“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:11-14).
All you have to do is look at the world around us and you will know that we are living in the season of the second appearance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us signs with which to help us gauge just where we are on the prophetic calendar. We are not to try and set a date, but we know we are close. The Rapture could be the very next event on God’s prophetic calendar and there is no time for spiritual slumber. We need to wake-up and be about God’s business because dawn is almost here.
Christians are called to righteous living because Jesus Christ is coming again. We live in the light of His Second Coming. It is our GREATEST hope and we are to be Christ-like, living soberly in anticipation of His return.
“Therefore, we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5: 9-10).
Let me say it again: It is my opinion that the NEXT biblical event to happen could be the Rapture. And we need to live in the shadow of the imminent return of Jesus Christ, living as wholesome a life as we can, never taking our eyes off the Savior.
We are 2000 years closer to the Second Coming than when the New Testament was written. And all the signs are here. Ever since Jesus walked the earth, we have had horrific weather patterns, brutality to our fellow man and apostasy in the church, to name just a few. But it is not the event that is as important as the frequency. Right now everything is in hyper-drive. And the key to all events is Israel. We know we are in the last days because Jesus said that when the signs spoken of in Matthew 24:3-34 begin to be fulfilled (and Israel becomes a nation again), then He is near, right at the door! I believe that the prophecy of Israel’s rebirth kick started this end-times clock and we are now headed for the climatic end of this church age and the glorious return of Jesus!
There are many signs that tell us we are now living in the end-times. For those who are serious followers of Bible prophecy, you already know all of this. But for those who may have just discovered the prophetic side of God’s Word or are recently saved, this may help to summarize some of what is going on now. It is by no way comprehensive. But I love lists. I love to read about the 20 signs that Jesus is coming soon or the 12 reasons why this or that might happen. It’s just how I am.
Ø Increased apostasy in the church. I have never seen in my life such a twisting of the gospel, taking place in the very church that claims it is the body of Christ! We have always had people who were agnostic or atheists (actually, just lazy and content in their sin), but the level of such hatred for Jesus Christ boggles my mind. The evil that is being spewed out of the mouths of our “trusted” pastors is shocking. There is much more interest in social justice than biblical truth. The Word of God has been watered down and made benign to the point where it is hardly recognizable any longer. God is now a woman, Cain and Abel were gay, Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children and moved to Japan (I saw the monument myself while stationed there), and everybody is going to heaven because we are basically good people. Many believe that “God helps those who help themselves.” Really? I’ve never read that in the Bible. And when you have famous people irresponsibly regurgitating this nonsense, more people believe it.
Ø Monumental increases in earthquakes, severe and extreme weather patterns, floods, droughts, pestilences, and even sink holes! It seems every time we have an extreme weather event, it is classified as the “event of the century” only to be replaced by another “event of the century.” There is a heat wave going on in Alaska which makes living here in Florida seem not so uncomfortable. This is after a history making winter with colder than normal temperatures throughout spring and bringing with that flooding and evacuations (once the heat hit). I’m talking about Alaska! The largest tornado ever recorded just hit Oklahoma recently and India is experiencing the worst flooding ever to hit that region, with the death toll at one-thousand and rising. Colorado is burning, drought is everywhere, and we are still witnessing massive numbers of wildlife dying for unknown reasons. And the list just keeps on growing.
Ø We are also seeing the worldwide hatred of Israel for no other reason than they are Jews. Satan absolutely hates God’s people. Why? Because it was through this nation that God showed Himself to man. It is through the Jewish nation that Jesus came down here to set in motion God’s plan of salvation, conceived from the foundation of the world, so that sinners like us could share in the glory that is God’s. Satan hates with a hate that we cannot even comprehend. And those who shun God and shun His people are fools. The world as a whole is siding against Israel and making her the scapegoat, if you will, for everything bad that has ever happened, and anti-Semitism is on the rise. Many European countries are refusing to purchase Israeli goods on the world market in protest against her alleged “abusive” treatment of the Palestinian people, which is just another lie that had its origin with their “esteemed” leader (gag) Yasser Arafat. Israel is being blamed for the woes of the Palestinian people and the world believes this rubbish! I guess it is easier to believe a lie than to take the time to research the truth.
Ø The nations in the Middle East are building for war. Syria is on the verge of an apocalyptic event prophesied thousands and thousands of years ago (Isaiah chapter 17, Damascus will be destroyed) and Assad is more than willing to start a war in an attempt to unite all the Arab countries against Israel. That would definitely take the heat off of him for the wholesale slaughtering of his own people. Russia is beginning to maneuver itself into position off the coast of Syria prior to the eventual start of the Ezekiel 38-39 war. Iran is on the verge (if they are not there already) of developing nuclear weapons and then being able to attach those warheads to a missile enabling them to hit Israel with a nuclear bomb. (Don’t worry God won’t let that happen.) But the posturing goes on. The Muslim Brotherhood is consolidating its regional power with the entire Arab world and Turkey has turned its back on a once good friend, Israel, and is embracing radical Islam. And the world is praising the newly elected president of Iran, Hasan Rouhani, because they are under the delusion that he is a moderate and now peace will come to the region. He is no moderate. He is just packaged differently.
