I am not one to overreact and I don’t throw out warnings lightly, but recently a person quoted a passage out of Matthew 24:3-8 that made me respond with “I think we are dilated to about an 8”. I would not be so bold in this except that almost every pastor and biblical scholar I have listened to in the past few years have been saying the same thing. We are seeing signs that the Bible has warned us to watch for, lining up at an alarming pace.
“And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many people. 6 And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.”
Again, looking at another passage in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people”.
We cannot ignore 2 Peter 3:3-9 either:
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue just as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people.
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”
These are passages that a theologian would take much care and detail to unwrap in a series of sermons but I will give a brief overview of them in light of current events.
When Jesus spoke about many coming and saying they are the Christ, I saw that come to pass especially in the ’70’s’ when cults were abounding during the days of the “Jesus” movement. How tragic was the “Jonestown” massacre and the rise of many followers of the Reverand Sun Myung Moon. In our very humanistic culture today, we see people proclaiming themselves to be God.
It is no secret that nations are rising against one another as has always been the case throughout history. However, one must certainly take note of the historical, record breaking weather patterns in the past decade and even recent few years that leave us scratching our heads as to what has brought about such changes.
We are in a definite period of people being lovers of themselves. Arrogance abounds as many remove themselves from being created in the image of God that He has chosen for them and decided they will recreate themselves in the image of their own making. As far as they are concerned, God can meet them on their own terms but they will not be meeting him on his.
Loving pleasure, no self-control and disrespect towards parents or authority is a very clear description of our cultural norms. Working with youth these days, I am appalled at the language and attitude a child or teenager will speak towards their own parents or teacher. Few in previous generations would have dared to curse in front of or at an adult or spoken to them with such bold defiance.
Jesus went on to talk about lawlessness increasing and the love of many growing cold in Matthew 24:10. As we have watched the riots and disrespect towards the laws of our country disintegrate with even political leaders demanding that we defund the police all the while looking the other way as looters burn buildings and destroy public property, we have to wonder what is going on here?
Those who hold to a traditional view of marriage as being ordained by God between a man and a woman that has for centuries been upheld not only by the church but by the culture at large are now deemed as haters if they will not accept it to include various other partners.
Finally, we have scoffers and they are many.
I have always loved looking forward to the second coming of Christ. The passages talking about Him coming like a thief in the night, (1 Thessalonians 5:2), the virgins keeping their lamps full of oil for the bridegroom who will be coming when they least expect him (Matthew 25:1-13), the Lord returning with the sound of the trump and the shout of the archangel (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) all encourage me to be full of hope and ready for his imminent return.
Yet, many of us are mocked and scoffed at like we are little fools believing in fairy tales when we are waiting for the fulfilled promise of the one who always keeps His word.
A day is like a thousand years to the Lord and He delays coming so that every single scoffer has a chance to humble themselves and turn to Him in full repentance, so that they too, can be taken up with Him when He returns to call His children home.
I am no prophet, but these scriptures were not written for prophets but for all who would believe that every word written in His book will come to pass. He wanted us to be prepared and to watch for the signs of His return and to warn others to get right with Him before it is too late.
Consider this my warning!
He is coming soon!
Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!