How Soon the Tribulation Temple? Part I -- By: Thomas S. McCall

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 128:512 (Oct 1971)
Article: How Soon the Tribulation Temple? Part I
Author: Thomas S. McCall

How Soon the Tribulation Temple?
Part I

Thomas S. McCall

[Thomas S. McCall, Missionary-in-Charge, Southwestern Region, American Board of Missions to the Jews, Dallas, Texas.]


A startling possibility is that one may be living in the generation which will see the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple, the temple predicted for the tribulation era. Rumors and speculations about the temple are rampant during these days of swift development, and one must be careful to sift out the truth in the light of biblical prophecy and the hope of the imminent rapture of the Church.

The fact is that there are serious intentions among a minority of Jews to rebuild the temple. If these intentions become realities in the very near future, how should such a development be interpreted by the Christian who is anchored in the Word of God?

Recent Events in the Temple Area

An event of profound prophetic significance took place on June 7, 1967. It was on that date, during the famous Six-Day Arab-Israeli War, that Israel repossessed the site of the Temple area in the old city of Jerusalem, after almost 1900 years of Gentile possession.1 Innumerable Christians were then reminded of the prophecy made by the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Luke 21:24: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” It is clear that the Jewish people are once more in possession of the ancient city of Jerusalem,

including the temple area, and they are determined that no power on earth will remove them from that spot again. Many Christians who believe the Word of God, therefore, are beginning to wonder if the temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and if so, how and when it will come to pass. Christianity Today stressed this fact in a recent editorial: “As long as the Old City was in Jordanian hands, the ancient dream of a rebuilt temple could conveniently be left in the category of dreams. But with the union of all Jerusalem under Jewish control, the dream assumed realistic outlines, and the challenge to rebuild the temple, with its host of difficult political and religious questions, loomed large.”2 But not only are Christians asking this question. Some Jewish leaders are also seriously considering the possibility of rebuilding the temple, as Rabbi Halberstam stresses: “When Jerusalem was in foreign hands the question always arose: ‘When can we rebuild our beloved Temple?...

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