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"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Special Series: Part Four: What's So Special About THIS Generation Anyway - and who is it?

Ok, so where we left off about three or so weeks ago was going into the question of what is the generation who would see all of these signs come to pass. Of course those signs took up several posts - four in all total. Then I got into a special report during this special series about Jesus with the posts “why so many people hate even the mention of Jesus”, “who is Jesus and why did he have to die” and another post about “being a ‘good’ person”. Now we are back on track with answering this question about the generation which will see the end of the age, also known as the “End Times”. There are many reasons why THIS is that generation and we will explore those in our post today and in subsequent smaller posts in the days following.

Once again, my extreme thanks to Jack Kinsella of the Omega Letter in providing the majority of this information through previous briefings that he wrote. My thanks to Jan Markell of Olive Tree Views for some of the information in here as well.

So without any further ado, let’s go ahead and tackle this question of “What’s So Special About This Generation Anyway – and who is it?”
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How Long IS a Generation?

In Matthew 24:34 Jesus tells his disciples; "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." We can’t figure out who this generation is without first knowing how long a generation actually is.

Lots of televangelists have wasted lots of time trying to calculate the exact time of the Lord's return. There is a book called 1994 by Harold Camping that concluded via mathematical gymnastics that the Lord would return in that year. Incredibly, Harold Camping continues to have a following.

There is also a popular myth that Hal Lindsey concluded in "The Late, Great Planet Earth" that the Rapture would happen in 1988. I've never understood how that myth ever got legs. LGPE was translated into fifty languages and sold more than 40 million copies. You'd think somebody would quote this alleged statement so I could find it. I can't. However, I do remember watching Jack Van Impe, in another one of his 'calculations' (as Greece became the 10th member of the EU in 1981) saying that the Lord would definitively return in 1988. Maybe Hal is being confused with JVI? (The Late, Great Planet Earth was published in 1969 when the EU had only seven members)

2 Peter 3:3 says that in the last days there will be ‘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.”

Some of these ‘scoffers’ are in the Church. They’ve heard the Lord was coming back in 1988, 1994, 1999, and even Jack Van Impe’s newly revised 2018. The only ones NOT disappointed are Jack’s new viewers who have only heard his latest ‘calculation’ and have to wait another 15 years to be disappointed – unless the Lord comes back – according to His Own schedule – before that.

Jesus said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:36). Since the Lord Himself has drawn a veil over that bit of information, it is spiritual insanity to try and peek behind the curtain.

But it is sensational and it sells books, draws audiences and garners donations. The date-setters prove that all the time by the size of their audiences, but it is also a principle of Scripture: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (2 Timothy 4:3)

However, in spite of that, there are almost no churches today that are preaching Christ’s return. The mainstream churches instead preach how to be a “positive thinker” and “if you just have enough faith then God will give you whatever you ask for” (the Word of Faith movement). They are also bringing new age teachings into the churches such as “since we are made in God’s image, we therefore are all ‘little gods’” and “Christian Yoga” which teaches inner meditation and mantras – an Eastern religion/new age teaching. The majority of the churches out there today are preaching how to bring man up to the level of God – it’s about man reaching up to God, instead of God reaching down to man to have that personal relationship with him.

Sensationalism has no place in the true Church. The truth is sensational enough all by itself. And truth never requires an apology later.

I recognize we’re an apathetic generation that loves to be entertained rather than think real serious thoughts. At least some feel that way. But there is one form of apathy I don’t get and that is the fact that people are yawning over the return of the King of kings and not yearning for it.

This is the greatest news on earth. Titus calls it our “blessed hope.” The Lord will put an end to all sorrow, sighing, tears, disasters, broken relationships, and more.

The apathy factor has grown since 9/11. America was torn for a few months and then many forgot because it wasn’t in their neighborhood. People went back to sleep while the evil doers in this country continue their plotting.

The tsunami of late 2004 shook some folks up when they saw the carnage and Hurricane Katrina did the same—for a while. But memories are short when it comes to bad news and apathy returned. But why the apathy to the good news that the King is coming? The world is starving for good, uplifting news. It doesn’t make the nightly news because to them only bad news counts! Christians have the best news on earth, and at the top of the list is that God has an end-time plan, and evil will be vanquished with the return of the Lord.

Then I realized that Jesus would return in the generation that wasn’t thinking about it! He says, “…be ready for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44). Our Lord said he would intentionally choose a time frame when many believers were indifferent and not waiting and watching.

