first appeared. Just look at the world around us. Yet for hundreds of years after Christ first appeared, the world was relatively unchanged. Today, there’s no denying it is significantly different.
Christ commanded us to be alert to this time – to be alert to the signs of His coming. In fact, He rebuked the Pharisees for not recognizing the signs of His first coming, for they had full knowledge of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies, yet still chose not to believe in Him:
“The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” Matthew 16:1-3 (KJV)
Jesus fully expected the world to be waiting and to recognize the time of His first coming. As we patiently await His second coming, he holds our generation to the same standard of accountability. We have full access to, and knowledge of, the prophecies of His second coming. The signs of His return are loud and clear. They are all around us. Israel is once again a nation. Travel and knowledge have increased exponentially. The Gog/Magog Alliance is forming, and scoffers are abundant.
People who argue Jesus isn’t coming back because “ever since His time things have remained exactly the same” regard themselves as clever and discerning. They view those of us who hold this hope as fools engaged in wishful thinking. Yet, it is their logic which is foolishness in the eyes of God. Simple observation forces their argument to collapse like a house of cards, and the folly of their unbelief will be exposed on the day of His return. For just as Peter prophesied that scoffers would use a faulty premise in arguing against Christ’s return, he also affirmed Christ’s promise that the day of Lord will certainly come:
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:8-10 (KJV)
Jesus is coming soon. The wise person will take note and make preparations accordingly.
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Revelation 22:12-13 (KJV)
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