Here are six signs that we’re living in the last days, just prior to Christ’s return.
Many Will Come in His Name
One of the signs that occur prior to Jesus’ return is that “many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray” (Matthew 24:5). Maybe it’s me, but it seems there are more false teachers and preachers today who proclaim a different gospel than God requires than there ever used to be when I was a boy. Rarely do you hear Jesus’ gospel preached anymore. How often do you hear repentance and faith mentioned (Mark 1:15)? It’s interesting that Jesus said “many” and not “a few” will be led astray. Does this mean false teachers will have the largest audiences? Not in all cases; but in “many” of them, yes. Jesus mentions “many” again where He says, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord.’” But Jesus tells these same “many,” “Depart from me, for I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23)!
Lovers of Self
One of the signs the Apostle Paul gave about the end times is that it’s going to be harder and harder to be a Christian. Paul writes, “That in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4). Does this describe the society in which you live? Do many where you live feel a sense of “entitlement” or that something’s owed them?”
Jesus gives another sign of the end of the age when He says, “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” (Matthew 24:9). Voice of the Martyrs researchers discovered that the number of Christians who were martyred between the year 2000 and 2010 was about one million. That works out to be about 100,000 martyred every year. That single decade had more martyrs than in the previous 2,000 years!
The latest news is that one of the largest U.S. cities recently recorded 500 homicides, and that was only halfway through the year! Is it any wonder that Jesus warned that “lawlessness will be increased” (Matthew 24:12) and “many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another” (Matthew 24:10). Gone are the days when you could take a walk in any part of town and in just about any city. It was like that when I was a boy. Today we live in a society where there are places that even the police don’t go.
Lovers of Money
We need money to survive; but when money becomes a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10) and, as James wrote, deprives some of their fair day’s wages, that is an evil thing before God. When more and more men and women become lovers of money (I wonder what the percentage is now), you can see one of the signs of the end of the age, as the Apostle Paul wrote that “people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud” (2 Timothy 3:2). James rebukes the rich in writing, “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts” (James 5:4).
Man-made and Natural Calamities
A sixth sign, which is to occur prior to Jesus’ return, is both man-made and natural: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7). Even though these are only “the beginning of the birth pains” (Matthew 24:8), there certainly seems to be an increase in hurricanes, floods, droughts, fires, earthquakes, famines, and disease. We are also witnessing increasing tensions between nations. Is that also a sign we’re living in the last days?
The Apostle Paul was describing the last days and said, “in the last days there will come times of difficulty” (2nd Tim 3:1). Can I get an amen on that!? And in these “last days” men and women will be “heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good” (2nd Tim 3:3) and will be actually being “lovers of evil”. If you see our society today, especially in movies, on the Internet, and on TV, these things are seen as acceptable, as if there’s nothing wrong with them. This too is a sign of the last days.
Evil for Good
God, in speaking through Isaiah the Prophet’s, said “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20)! How very well this describes our society today. To fight for what is right is seen as an evil now. If you are pro-life, you are robbing someone of their rights, but God says “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD” (Prov 17:15), and this is what’s happening in our world today.
Without Natural Affection
Paul adds some very disturbing trends when he writes to Timothy about the last days. Remember, Paul was about to go to his execution, and this was his very last letter before his death. The Spirit of God must have warned Paul and he wanted to tell Timothy, and people in the last days would be “proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy” (2nd Tim 3:2), but here we point out the disobedience of children. I’m in my mid-60’s, and old enough to see how children (including me) treated others and called the sir and ma’am, but today, it seems children are rebelling against their parents more and the consequences are much more serious these days. Even the natural parental love that typically exists seems to be evaporating in our families, but to a lesser extent in Christian homes (but them too!).
Lovers of Self
Paul also adds to the fact that in the last generation, it will all be about me! Not me personally, but I mean “people will be lovers of self” 2nd Tim 3:2). That leaves little room for others. Notice the letter right in the middle of “pride?” It is “I!” God will resist those who idolize their own lives (James 4:6) and lovers of money (2nd Tim 3:2). It’s no wonder people are “proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy” (2nd Tim 3:2). But we must remember, some of such were we (1st Cor 6:11).
Of course, there are many more than just these six signs. You can probably think of others. If so, please leave us a comment with the Scripture. When you see these signs begin to intensify, it could be that we really are living in the last days, although the church has always lived that way, with the expectation of His return at any moment. They have believed this for the last 2,000 years, so we don’t know when that time is. All we must do is seek the lost and tell them they must be saved today while it’s still called “today” (2 Corinthians 6:2).