I have concluded that we are the “think not” generation. As a matter of fact, if the Lord returned today He just might find some churches pretty cozy with a sinful world and some of them majoring in minors when it comes to even preparing people for eternity. The new “seeker-sensitive” church movement doesn’t want anybody to be uncomfortable and the message of Bible prophecy is labeled “doom and gloom.” What is “doom and gloom” about focusing on the eternal Home Jesus has prepared for His believing church? Yet church after church has tossed this wonderful, uplifting theme which is also the major theme of the Bible from beginning to the end.

If believers can get ecstatic about a sports event, why not about the return of the Lord? It doesn’t matter what view of eschatology one holds. Some believe in a Rapture and some in only the Second Coming. Either way, we need to be yearning and not yawning. Jesus rebuked the Jewish spiritual leaders of His day in Matthew 16 for not knowing the signs of the times or recognizing His first coming. I believe He is equally displeased that spiritual leaders and Christians today give little thought to His coming again. Jesus enthusiastically engaged His disciples in a discussion of His return in Matthew 24 – 25. From that I conclude that we can be assured that the quest for an understanding of His return is a worthy pursuit.

This world is not our home. God has prepared a glorious place for us. Life is short this side of Heaven. Sinners are lost and need to know this good news.

Now, to finish answering the question, how long is a generation? Let’s skip the calculations and genealogies and just look to the plain teaching of Scripture.

“And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)

And the LORD's anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed. (Numbers 32:13)

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (Psalms 90:10)

A ‘generation’, we are told by God Himself, cannot be calculated precisely, no matter what feats of mathematical prestidigitation are employed to try.

A generation is the length of time between a father and son.

The outside limits of a generation, according to Genesis is 120 years. A man’s normal lifespan, according to Psalms, is seventy years, except for the strong few who live to be eighty. The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years, until ‘all that generation’ had been consumed.

Jesus said it was impossible to calculate the day or hour, but that we would know when it was near, even at the door. Given the fact this generation has been anticipated for two thousand years, 120 years would qualify as ‘near, even at the door’ – as would 20, 40, 70 or 80 years.

Instead, what Jesus commanded the Church is to recognize the general time of the end and to conduct ourselves accordingly.

(“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:44)
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So, there is not really any true time to conclude as to how long a generation is, but there are some hints that Jesus gives us in the Bible as to which generation would see His return to take those who believe in Him and have trusted Him as their Lord and Savior home to escape the wrath of God to come. Here is some further information as to why we are THAT generation.
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Matthew 24:37 says: "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." To get a look at that distant, future, generation who would witness the return of Christ, Jesus tells us to look to that distant, past generation who witnessed the Great Flood.

The story of the days of ‘Noe’ or, Noah, begins with Genesis Chapter Six in which the 'sons of God' took wives from the 'daughters of men' (6:2).

First, the 'sons of God' - those are us, right? Wrong.

When the 70 Jewish scholars that worked on the Septuagint (a translation of the Old Testament Hebrew scriptures into Greek 300 years before Christ) translated the term ‘sons of God’ in Gen 6:2, they used ‘Angels of God’.

Some like to quote Matt 22:30 to prove that angels cannot marry or procreate, but Jesus was addressing the ‘angels in heaven’. Genesis 6 speaks not of the obedient angels in Heaven, but of FALLEN angels.

Furthermore, anytime angels are seen by humans they are seen as male (Gen 18:1-19:22, Mark 16:5-7, Luke 24:4-7, Acts 1:10-11) and in the Genesis 18:1-19:22 passage we even see (unfortunately) that the ungodly men of Sodom ‘desired’ the angels for themselves!

John 1:12 says that; "as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." While we, (the Church) have BECOME the 'sons of God' by the Power of Christ, Jesus said to look to the 'times of Noah'.

Genesis 6:2, 6:4, Job 2:6, 2:1, and Job 38:7 are the only Old Testament (pre-Jesus and pre-Church) references to the 'sons of God' and in every case, it refers to 'angels' -- without exception.

There are references to the 'sons of God' in Romans, Philippians and 1st John as consisting of the Church, the power to BECOME the 'sons of God' is unique to the Church Age, and was unknown in Noah's day.

The 'daughters of men' means exactly that -- the daughters of men. Making 'wives' of them is not figurative, either, as Genesis 6:4 says 'they bare children to them' that the Bible says later became the 'mighty men which were of old'.

In Genesis chapter 2, God promises a Redeemer who would be the 'seed of a woman'. Clearly, if Satan could pollute the human bloodline, he could break God's prophecy. Note that 6:8-9 say that Noah 'found grace in the eyes of the Lord' and that he was a 'just man and perfect in his GENERATIONS'.

