By Laila Barnes
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
The Bible is unfolding before our eyes with a Matthew 24 verse in reference to the end times “There will be wars and rumors of wars” and “earthquakes in diverse places.”
This week alone, the world has seen 266 earthquakes and counting in various parts of the world, including the United States, western Afghanistan, Japan and Chile, to name a few.
Earthquakes aren’t the only groundbreaking news this week. The war between the Nation of Israel and Hamas continues, leaving many injured, deceased, and displaced from their homelands. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas just days after Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud spoke of a nearing peace between the Islamic nation and the nation of Israel. The prince has since rested conversation about a deal with Israel amid the recent Hamas-Israeli conflict.
As the series of end time events continue to unfold, people of various faith backgrounds join in the war efforts by taking up their “weapon of prayer” for peace.
All eyes are on Israel, as many biblical scholars believe it is the time clock for the prophetic return of the messiah.
Local pastor with over 40 years of ministry experience Pastor Sonia Badger sheds light on the controversy in a recent interview.
Recounting her studies, Badger explained, “The Bible says Israel is the time clock. Those statements from Matthew 24 were made by Jesus because the disciples asked him what were the signs of the end.”
Badger continues referencing Hebrews 11 and the book of Revelation as having significance to modern-day conflicts. Badger, along with many other scholars, decided the Laodicean church mentioned in Revelations 3:14-22 as including our time (the present day) as it represents the last period of time in history.
What exactly do Christians believe will follow these catastrophic events? Badger said, The rapture or “great snatching away will happen – the messiah will gather the remaining saints on the earth to meet him in the sky, while those remaining on the earth will enter into a seven-year tribulation period, even some who professed to “know Christ.” See 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Matthew 7.
Badger said, “The Bible says Jesus is going to come in mid-air and call his church, or ecclesia, away. The governing body of believers who are looking for him are following him right now and listening to him.
“Anyone who isn’t raptured will have to go through the tribulation; if they stand for Jesus, they will be martyred, possibly they will have to get the mark of the beast in their hand or in their forehead or they won’t be able to buy or sell,” Badger said. That is now believed to be a microchip implant currently being used in the United States as a form of payment.
The fate of the rest of the world aside, Israel is believed to be God’s chosen people, yet according to the Bible the very people who rejected the notion of Jesus the Christ being the Messiah, that said may wonder what the fate of the non-messianic Jews will be.
“When he came the first time, they didn’t recognize that Jesus was the lamb, so they’re going to offer sacrifices again (as the Jews did in ancient biblical history) when they rebuild the temple. The Bible speaks of an “Abomination of desolation,” an event in which the antichrist will go in the middle of the temple, install an AI/technological idol of himself, and people will be required to bow down to it. Biblical doctrine follows this event with instructions for the Jews to run to the Judean mountains in Israel where survival essentials are currently being stored.
The most frequently asked question for Christian apologists:
Why would a loving God allow such devastation?
As a rebuttal, Badger offered the free will argument stating “God has given us free choice, free will and it is up to us to make a decision for him or not.” Consistent with the argument if a believer is wrong, they’ve lived a disciplined life in accordance with biblical principles, and they gain nothing, but if one who does not believe/practice is wrong, there is an eternity of hell to pay.”
Biblical scholars believe we are all given the opportunity to not only evade what is believed to be eternal separation from God, but further be rewarded for the way we’ve spent our lives.
This is a Niagara University student-created piece completed as part of the course CMS 226A. For more information, contact the Niagara Frontier Publications’ managing editor.