What signs clearly indicate that Jesus’ return may be soon?
Many False Gospels
Jesus warned that before His second coming, “many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray” (Matt 24:5), and today, some I would call prophets for profit because they focus on blessing people with money by asking people to give so-called “seeds of faith” to them, but if this works like they promise, why would they even need to raise money? If they have the solution to finding a financial blessing, why are they the ones who are always asking for money? Instead, shouldn’t they be the ones giving to the poor, instead of asking for the widow’s mite and who is hoping that God will bless her because she gave sacrificially? Of course, God will honor such offerings in some cases because of that person’s faith, but the gospel is not about being blessed by money. It’s about blessing others with the ministry Jesus commanded them to do (Matt 25:34-40, 28:18-20). If these “preachers” are raising money all the time, when is the gospel of repentance and faith ever preached? That’s what Jesus said is the essence of the gospel (Mark 1:14-15).
Wars and Threats of Wars
I don’t need to tell you about all the current global tensions with the potential nuclear threat with North Korea, or the increasing terrorist attacks on our homeland, and the escalating violence that is covering the earth. Jesus warned that “you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matt 24:6-7), however, “All these are but the beginning of the birth pains” (Matt 24:8). I’m pretty comfortable with saying, that’s happening right now, but Jesus did say, it’s just the beginning, because there’s more signs to come.
Jesus said a day will come, prior to His second coming, when “they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” (Matt 24:9). There are no shortage of Christian martyrs, being tortured, imprisoned, and many even beheaded. And does anyone dispute the bias against Christianity today? Just looking at the TV sitcoms reveals what the world thinks about “religious people.” We’ve become the new enemy. If the Bible teaches against a sin, which it does, and we agree with the Bible, which we do, then we become the narrow-minded, homophobic, and are the judge and jury. In time, and it’s already happening all over the world, father will betray wife to those who are hostile to Christianity. Son will betray mother when he finds her reading a Bible. People will get fired or not promoted because they are Christian. Remember Jesus said, we’ll be hated, but it will be for His sake, not ours. That’s okay because that brings a blessing (Matt 5:10-12; 1 Pet 4). Even so, it doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.
The Falling Away
The next thing to happen prior to Jesus’ return is the great falling away, and we are certainly seeing that today. Jesus said, “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt 24:10-13). Is the “falling away” Jesus spoke of the same as the one the Apostle Paul mentioned in 1st Timothy 4:1 where he wrote, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons?” I’m not talking about church membership or attendance. When I receive a Facebook friend request, the first thing I do is to look at their Facebook page. What dominates the page? What is their obvious attention and priority in life focused on? If it’s not Christ, then I don’t accept them, but if they’re not a Christian, I will share Christ with them. Many claim to be a Christian, but his images on his page are almost pornographic and the language he uses in his posts seems to show he’s only professing Christ but not actually possessing Christ. Many are like that today and that is a great falling away and it’s obvious, Jesus is not most precious to them.
The Gospel’s Reached the World
The last sign may be being fulfilled right now, as I write this. Jesus said, after all those other things happen, “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt 24:14). Today, we’ve reached every continent, every nation, and perhaps close to reaching every people group, but only God knows who the last person saved will be prior to Jesus’ return. When God determines when the gospel has been preached to the whole world, then “the end will come,” and Jesus will judge the world in righteousness. There are fewer and fewer places that missionaries haven’t reached yet, so it might be close, but only God knows that.
I’d say we need to be ready at any moment for Jesus’ return and not be sitting on our duffs. We need to spread the gospel, reach the lost, minister to the poor, sick, and imprisoned, and go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, and teach them the very same things Jesus taught His disciples (Matt 28:18-20). That should keep us busy doing what we’re told until Jesus does return. For us, we simply “must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt 24:44).
May God richly bless you
Pastor Jack Wellman
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