When we are confronted with the terror of war either personally or vicariously through the media and stories told by others, we begin to wonder if these are the last days described in the Bible. They could be. Certainly, for those killed by the terrorists and those who have died and will die during the subsequent conflict, they have experienced their end time on earth. But as to knowing if we are living in the end times, we must remember Jesus’ response to this question about the end times:
“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 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.”Matthew 24:3-8
Jesus said that no one, including Himself, can know the date or time but God The Father (Matthew 24:36). Both Paul and Peter reminded us that the end will come “..like a thief in the night..” In his letter to Timothy, Paul writes “..the appearance of the Lord which God will bring about in His own time…” (1 Tim 6:13) In Revelation 22: 7,12 & 20 Jesus says He is coming soon. So how are we to know if we are in the end times? The Bible gives us some clues.
Paul describes signs that will precede the return of Jesus and the end of the Earth as we know it.
“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.”2 Tim 3:2-5
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”.2 Tim 4: 3-4
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”Matthew 24:9-13
Persecution of Christians has gotten worse in many parts of the world, most notably during the past century in China, Cambodia, Burma, North Korea, Cuba, and the Soviet Union. For generations, Christians have been persecuted in majority Muslim countries as well as in India, a predominantly Hindu nation. What Jesus says next refers to something that is definitely taking place in our time.
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”Matthew 24:14
Today, as never before, electronic communications and global travel have made it realistically possible for everyone on earth to learn of Jesus. In the next 28 verses, Jesus describes what the end will look like and issues a warning to be vigilent because no one knows when Jesus will return marking the end of the world as we know it.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”Matthew 24:42
So, are we living in the End Times? We can’t know for sure, but we are closer both in time and in fulfillment of prophecy with many signs that we must heed. More importantly, we can say with certainty that each of us is in our end times. We will either be alive when Jesus returns or we will be dead. Either way, we will have to answer for the decisions we make today.
Yes, we could be living in the End Times. SO, what does that mean to you and me? BE READY, place your faith and trust in our Jesus Christ AND BE ALERT and live that new life He has promised for you on this earth and for eternity. If you would like to know more about how to enjoy peace in the midst of this conflict and be ready to live on with God beyond the end times, please check out our post, How Does One Become a Christian.