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In these passages is the account of John the Baptist beginning his ministry of preparing ‘the way of the Lord.’ John preached to the people that they needed to repent of their sins. Many came to John at the Jordan River. John baptized them as they confessed their sins. John was preparing the world to hear Jesus’ words and to make them receptive to Jesus’ teaching. Just as John prepared the world for Jesus’ first appearance, God will prepare the world for Jesus’ second appearance. However, God’s preparations for Jesus’ second appearance will not be as gentle as John’s preaching. God will cleanse the world of sin by killing those who are given over to sin, those who reject God. This will happen during a period the Bible calls the great tribulation. The 3 1/2 year period just prior to Jesus’ return will be characterized by wars, plagues, and famine. Millions will be killed. Those that survive will witness Jesus’ return to the earth.  Jesus will return in great glory, descending from the heavens with his army of angels. Jesus and his army will also destroy those who are marching against Jerusalem. The Bible says that it will be a great slaughter. After it is complete, Jesus will reside in Jerusalem where he will reign as king of the earth for 1000 years.

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