I'm not going to get dramatic and act as if the sky is falling … but with all that’s going on in the world, many Christians are curious if these are the “signs” the Bible talks about when it describes the End Times.
According to Matthew 24:6-8, the increase in wars, natural disasters, increase in anger toward Christians and plagues/pandemics are only the first of birth pains with more to come, leading up to Christ’s return. There have been many of the aforementioned atrocities over the centuries so what is the difference today? Jesus said that as the end of the world approaches it will be like contractions of pain and discomfort before the baby arrives. The contractions become more frequent as the baby gets closer to birth. There's a contraction (a war, natural disaster, plague, etc.) then there is a period of calm. When Covid is over, there will be a period of calm. However, it most likely won't be for very long as we have seen these contractions becoming more and more frequent.
A simple internet search provides many details of the increase in the number of wars, natural disasters and pandemics. Anyone remember the bird flu scare? How about H1N1? I could go on, but you get the picture. All of these "birth pains" are mentioned as increasing as the end of the world nears.
As Christians, we are called to be ready for Christ's return. We are to be anticipating the day when we will be free from all of the craziness of this world. When Jesus comes back, we don't know, but what we do know, is when He comes it will be totally unexpected.
Right now, it may “feel” like the world is falling apart and THIS IS IT!! But let's take a look at what Jesus says … “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat” (a lot of that isn’t happening right now with the world being quarantined and on lock down). It continues to say, “People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes,” (Matthew 24:37-39).
Others of you may be wondering, why does this matter today if the time has not yet come? Well, the parable of the Faithful Servant (Matthew 24:42-51) is a story that teaches us to take care of God’s house, God's people, and God's things until Christ’s return. God didn’t speak about the end times to scare us. He talks about them to prepare us. Preparation is key here. In this story, Jesus said He will come like a thief, when it is least expected. Just like a homeowner doesn’t know when a burglar will come, we too must take precautions and be diligent in caring for all that God has entrusted us with until His return. It’s important to understand the end times because we need to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves how we’re investing our time. Are you preparing? Are you getting your children ready? Are you getting the generations to come ready? ... Are YOU ready?
Whether or not these are “the end times,” these are YOUR end times. Whether you have another 20, 50, 80 years, or whatever it is, we know that 100 out of 100 people die. An end WILL come for all of us. Until that day we should be ready. Some people think the Lord is being slow to return, when actually 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise....He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." God wants people to understand his love, grace, and faithfulness. When the End of the World is here, that incredible patience finally comes to an end.
You might have 1,000 questions, but perhaps the next question is, why hasn’t He come YET? The answer is, because YOU still have 8-15 people that need to know about God’s love, grace, patience, and purpose for their life. The Bible calls this group of people your Oikos. God has strategically placed these people in your life. They need hope to cope! And God wants you to invest in them in order to bring them the hope they need.
So far in our weekend teaching series on the End Times, we've discussed a number of relevant issues concerning both our current state of affairs and what the Bible says about the End Times.
We've looked at the fact that Jesus predicted these Birth Pains we are currently experiencing. We've looked at the Signs of the End, The Rapture, The Tribulation, and the Antichrist. This type of teaching is known as biblical prophecy. Prophecy deals with what is going to happen in the future. Sometimes people think the Bible only deals in the past. The fact is that 27% of the entire biblical content is PROPHECY!
We’re going to discuss many more common questions about the End Times at church this weekend as we continue our journey through the book of Revelation and other Prophetic books. Join us online, or (if you live in San Diego or Kansas) in person, to learn more about what God has to say about this topic. Because as it says in Revelation 1:3,
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.Revelation 1:3
Everyone is welcome to participate in this discussion! Chime in via our online chat room or comment below and let us know your thoughts and questions. Remember, the same rule applies for comments that applies at church, "no perfect people allowed!"