Ø Filth and corruption is running rampant in our society and our government. Condoning homosexuality as a “normal” way of life, accusing Christians of being “intolerant” when, in actuality, the accusers are the ones that are intolerant of Christians. Even our government (federal and local) are jamming “alternate lifestyles” down the throats of our children and indoctrinating them to believe that this incredibly perverse lifestyle is okay, even preferred. Our government is having a free-for-all with our hard earned money and stomping on the Constitution in the process. Every day our rights are being eroded away and there is very little protest. Look at what happened in Boston. Talk about a dry run for Martial Law (only they changed the name) and the people of Boston accepted it with no complaints. The Supreme Court has ruled to invalidate the “Defense of Marriage Act”. I see The Book of Romans description of a reprobate mind in chapter one applicable here.
Ø Satanic activity is on the rise. Removing prayer in the classroom; criminalizing any expression of Christ in the military (yes, they may have backed off a bit on this, but it will reemerge); no nativity scenes allowed on government property (but you can openly celebrate Ramadan); the name of Jesus (the most precious name ever) is blasphemed and used as a swear word; Christians and their beliefs are openly ridiculed and made fun of on television and in movies by our wonderful self-proclaimed role models in Hollywood and there is no outrage. However, don’t say a bad word about Allah. In this country you have the freedom to stomp on the name of Jesus without fear of retribution (at least in this world). But over in the Middle East, say one negative thing about Allah or Mohammad and there would probably be a death warrant put out on you. If caught, you would be tortured and beaten and murdered in a most horrific manner and people would rejoice. To call that religion evil is an understatement.
Ø Our youth would rather focus on comic book superheroes (i.e., Iron Man, Superman, Spiderman) and spend time playing their interactive war games on their IPads or on their IPhones, or feed their addiction to Facebook, and Twitter instead of learning about the God that created them. (Please forgive me I am technologically illiterate.) My phone has a calculator and a world clock! Zombies and vampires are the “heroes” of choice now and a novel about sadomasochism attractively packaged has replaced the Bible in some hotels. Mind numbing “reality” shows are taking over the airwaves and our children are being indoctrinated to believe that life isn’t worth living if you don’t own shoes made by Christian Louboutin or Louis Vuitton.
Ø Worldwide, the suicide rate is up because it is perceived that there is no more hope in the world. Economies are failing, people are living paycheck to paycheck in constant fear that the bubble will burst and their entitlements from the government will run out.
Ø Christians are being persecuted more than ever before, especially in Africa and the Middle East. And, praise the Lord, Muslims are converting over to Christianity at an astounding rate and at considerable risk to their very lives. In Nigeria, a pastor refused to renounce his belief in Jesus Christ and Islamic extremists then proceeded to slit his throat. Every day we are hearing more and more reports of believers being slaughtered in the name of Allah.
Ø Laws in Europe (specifically Belgium) are up for vote to allow children with health issues (autism, terminal diseases) to be able to choose euthanasia instead of living. This law, if passed, could allow caregivers or doctors to decide if an Alzheimer’s patient should live or die. Life is becoming a not so precious commodity any longer.
Ø And Big Brother is now here. Our emails, phone calls and Internet searches are being monitored: by our government all in the name of the “War on Terror.”
You can walk in a thousand breast cancer walks, or you can spearhead a local/global campaign to end hunger or save the Smelt, but your efforts will be futile. As long as sin is in the world, there will be hunger and disease, evil and misery. You may be able to cure breast cancer, but there are dozens upon dozens of other cancers left to ravage our flesh. You can recycle every soda can ever produced but the planet will continue to die. Until Jesus comes back and sin is removed permanently from this earth, you will NEVER cure or fix anything. God did make us stewards of His creation and we do have an obligation to help the poor and feed the hungry and to care for what God has given us; however, our first and foremost job is to preach the gospel and pray continuously.
You don’t have to be a John MacArthur or a Billy Graham to do your part in spreading the gospel. Be kind to people and through your kindness they will know what king you serve. Place all of your cares and concerns onto Jesus – He has very big, shoulders. And He promised to care for us and be there, even unto the end of the age. I believe it was Hilary Clinton that said, “Never waste a good crisis.” And I say the same thing to you. When the next crisis surfaces, use it as an opportunity to tell people about God’s prophetic word and His plan for salvation. People listen when there is chaos. The world is fast becoming a scary place and people want to know what to do. You cannot save anyone─only the Holy Spirit can truly convict someone. But He uses you as a link to that person’s heart. Who knows, you may be the catalyst that causes the final person to become saved to usher in the Rapture. What a thought! In a recent teaching tape I was listening to from John MacArthur, he summed it up very well. To the unsaved, we need to show love as God loves and also kindness, goodness and compassion as well. Then tell them what is coming when we die and offer them the gospel. It is our calling.
“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:7-8).
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7).
“You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near” (James 5: 8).
Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!