“Jesus is coming soon!” they have boldly proclaimed. And the truth is, people in each generation before us, who were convinced that they would be the last, were obviously wrong.
We’ve heard all of this before and most have grown weary and tired of any conversation or warnings about end times:
“My preacher doesn’t preach about it, the Sunday school teacher doesn’t teach about it, so why should I even think about it? Weren’t we told that no man would know the day or hour? That ought to settle it. And Hal Lindsey, is he even still living? Hand me the remote please!”
Hold on, don’t change that channel just yet. Can we really know? Are we really at the very end of days? It’s an important question and one I believe the Bible answers clearly, so let’s begin…
Jesus gave us an important end-time prophecy shortly before His crucifixion, which is recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. Jesus’ disciples wanted to know what to watch for…
“Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3).
Jesus responded with a somber warning: ”Watch out that no one deceives you.” Jesus knew that His answer held eternal consequences and wasn’t suggesting that we be passive spectators. No, He was commanding us to stay wide awake as we watch for certain signs—clear indications that would alert us to His soon return.
Matthew, a Jewish tax collector and disciple of Jesus, penned it this way:
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24: 42-44).
That’s about as clear as it gets! I hope you agree.
How about another Jewish disciple, Mark. What was his message? Glad you asked…
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 13:28-30, 35-37). Is that clear enough? It should be.
And Luke, the doctor, the gentile Christian, what was his take? Again, glad you asked…
“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
The Bible speaks volumes about the uncertain times in which we live and the Lord does not want any of us to be unprepared: Watch, pay attention, be alert, be vigilant, on guard, focused and fully awake! Could His instruction be any clearer? How prepared is this world for “the Lord Himself to come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God?” (1 Thess. 4:16).
Many recent headlines and significant events that have come to pass in both this nation and around the world should draw us into God’s Word to help us sort it all out. But I don’t see that happening, I see a world asleep to the realities of what the Bible says, the masses seemingly without even a clue. So what are we watching for? What are our greatest clues? For those of us who are paying attention, the evidence just keeps mounting and escalating, both in intensity and frequency.
And it all begins and ends with Israel, the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish people. For the end to come and any of this matter, He who scattered the Jews had to bring them back into the land and make them a nation again, 1948, check. Jerusalem had to become whole again under Jewish sovereignty, 1967, check. The primary “sign” that would mark the end of the age was in place, the “fig tree” had re-blossomed and we would know that summer is near!
The birth pangs could begin! Now, can you tell me what day of any week that there isn’t an international news story surrounding this tiny nation? Jerusalem has become “a stone too heavy and the whole world is reeling over Jerusalem” (Zech. 12:3). The attention of the world remains riveted on “dividing” the land of Israel and the diplomatic effort is being led by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
We continue to watch a world that is enthralled in wars and rumors of wars. Islamic terrorism is the new norm in the Middle East. ISIS through evil, horror and beheadings has consolidated borders of a new “caliphate” and have their eyes set upon Jerusalem. Ayatullah Khamenei threatens to annihilate Israel and marches Iran defiantly toward a nuclear bomb. Putin continues to flex his muscles after leading Russia to take over Crimea in Ukraine. Where will he end? I think I know where, because God has told us—in Ezekiel 38.
The United States of America, led by Barack Hussein Obama, has embarked upon a course to challenge and redefine God’s family order, and now it’s a race toward all 50 states with new gay marriage laws. He has methodically and dangerously led this nation to a diminished stature as a world superpower. But the greatest danger is that there’s a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him.
We have removed God and prayer from our children in schools and are shocked at the breaking news of yet another tragic shooting. How about the unprecedented increase in violent earthquakes and volcanoes all over the world? Ebola, drought, famine, where does it end? The headlines paint a picture of a world feeling birth pangs.
And then there is the unmistakable sign of the false teachings coming from so many churches. No need to teach truth or sound doctrine, it might offend or convict someone of sin and a need for the Savior. To stay relevant in a changing world, many will marry same-sex couples, ordain homosexual clergy, and by the way—there’s no need to talk about repentance.
Are they serious?
God help us!
He said that: “Day” would not come except there be a falling away first (2 Thess. 2:3.) That falling apostate church has arrived and is on full display.
And then there are the signs coming out of the heavens. God is aligning the sun, moon, and stars for an extremely rare tetrad of four blood moons in 2014 and 2015 that all appear on Jewish Feast days and also during a Shemitah year.
We are there folks. For the first time in 2000 years, you and I are seeing the many signs of a generation that the Hebrew prophets spoke of long ago. Thousands of years of Jewish history is about to reach its final climax, and we have a front row seat. Something big is about to happen that will change the course of world history.
Let’s get personal for a moment…What road is your life on? What map are you using to get to the right gate? What God is your life serving? Your answers and your testimony matter, and the One and Only, “I AM” God suggests the following…
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes” (Luke 12:35-37).