FoundationsForGrowing

The End Times: Part I

by Joanna Pierce on May 05, 2016

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3, KJV).

The Last Days

We can look around at our world today and see that we are living in the last days—the last days before the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Peter spoke to the believers on the day of Pentecost:

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:16–17, KJV).

The last days were spoken about 2,000 years ago and we are still living on those days today. God is still pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh in every country and in every nation.

Signs of His Coming

Even though Scripture gives signs of Jesus’ coming, it’s not wise to determine the date. Jesus told us of His coming so we could prepare our hearts and be ready. No one will ever know the hour the son of man will come back for His church (Mark 13:32). God doesn’t measure time the way we do (Psalms 90:4, II Peter 3:8). Our time is finite—His is infinite!

We know the coming of Jesus is soon because of the state of the world (II Timothy 3:1–5). If God ended previous dispensations of time in judgment due to the behavior of the people, how much more will He come to pour our judgment in this time when people have grown worse and worse!

False Christs, Wars, and Conflicts

And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven (Luke 21:8–11, KJV).

We should never be afraid of these signs, but we should see them and prepare ourselves. As the church, we should see these signs and realize we are living in exciting times! God is getting ready to come back for His church, but more miracles will be poured out in this day than ever before.

Destruction and Rebuilding of Israel

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 (Luke 21:24, KJV).

The Jewish nation ceased to exist for years and years. After World War II, almost all Jews perished under persecution. However, in 1948, Israel was acknowledged as a sovereign state. History even speaks to the coming our Lord!

Natural Warnings

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; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (Luke 21:25–26, KJV).

All aspects of nature will begin to move toward a state of upheaval—the normalcy of nature will change as we know it. We are already seeing devastating destruction from tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions like never before. Disease is on the rise. Nature is telling us Jesus is coming soon.

Scoffers

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation (II Peter 3:3–4, KJV).

Because we are now almost 2,000 years past the day of Pentecost, people have stopped believing and watching for the Lord to come. It’s only God’s longsuffering and grace that keeps Him from coming today. We cannot let our guards down and lose sight of His coming. We cannot be lulled to sleep by this world!

Living Without Regard to God

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 (Matthew 24:37–39, KJV).

During the days of Noah, people didn’t believe it would rain until the flood came, despite all the warnings. Theologians believe Noah preached to the lost generation, warning them to get right so they could be saved. Today, we can’t get caught up in the day-to-day activities of this life. There should be a sense of excitement and earnest expectation the Lord will come soon!

Preparing for His Coming

We need to watch for these signs and know that when we see them, His coming is near (Matthew 24:32–35). We are instructed to watch! If we are looking for our Savior, we will keep our motives and our mission for living right in check. Jesus warned the church as time progressed on, the pleasures of this life would lull us asleep—the church would develop a numbness to sin (Luke 21:34–36). We cannot get used to this world.

We should look forward to the catching away of the church (I Thessalonians 4:14–17). This is our hope—we should pray for and seek this every day (Titus 2:13)!

Good News of His Coming

The church should never dread the coming of Jesus Christ. When He comes, we will be translated to a new place (John 14:2–3), receive a new body (I Corinthians 15:51–53, I John 3:2), and leave this old world to forever be with the Lord (I Thessalonians 4:17).

We are just passing through this world—we are looking for our true home. This is just our “holding place” until we’re received up into glory (I Peter 1:17). Let’s not make this world our home, but watch the signs of the end time, and look for the coming of our Savior.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on May 04, 2016