Right now, we are in this year 2020, and this is the year when the world changes. We all know about a virus from China, and violent demonstrations in the streets. Life has changed in a big way. And then we had an explosion in Beirut Lebanon. At this time, more than a hundred are confirmed dead, and searchers are still looking for bodies.
Apparently, a ship filled with Ammonium Nitrate was abandoned in Beirut harbor a few years ago. High nitrogen fertilizer, if that was the product, is very dangerous. I have worked in transportation safety, and that fertilizer mixed with petroleum, is as explosive as dynamite. It was used by terrorists to blow up a government building in Oklahoma City, and do you know the meaning of TNT? That powerful explosive is Tri-Nitro Toluene. Toluene is petroleum, and nitrogen is in products like fertilizer.
Beirut was just waiting for the explosion, and it was like an atomic bomb without the radiation.
Lebanon is in the heart of the Middle East, and it has a border with Israel. To avoid trouble, the government of Israel gave a statement right after the explosion. They want the world to know that they did not cause the explosion and they don’t want World War Three to start from an industrial accident.
The Bible tells us many things about the future and the end of our time in history, and all the predictions in Bible prophecy center on Israel. So, in this year 2020, as the whole world changes, is something happening next to Israel? Is God doing something?
Is something important to Bible prophecy happening in this year 2020? That would fit with everything else that is happening.
The Bible tells us about the beginning of the end, for our time in history; “And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2: 6 and 7)
Evil forces exist in this world, but they are restrained, and the end will begin when the restraining forces are removed. That is a common pattern in history. We only see the events; we don’t see the spiritual forces directing those events. In 1914, World War One started, and after four years, it changed the world. Whatever was removed by the war allowed for the rise of Communism, and then the Great Depression, and the rise of Hitler and his allies, and World War Two. That all led to the re-start of the nation of Israel in 1948, after thousands of years of extinction.
The new Israel was a miracle, and it was promised in Bible prophecy. From that time, Christians started to give more attention to what the Bible tells us about our future, and it all started when the restraints were removed in World War One.
From about 1950, as we watched and read our Bibles, the world was mostly stable, with the cold war and prosperity for many countries, except in the Middle East, where there was much conflict and wars every few years. During the times of violence in the Middle East, one country was mostly stable, like the Switzerland of the Middle East: Lebanon.
In the modern history of Israel in the Middle East, and civil war in places like Syria, and wars in Iraq, the nation of Lebanon was a force for restraint and stability. They did have their own civil war, but it did not expand into the region, and eventually it ended. Modern history would have been much worse without Lebanon.
At the beginning of this year, 2020, prosperity and stability started disappearing in the world. Israel and the Middle East were better off than many parts of the world, for the first half of 2020; and then the explosion happened in Beirut.
I am not wishing for the collapse of Lebanon, but that is a possibility now. Probably, that nation will not continue to be a stable force in the region.
A force that restrains has been taken away.
We don’t need a conspiracy theory here; a virus from China has infected the whole world, and now a restraining force has been removed from the border of Israel. Both of those things really happened, and we did not see them coming. Anyone who predicted those events a year ago would have been labeled a lunatic, but here we are.
We have clear instructions directly from Jesus. We are supposed to see, and to look and to know; it will be clear to us when a big change is coming. These are basic activities in the Christian life.
Jesus told us:
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. … Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. (Luke 21: 28 to 31)