Are We Living in the End Times?
ETN - I'll start with a question. Do you believe we're living in the end-times? Before I get to that, I want to tell you a little bit about my story and how it goes along with end-time prophecy. Shortly after becoming a Christian on April 13th, 1997, I became almost obsessed with end-time prophecy.
I could not get my hands on enough information about end-time prophecy. I read the Bible and everything else I could find. My local book store loved me, (yes that's when people went somewhere to get books). I couldn't get enough. Then during prayer, the Lord laid it upon my heart that I wasn't in the right place. So rather than putting things in perspective, I changed my mindset to try to get in line with the Lord. Instead of balancing my studies, I went utterly away from any study of end-time prophecy.
Later I came to realize my perspective was wrong. 25% of the Bible is prophecy! The Bible presents many prophecies that will occur in the end times. If it's in the Bible, it's relevant, and it's there for a reason. God tells and even warns his followers before he does things. Bottom line, prophecy is important!
Prophecy is categorized into several different groups. There are natural signs, political signs, sociological signs, technological signs, and spiritual signs.
So back to the question. Are we living in the end times? The answer is absolutely!
We are living in the end times! From the time Jesus ascended to heaven, we have been living in the end times.
The better question to ask, are we living in a time close to seeing the fulfillment of the Rapture, close to the beginning of the seven years of tribulation, close to the coming of the Antichrist, and ultimately the thousand-year reign of Jesus here on this earth. To answer these questions, we have to look at scripture.
Luke 21 gives us a list of some of these natural signs that will occur before Jesus's ultimate coming. Luke 21:11 says this, "there will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands. And there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from the heavens.
I believe over time, we will see an increase in natural disaster frequency, severity, and devastation as time draws closer to the end. In Matthew 24:8, Jesus calls this the birth pains.
2 Timothy 4:34 We see there will be many people who will follow false teachers. Many people will be led astray. There will be an increase in heresy and people falling away from their faith. We see these things occurring with more and more frequency. These deceptions will be both worldly and spiritually. Right now, we see a rush of people going towards new age and pagan religions and beliefs.
Now one positive thing, the Bible tells us in Joel 2:28-29 there would be a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit during this time.
Along with signs of false teachers and religions, we see immorality running rampant in our society. We see an active rebellion against God. A rebellion against things that are good. We see people calling good evil and evil good. Abortion continues to increase. We see increased prevalence in homosexuality, drug use, child molestation, and trafficking. We are in a world where things will go from bad to worse, where there will continue to be a ramping up of wickedness and lawlessness.
In 2 Timothy chapter 3, Paul tells us, people will be lovers of self and money. He goes on to tell us people will be boastful and proud. They will be disobedient, ungrateful, they will love pleasure rather than God. Etc. Paul was talking about it then, just like we see it in our society today.
Many prophecies that seemed impossible without modern technology are more than possible now. When we look at the control of commerce, the Antichrist will have, and the Mark of the Beast's implementation both of these would have seemed almost impossible 100 years ago.
One prophecy that I don't hear many preachers talking about that has always stood out to me is Revelation 11:9. It's talking about the two witnesses that will speak out about the Antichrist. It says that for three and a half days, people will stare at these men's dead bodies. Then it says, ALL PEOPLE, TRIBES, LANGUAGES, AND NATIONS will look at them. Think about that, John wrote this almost 2k years ago. Before the internet, this was impossible to see anything in real-time. When I was a kid, if something happened on the other side of the world, you might hear about it the next night on the news since there were only three channels. Now everyone with a phone can broadcast live all over the world.
Sometimes it's hard for us to imagine life without the technology we have today, even if we grew up in a time without it. How crazy that must have been for John when he wrote as the Holy Spirit inspired him.
Probably the most important prophecy is the restoration of Israel as a nation in 1948. Scripture tells us that in the last days, the people of Israel will be brought back to their land. Once again, many people today don't understand the significance because unless you were around and old enough to remember Israel becoming a nation again, this may seem to have little relevance. Israel did not exist from 70AD (Exekiel 36:19-20) until 1948. Think of all the prophecies in the Bible that talk about Israel in the end times, but for 1900 years, Israel was not even on the map. Sure enough, in 1948, just like prophecy tells us, Israel would be scattered over the face of the planet, and then God would call them back home (Ezekiel 36:24). After World War Two that's what happened.
When we watched the news today, and see Israel is entering into some peace "treaties" with other nations. Remember this about the Abraham Accords, It may look like there might be peace, but scripture tells us that there will be a moment where it seems like peace is possible but, right before the end times armies will march on Israel, and in the end, they will only hurt themselves.
These are just some of the things we could look at in regards to End Time prophecy, in fact we have only scraped the surface, but it still begs the question, especially as crazy as the world seems.
Are we living in the end times? Are we living in that time right before end-time prophecy unfolds?
Here's the bottom line, Matthew 24:36. No one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself, only the father.
So anyone who says they know the hour of the day is a liar.
Now it's possible God may scatter the people of Israel over the face of the planet again and gather them back together thousands of years from now, fulfilling prophecy in the future.
While He said no one knows the hour or the day, Jesus told the disciples to remember the fig tree's lesson (Matthew 24:32). He said when its branches, bud, and its leaves begin to sprout. You know, that summer is near in the same way. When you see all of these things, you can understand his return is very near.
He says (Mathew 24:34) when we see these things unfold that specific generations would not pass away until all these things take place.
While we don't know the hour or the day, we know that the Rapture will happen in a moment in the blink of an eye. Jesus says this in Matthew 24:37 "when the Son of Man returns, it will be as it was in the days of Noah. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up until the time that Noah entered the boat, people didn't realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them away."
The Rapture will happen when it will seem business a usual on the planet. In verse 40, Jesus says two men will be working together in a field. One will be taken, one will be left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill, one will be taken, one will be left. So keep watch for yourself. We don't know what day.
Here's the vital thing to remember, THE LORD IS COMING!
It's NOT important we know when, its important we are ready. We have friends and family who are about to walk off a cliff if they don't have a relationship with the Lord. Have you warned them about this cliff? If we love our neighbor, it's time for us to be as bold as lions. We have to get over our fear of offending someone. If we love those around us as the Lord has instructed us, it is our job to warn them about the cliff.
Time is running out. Whether it's tomorrow or 1000 years from now, the clock is ticking. The Church will be removed in an instant. We must strive to everlasting work.
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Be as Bold as Lion
Pastor & Evangelist
Go Follow Jesus International