Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Israel

Although it does not exist today, the Jewish Temple is undoubtedly an important part of end times Bible prophecy, and we can easily point to relatively recent events to see how it is shaping up to become a major event.   Several significant places in prophetic scripture refer to the temple.  

At this point in time, it would be nothing short of a miracle for the rebuilding of the temple to happen, given all the unrest and conflict concerning the Temple Mount right now between the Israelis and Palestinians.  Yet, statistically, we have a much greater chance now than has ever been possible because in 1967 Israel took control of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War.  

Of course, just as the Bible has been right in all its prophecies, we know this is going to happen because Scripture tells us it will.  In essence, the rebuilding of the temple will set up the “abomination that causes desolation” described so clearly in Daniel 9:27, explicitly referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15, and later mentioned by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.  Therefore, it’s interesting that currently many Jews want to rebuild the temple, and even now are preparing to do so.  According to the Temple Institute’s Statement of Principles,

The Temple Institute is dedicated to all aspects of the Divine commandment for Israel to build a house for G-d’s presence, the Holy Temple, on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The range of the Institute's involvement with this concept includes education, research, activism, and actual preparation. Our goal is firstly, to restore Temple consciousness and reactivate these “forgotten” commandments. We hope that by doing our part, we can participate in the process that will lead to the Holy Temple becoming a reality once more.

The Rapture, however, may occur before or after the temple is finally built.  Other verses that support the Rapture will be sudden and unexpected (imminent) include:

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)

    "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42)

    "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44).

    "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." (Matthew 25:13).
It is quite clear that the Bible explains the Rapture can occur at any moment.  Therefore, as we go about our daily lives as described in Luke 17:26-36 (eating and drinking, marrying, working, building, etc.), we should follow the words of Jesus in Luke 21:36, "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

For more information about that topic and many others, a good resource to help understand Bible prophecy is a book called, Pray That You May Escape.

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