I just realized that two hours have passed and I still haven't found a commentary that I like regarding the inevitable "year in review". As we all know, at this time of year, almost every news show and op-ed author must have an extensive coverage of the year in review - just this morning I have seen countless reviews of 2009 and what is in store for 2010. I guess I'll weigh in since I can't find a review commentary that seems fitting.
My opinion is just that - my opinion - so take it for what it is worth. I can't honestly say that my opinion holds any more value than the thousands of other opinions, but here it goes.
I believe it all starts with the Iran-Israel situation. I know this gets a lot of coverage on this blog, and as explained so many times, I personally believe this situation is the "triggering mechanism" for the remaining prophetic events to occur, leading into the Tribulation. The initial remaining events would, under this scenario, include Isaiah 17 (the destruction of Damascus) and Ezekiel 38-39 (aka "Gog-MaGog") and followed by the "confirmation" of the covenant described in Daniel 9:27, which is also the main indicator that the Tribulation has just begun.
I firmly believe that it will be impossible to see 12 more months pass without this situation coming to a head and all-out war breaking out. Iran is just too close to finalization of this program and Israel is too aware of this - as their leadership keeps reminding us. Additionally, we now see Ahmadinejad's clock ticking as his administration faces a serious threat internally.
There are many other scenarios that may play out, but to me, they won't have the same impact as the above. I believe we'll continue to see the "stage-setting", with the movement towards a global governance coming more and more into focus, and stemming from whatever perceived crisis is ginned up - whether its financial, health (pandemics etc), or security (fighting terrorism - whether real or perceived), just to name a few. But as big as such events may be, I still believe Iran-Israel overshadows all of these by a large margin.
So lets assume the world witnesses the Middle East explode - based on the situation between Iran and Israel.
As mentioned so many times in the past, Russia and Syria become involved immediately. The remaining Islamic world will also be inflamed to unprecedented levels. Bringing in the countries listed in Ezekiel 38 seems obvious, with surrounding regions such as Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, and of course the surrounding terrorists groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas will gleefully become involved.
I also believe Syria will implement the use of their chemical tipped missiles - at some point in the process - which could serve as the trigger for the Damascus destruction.
So what about the Rapture of the Church?
We know from prophetic scriptures that we cannot set dates for this historically "imminent" event, and I would never attempt such. But as mentioned before, I firmly believe that the Church will not be present to witness God's direct intervention during the Gog-MaGog battle, as this would be inconsistent with everything we know about the Church Age (recognizing that God can do whatever He wants, including His breaking of previous trends). This theory would necessitate that the Rapture would occur prior to Gog-MaGog. The implications of this idea are obvious.
Either way, I see two strong possibilities for 2010:
- The Middle East erupts, leading to the epic battle of Gog-MaGog and we are Raptured before its occurrence.
- The Middle East erupts, leading to the epic battle of Gog-MaGog and we are still here to witness this.
Either scenario has enormous implications for the believer and the rest of the world. It is very very hard to imagine things not coming to a head over the next 12 months, but of course God is ultimately in control and he can always put a halt in these scenarios as He so chooses.
But on the other hand, Jesus stated clearly that the end times prophetic "events" will occur like birth pains, and we know that birth pains progressively increase in frequency and intensity. There is no turning back once it gets started.
Once again, these are just my personal thoughts and opinions - so take them with a grain of salt. But I honestly believe that 2010 could be the year that we see our Lord and Saviour. If not - then 2010 will most likely be the year that, because of world events - we will have opportunities to witness like never before.
Either way - as directed by Jesus, we must be prepared. Prepared to either meet Jesus, or prepared to do His work in an environment filled with intense fear and uncertainty. In that scenario, could serve the Lord by being the light of truth.
Big things are coming. Lets be prepared.