“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25).
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires (Peter 3:3; Jude 1:18).
It is at times like these––when fear and the unknown rip through the world; when nature seems out of control; when factions are at complete odds with each other; when right and wrong are turned on their head––that many people wonder if the world is coming to an end. Are the end times foretold of in the Bible near? The answer . . . ?
For as Matthew 24:36 says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
But we do know this. That every generation has had reason to believe that Christ’s return might be during their time, such as those who lived during . . .
. . . the Black Plague of the 14th century.
. . . World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.
. . . the rise and atrocities of Hitler.
. . . the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
. . . the earthquakes and tsunamis, human rights atrocities, and now this pandemic.
And like every successive generation, we too have reason to believe that the end times are near, and it is definitely closer, for today there are ways to insert information into both the hand and the forehead, and the rationale for a cashless society is justifiable, both of which would facilitate the realization of the prophecy of Revelation 13. The perceived need for a world leader is getting stronger (Revelation 13). The Russia/Iran alliance spoken of in Ezekiel 38-39 is moving forward. Through technology we now see how the entire world can hear the gospel and watch the two witnesses killed and resurrected in Jerusalem (Revelation 11). And the ID2020 initiative to number everyone in the world is underway.
And yet while all of this is disturbing or enlightening (depending on what you believe or don’t believe), I was reminded during a family discussion not long ago that the when of Christ’s return is not our primary concern. That time will come when it comes.
However, times like these are to remind us that the time of His coming is near, but rather than spend our time guessing when that time will be, we are to use this time to refocus on what we should be doing . . . which is . . .
Be ready: “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 42-44).
And what does “be ready” look like?
Be holy: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (I Peter 15-16).
And if the time is near, what responsibility do Christians have?
Share your faith: “[Jesus] said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 1:7-8).
There will be an end, and it is always getting closer. There will be a time when every person on earth will have had the opportunity to hear the gospel and then either believe or reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Once that happens, it will be time. Are you ready?