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Year Of The Lord's Favor
by Wayne Blank
Ever more, it seems, those who try to do right are viewed as somehow wrong. Good Christian principles of honesty and morality are considered to be backward or foolish (see Fools For Christ). But that is just the beginning. There is coming a time, referred to in prophecy as "the great tribulation," (see The Mysterious "666") when holding to Christian truth, according to God's Word in The Holy Bible, is going to be the cause of terrible persecution for those who remain faithful. See What Is Sin? and What Is A Saint?
When it is all over, the world is going to be a very different place - a much better place. First, a little preview of The Return of Jesus Christ, as described by The Lord Himself -
"Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken [see Signs In The Heavens and A Huge Mountain, All Ablaze]. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:29-31)
The Book of Isaiah contains many prophecies that are dual in nature. Some referred to the return of Israelites (i.e. in that case the southern Kingdom of Judah) after their Babylonian captivity (see Why Babylon?), while some referred to both the return of Israelites after their Babylonian captivity and a great future return of Israelites from the captivity that they are yet to endure. Please keep in mind that while all Jews are Israelites, not are Israelites are Jews (see Jews At War With Israel). There are still the so-called "Lost Ten Tribes" in this world, right now, to whom this prophecy applies far more directly -
"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of The Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of The Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of The Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast." (Isaiah 61:1-6)
Fact Finder: If God doesn't cut short the coming tribulation, how many people would survive?