Over the past few issues I have been looking at the signs that Jesus and His apostles spoke about which point to His return one day to this planet. We know we are in the ‘end times’ as far as the Church Age is concerned according to Peter when he preached on the Day of Pentecost.
But, putting all the signs together regarding Jesus’ near return, we see by studying them that they all have been coming together in the recent past, and that they all seem to be converging in a very clear way. At no other point in history have we seen such an accumulation of signs, or such a volume of signs, or such a wide publicity given to events that were prophesied in the Bible.
To recap a little: Jesus’ warnings about false teachers and false messiahs, wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. Then we have Jesus references to the days of Noah and Lot – never in the world’s history has there been such a dedicated attack on the institution of marriage or such an organised outcry favouring homosexuality.
In this issue I would like to look at the matter of ‘perilous times’ spoken about by the apostle Paul to Timothy: “In later times some will abandon the faith, and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” [1 Tim 4:1]
The last days are described as perilous times because of the increasingly evil character of mankind and because of all those who ‘oppose the truth’. [2 Tim 3:1-9] The truth? What is the truth to a Christian? It is God’s written word, the Bible. Such opposition at the moment to the moral imperatives given by our Creator: do you see it on TV? Do you hear it on the radio and in the street and workplace? Do you read it in the newspapers? Jesus told us to ‘watch and pray’. Are you doing that to stay awake and keep your fellow Christians alert for His return?
Paul then gives a list of the way people will act in the last days. Can any of us say these things are not obvious today in our society – and even in some parts of the Church? Let’s look at 2 Tim 3:1-2. In the last days people will be:
1. Lovers of themselves,
2. Lovers of money,
6. Disobedient to parents,
9. Without love,
12. Without self-control,
14. Not lovers of the good,
18. Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
19. Having a form of godliness but denying its power.
I guarantee there is no-one reading this blog who has not met all these characteristics in the society around us just over the past week. My point is that ALL of the signs Jesus and His apostles told about so far have been proven true. Someone please tell me if I am wrong!
Jesus’ warning to be on guard applies fully to us in this situation. We must not be complacent or we will fall asleep. We must see these signs and “WATCH AND PRAY.” Firstly, so we do not fall into temptation and start acting as the rest of the world does, and secondly, to point out to others how these prophetic signs are starting to build up as never before. Jesus used the analogy of ‘birth pangs’. These things will continue to increase until the crisis point – then He will return and judge the whole earth. If ever there was a need to tell others and warn them it is now.
NEXT WEEK – More prophesied signs of the end.