Are We in the End Times?

Study to show thyself approved unto God..., II Timothy 2:15.

Are We in the End Times?

Postby Paul » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:04 pm

Matthew 16:2,3
He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

Matthew 24:32-39
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Are we living in the end times? It amazes me how many Christians do not consider this possibility. In part, they do not because their churches ignore the issue. Many believers assert there actually is nothing different about modern circumstances from prior ages, and people have always claimed signs indicated the end was near. Others are simply too preoccupied with all the details of their everyday lives to be concerned with the broader picture of what the Lord may be doing in our time. I have noticed in particular that people who are very well off and really enjoying life in general do not comprehend the concept of the Lord returning soon to put a stop to everything.

Are the signs Christ references in Matthew 24 actually unique to our time? Christ notes the beginning of the end time sorrows as many false messiahs, wars and rumors of war, nation rising against nation (which could be translated ethnic group against ethnic group), kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, earthquakes. Those who deny we are in the end times make the argument that in fact these conditions have been as intense in the past as they are now. Perhaps, past events are comparable, but I think beginning in the latter 20th century the number and severity of earthquakes really have increased significantly, especially in populated areas. However, there are ways of setting out statistics to note that actually all is normal. Still, the book of Revelation clearly portrays end time events as constantly increasing in intensity until reaching an overwhelming crescendo, which also would reflect the nature of their beginning.

Christ further references as signs deception by false prophets, iniquity abounding, which causes love to grow cold, and the persecution of Christians, even causing them to betray one another. Timothy notes the perilous times of the last days, when people will be unholy, lovers of themselves, without natural affection, disobedient to parents, despising those who are good — greedy, boastful, proud, puffed up, ungrateful, lacking self-control, reckless, falsely accusing, breaking truces, traitors, — loving pleasure more than God, blaspheming, having a form of Godliness but denying his power, refusing to endure sound doctrine, finding teachers to satisfy their itching ears and personal lusts, turning from the truth and preferring fables, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrine from demons, which will lead to lying, hypocrisy, and their seared consciences: I Timothy 4:1-3; II Timothy 3:1-5. Have people already become this immoral even in the present time? It seems so, but still, some believers deny such a human condition exists today in any form different from the past.

Daniel 12:4 seems to reference an increase of knowledge and travel in the end times. Certainly, in recent time there has been a flourishing of knowledge in general and the capacity to travel such as has not been known in the past. However, this verse could be referring to an increase of the knowledge of God being disseminated throughout the world — but that has occurred in our time. Indeed, Christ notes that the Gospel will be preached to all nations of the world, and then, the end will come, Matthew 24:14. This preaching is happening as never before, with radio, satellites, television, and an ever increasing number of evangelists, traveling rapidly and frequently over widespread areas. This preaching to all nations alone indicates we are in the end times.

The recreation of the nation of Israel also serves as a primary indicator of our being in the end times.

Luke 21:24
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Isaiah 11:11,12
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Zechariah 8:3-7
Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;

Atheists like to point out that Israel was only recreated as a nation, as it was prophesied, and the Jews wanted to make certain the prediction came true. But also according to prophecy, sieges came against Israel which led to the nation becoming a cup of trembling to all the people near them, and Jerusalem remained as a burden to all the people of the world. It was not by superior resources that in war Israel cut down their enemies, so great in number.
Zechariah 12:2,3
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

The books of Daniel and Revelation prophesy that a ten nation confederation will arise from the former Roman Empire, from which the anti-Christ will rule. It seems modern technology and conditions make this possibility completely real for the near future. Revelation notes that at the time of the anti-Christ, there will be two witness for God in Jerusalem, who will have great power, and who eventually will be slain in the street, and the people of the world will look on their bodies for three and a half days, 11:3-9. These verses traditionally had been cited by atheists as an example of how fanciful the Bible is, for such a viewing of a street in Jerusalem by the entire world technically was not possible — but recently the inventions of satellites and television makes the fulfillment of the prediction apparently simple. Revelation also prophesies that the anti-Christ will set up a banking system, that will prevent people throughout the world from being able to buy or sell without a mark on their hand or forehead, 13:16-18. This mark seems to refer to a modern bar code. The prophecy also may indicate the anti-Christ comes to power through an economic crisis creating a new international financial order, and again, modern technology has brought about changes in world commerce consistent with the need for a new model of world banking, cf. Daniel 11:24,28,43.

There are a great number of Bible passages on end time prophecy, but I have reviewed only particular verses significant for discerning whether the last days are upon us now.
Paul
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