Are we living in the End Times?
Many people have thought so for quite a long time, in fact since Jesus first warned of the end. It’s not even limited to just Christianity, other religions and people outside of the church have been worried about the end of the world as well. Indeed many now even speculate over December 21st 2012, which is the end of a long cycle in the very accurate Mayan calendar and some believe this to be the end of the world. Everyone wants to look at the headlines and find an answer to the question. There are many web sites that provide links to daily news stories that can be seen as the world leading in the direction of the end.
Why study the end times?
It’s important to study the end times for many reasons. One reason is because it's in the Bible and God did not provide us this information just to skip over. There is a lot of end time prophecy in the Bible that goes into detail. There is something that God wants us to learn and it seems to be more than just an object lesson. There are some that say the scriptures are talking about stuff that has already happened. Indeed some stuff has happened and other prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. Some prophecies that were fulfilled once will be fulfilled again because there is more to happen. Just as Jesus first coming only partially fulfilled some of the prophecies and his second coming will fulfill other parts.
Pre-Tribulation Rapture a settled issue?
While many eschatology students fall into a pre-trib rapture and believe that any second. Jesus will return, some also think that means there’s nothing to worry about. There are in fact many Christians who have studied the Bible and believe that there is no rapture or that there is a rapture but that it will not come before some amount of tribulation. You need to know what the Bible says, what the different interpretations are and decide for yourself. The Bible can’t be taken to mean whatever you want it to mean but with complex teachings, there are easily several interpretations that fall within the realm of possibility that are not heretical to foundational Biblical beliefs.
Headlines and other stories of the end
What does this all mean though? It is true that the Mayan calendar was created long ago and the Mayans were very good at using their calendar to predict things such as eclipses. The Mayansalso seemed to be very good at astronomers. The end of their calendar is based on celestial alignments and movements that modern day astronomers are only beginning to understand. However, this really doesn’t mean there is validity to the point that the world will end on Dec 12,2012. Many other groups also believe the world will end based on politics or climate changes but politics has always been volatile and the climate really is a very large system that is not likely to be manipulated very much by man. There are also those who say the Mayan calendar does not predict the end.
Many people in the church have always speculated about Jesus returning and the end of the age. This is a time when those who believe in Jesus as the son of God and their personal savoir will be taken to be with him, and Satan (Lucifer) and his Antichrist will be defeated in the battle of Armageddon and those who don’t know Christ will be lost forever for their sins because they have not accepted Christ’s death to atone for their sins.
The believers while Jesus was alive thought that Christ would be returning soon. Many people have thought this throughout history. The Millerites which later become the Seventh Day Adventists have at their beginning, a history of date setting that first set that Jesus would return by 1844. Even recently some well known preachers have set dates for Jesus to return and those dates have come and gone.
Jesus specifically said that no man knows the hour or the day of his coming. So know one can know when exactly Jesus will return. However he did give us signs of the times to watch for, so I believe we can know the season of the end time. Otherwise why were we given signs of the end times? Below I will list some of the signs to watch for and you can decide for yourself weather you think we are in the “end times.”
In the New Testament in the book of Mathew Chapter 24 Jesus talks about the end. You should really read the whole chapter but here are some key signs.
Birth Pains (wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes in various places)
Verse 6-8 “ You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains”
Love of many will grow cold
Verse 12 “ Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold”
Gospel to be preached to the world
Verse 14 “ This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come”
Verse 5 “For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many ”
Verse 23 and 24 “Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect”
Israel Reborn (this did not happen until 1948)
Verse 32 – 34 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place”
Israel is often referred to as the fig tree in the Bible. Many people think this passage refers to when Israel became a nation again. Read the prophecies in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37.
Increase in travel and knowledge
Daniel chapter 12 verse 4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."”
Great falling away
2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 verse 3 “ Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction”
This verse is warning people not to believe that Jesus has come back because it will not happen until the apostasy and the man of lawlessness is revealed. Apostasy is when someone leaves the faith, this apostasy is referred to as the apostasy and will be many leaving the Church of Christ.
Luke chapter 21 verse 25 “ There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves”
What does this mean?
Quite simply you really need to be ready, in several ways. If you're not a believer in Jesus, there may not be a lot of time for you to become one before he comes back. Some believe that Jesus may return at any moment while others think he will not return until sometime during, in the middle of, or at the end of a time of tribulation that will last seven years. No one knows how much time they have before their life is over so no matter what, now is the time to find the true God. If anyone alive is given during the tribulation is given the ability to accept Jesus, it may be far easier to accept Christ now rather than then.
Second, even if you are a Christian, you need to prepare for the idea that Jesus may not come back before the seven year tribulation and that tough times may lay ahead for you even before the tribulation starts. Even before the seven year tribulation, birth pangs should increase and things will get worse on the earth. God gave us prophecy to know ahead of time what to expect and to trust Him
Related article: Should we follow the news to understand Prophecy?