After leaving the Temple complex and crossing the Kidron Valley, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, giving His disciples (and us) an astonishing panorama of the end times (Matthew 24). He forewarns that the time just before His return would be the most difficult and distressing in all of human history. Leading up to those desperate days will be what Jesus refers to as the “beginning of birth pains”: great deception; wars and rumors of wars; earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places (Matthew 24:6-8; Mark 13:5-8; Luke 21:8-11; see also Revelation 6:1-8 concerning the four horses with riders).
These “beginning of birth pains” are followed shortly by: unprecedented natural disasters across the planet; escalating activity of evil spirits, wickedness, immorality, violence and persecution; an increase in lawlessness which “will cause the love of many to grow cold”; widespread apostasy (falling away from the faith); a totalitarian government led by a world leader (Antichrist) and a deceptive religious leader (False Prophet); along with terrors and great signs from heaven. This may not be the scenario we want, but it is what Scripture reveals and is a sad commentary on this generation.
The good news is that in spite of the hatred, betrayal and persecution of Christians, the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations. The greatest revival in history will occur at this time of tribulation.
Heading To Judgment
While the term “last days” refers to the entire church age since Pentecost, the apostle Paul gives indicators that will proliferate as we near the end of the church age: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness [religion] although they have denied its power. Keep away from such people as these (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
The depths of depravity to which our nation and this world are descending is disheartening to those who love Christ and His Word and cherish truth and righteousness. As our decadent society free-falls into the chaos of unrestrained, out-in-the-open, uninhibited, gratuitous immorality, brutality, sorcery, thefts, lies and profanity—the masses will ignore these prophecies foretold in the book of Revelation and throughout the Old and New Testaments.
As Jesus’ promised return draws near, God’s Spirit is bringing as many to salvation as will heed His beckoning call. God is loving, merciful and long- suffering and has already delayed the unleashing of His wrath. In His desire for people to come to repentance, He is orchestrating increasing and intensifying signs of impending judgments spoken of in Revelation and other prophetic Scripture, intended to bring those who will to repentance while cleansing the earth of the evil that has defiled it.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless (2 Peter 3:9-14).
Open your eyes and you will see clear indications that cataclysmic events are on the horizon, to be meted out to a world that denies its Creator, blasphemes His name, distorts His truth, perverts His ways, disobeys His commandments, rebels against His standards, opposes His Word and persecutes His followers! Unless there is widespread, genuine repentance, this generation is rapidly heading to judgment.
Scripture indicates that Jesus will return for His Bride (true believers) before the Great Tribulation commences, rescuing us from “the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). The Rapture could occur anytime (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) so be ready!
Dr. Ed Hindson, former professor at Liberty University eloquently stated: “‘Nobody knows the time of My coming.’…The point is that nobody knows the time, so don’t waste your time trying to guess the time, be ready all the time because Jesus can come anytime.”
Philippians 3:20-21 encourages us with words of promise as we await the rapture and the transformation of our mortal bodies into immortality: Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Will Christ Find Faith On the Earth?
In His parable of the Woman and the Judge, Jesus asks a relevant question for today’s generation, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). The sad reality is that in the case of many supposed Christians the answer will be, “No.” Yet for believers in Christ who love Him, study His Word, look for His coming and are empowered by His Spirit to walk in faithfulness, the answer will be an emphatic, “Yes!”
The question put to you today is: When Jesus Christ returns, will He find faith in you? Are you crying out to God for help and deliverance in the midst of these difficult times or are you looking to someone or something else such as science, technology or New Age techniques to rescue, protect and guide you?
Are You Distressed?
Although Lot was living in corrupt Sodom, God rescued him from its devastating judgment because Lot “was a righteous man who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)” (2 Peter 2:7-8).
The LORD commanded Ezekiel, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst”(Ezekiel. 9:4).
Is your soul tormented? Do you sigh and groan over what is going on in America and the world? Are you sorrowful and remorseful by what you see?
May our hearts cry out: “Come Lord Jesus! No longer let Your name be blasphemed. No longer allow Your truth to be perverted and twisted. No longer allow violence and murders to devastate this nation. No longer let lies and corruption prevail. No longer stand by as sexual immorality and sorcery seduce this generation. May truth and justice triumph! May Your name be exalted in all nations and Your will done on earth as it is in heaven. Come Lord Jesus and establish your kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy!”
The inhabitants of this earth will either fall on their knees in repentance or be brought to their knees in judgment. My continual prayer is: Lord, use me and this ministry to turn the hearts of the people back to You. Help me to prepare them for what is coming and to inspire them to walk in faithfulness until You return!
Lift Up Your Heads
The prophetic book of Daniel states concerning the time of the end: “Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand” (Daniel 12:10). While many people waste their time viewing images on the Internet and watching movies laced with violence, immorality and sorcery, others study Scripture and end time prophecy. Who will have discernment as prophetic events continue to unfold?
Jesus said, “Now when these things [signs of His coming] begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). In the day and age we live it is of utmost importance to get our hearts and lives right with the Lord and study His Word— then, no matter what happens, we will have discernment, wisdom, peace, courage and strength in the midst of it.
Be assured, Jesus Christ will come again and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords over the entire earth and all creation. Those who have put their faith in Him as the promised Messiah, Savior and Lord, will experience indescribable peace and joy throughout the millennium and eternity!
May all God’s people, with eager anticipation, be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)!