God chose Noah out of His grace, Noah was not necessarily good or deserving, rather merely 'a just man' BUT he was 'PERFECT in his generations' -- untainted by the polluted bloodline of the angelic intermarriage.

Since Scripture doesn't say such angelic intermarriage takes place in the last days, most folks see Jesus' comment about Noah as prefiguring the Rapture.

That's true, but there's lots more there than that. Genesis Chapter 6 describes the most direct and unfettered contact between human beings in general and the spirit world recorded in the entire Bible -- apart from those recorded in the Revelation during the Tribulation Period.

Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah . .”

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (6:5)

It can be argued that television is imagination in a box. There, we vicariously live out all our dreams and fantasies. Somewhere on the cable dial, there is something for the imagination of everybody's heart. . .

So take a look at what is the imagination of the thoughts of THIS generation's heart. Porno, 'slasher' movies, Madonna, Brittany Spears, demon movies, movies about Satan -- THAT'S the 'imagination of our hearts' continually.

Popular culture today is full of the use of spirit guides, alien encounters, and open satanic worship. It will continue and it will increase.

If you have read anything of those who are allegedly in contact with the ‘aliens’ and ‘spirit guides’ you will notice the same claims coming through that these beings are going to show themselves physically to those on earth soon.

A similar, but seldom noted parallel is the unholy offspring of Genesis 6 and DNA and cloning research.

The corruption of the human race was the main reason for the Flood and we are in the process of corrupting it again.

In Luke 17:28, Jesus says of the last days; "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot.

The inhabitants of Sodom wanted Lot to turn the angels over to them (Genesis 18:-19:22). The thought behind this is that the men of Sodom thought that sexual union was possible. 2 Pet 2:4-5 and Jude 6-7 also throw some light onto this passage.

Jude tells us that the angels abandoned their proper abode and then contrasts their actions with that of Sodom and Gomorrah, who ‘in the same manner’ went after strange flesh.

The term ‘strange flesh’ means to go after an unnatural sexual union. For the men of Sodom it was homosexuality, but for these fallen angels it was inter-marrying with human women.

In any case, the parallel between Sodom and this generation's moral code is self-evident. You don't need me to prove that.

Jesus also said that in the last days the signs and wonders performed would be so great that ‘even the elect would be deceived if it were possible.’

The Bible warns, "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?" (2 Peter 3:2-3) Peter also uses the example of the Flood and the times of Noah to illustrate the importance of understanding the times in which we live.

It is not a stretch to argue that the strong delusion of 2 Thessalonians could be tied to the emergence of an alien spaceship or direct visible contact with aliens (which in reality are demonic encounters).

Maybe it sounds nutty, but it does tie in with the days of Noah, and Hollywood has certainly been getting people used to the idea in the last decade or two.

The Hale-Bopp cult was convinced enough to die for it.

It would also be a ‘powerful delusion’ strong enough to shake people’s belief to the core. Except that Jesus reminds us that all these things have been prophesied before they happen so that your hope will be firmly rooted in the truth of God’s word.

While other Christians scoff, argue that the Church has replaced Israel in God's Plan, that they've been hearing 'for ages' that the Lord is coming back, or that prophecy was all fulfilled back in AD 70, keep this thought in mind.

God has chosen a few out of this generation to be the watchmen on the wall.

Peter tells us, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (2 Peter 1:19)

Keep the faith. The King IS coming.

"Behold, I have told you before." (Matthew 24:25)
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Nic’s Notes: In order to not make this so long b/c there is so much information to cover on this topic, I will be breaking this report up in to smaller pieces over the next several days. This blog will be covering several reasons why we believe these are the last days and why this is the generation to see it – six reasons specifically, but more discussion on top of those six reasons. I hope you find the discussion eye-opening and thought provoking, especially if you have not taken the time yet to accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord of your life. It is the only way anyone will be able to escape the horror of what is to come before it happens.

After this generational discussion is over we will get into what the rapture is and reasons to believe the rapture will occur prior to the Tribulation – which nobody wants to be around for. The tribulation will turn into hell on earth for those who choose to accept Christ after the tribulation has occurred. It’s going to get interesting around here before much longer and if you have been reading these posts you will not be able to claim ignorance when you see these things that are to come actually happen before your very eyes. May God bless you as you ponder and consider the information that has been and will be put forth with an open mind and an open heart.

4 comments:

Kevin Gunn said...
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TE said...
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luck5-7 said...
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TE said...
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