The recent earthquakes, like in New Zealand, and then the record 9.1 earthquake in Japan and subsequent nuclear disaster, the Syrian conflict, Afghanistan, other ‘wars’ rumored or raging around the world, famine and starvation of the poor, the moral and corruption of godly standards are all definitely signs of our groaning world in birth pain, crying out during these, the End Times.
And Jesus was very clear about these times… 2000 years ago!
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “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. “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 whoever stands firm to the end will be saved. 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.
There are a few signs expected during the End Times.
1. We were forewarned through Daniel:
But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
I have heard that if we were to measure the sum of all knowledge available to us linearly (in just a straight line) this is what has been found: Since the beginning of time to 1945, the total would not exceed 1 centimeter…yep just 1cm. From 1945 to 1999 it was as high as the flagpole over the Australian Parliament House. Since 1999 to now…well, heaven knows!
“However, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.
The earth is polluted by its people. They haven’t obeyed the laws of the LORD. They haven’t done what he told them to do. They’ve broken the covenant that will last forever.
Isaiah 24:5 (NIrV)
4. And as we continue to discern the times, we see among the many prophetic fulfillments one that is unfolding before us right now:
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
2 Thessalonians 2:3
Note “the rebellion occurs”. This is a time of massive deception and a falling away from authentic faith in Christ. The “rebellion” isn’t just a time of sinfulness or large scale backsliding, but it is a time of open defiance and warlike aggression against the moral foundations set by the laws of God.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”
It is clear we have entered into the era of large scale revolt against the moral standards of God:
Since the 1960’s introduced the “Sexual Revolution” it has sought to legitimise and then mainstream every perversity known to man. Leaders in countries across the world, counsel together against the Lord in many decisions. We see it in the legal protection offered the homosexual community, sheltered satanic rock movement, abortion of babies, establishment of anti-censorship laws that defend sin against the Lord and shield the entertainment industry… to name but a few.
Has this revolt surprised the Lord? Has it gone unnoticed in the heavens? Has worry or fear gripped the Lord’s heart? The answer comes as we continue to read Psalm 2:
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath…
The Lord laughs at the foolishness of those who imagine the judgment of God can not reach them.
So why does the Lord delay His full Judgment?
In part, the Lord waits for His Church.
For while the world demands, and receives, a reign of hell, the goal of the praying church is the reign of heaven.
All of God’s prophecies shall be fulfilled – both the evil and the righteous. It is the Lord’s purpose to have a “Bride without spot or wrinkle” and a “kingdom” of wheat without tares. The transformation of His Church will be fulfilled as with every other prophecy.
It is time for all Christians to understand who they really are:
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Our identity needs to shift. For example, I live in Australia. I am simply an Ambassador in the nation of Australia because:
… our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ
So if I am a citizen of heaven and seated with him in the heavenly realms, and God laughs and scoffs at them…then, as Subjects of His Kingdom, will we not also share in His confidence!
He commands us to sit with Him in complete confidence, without fear in this world, and in completeness of His purpose, and are called to intercede for the very nations that defy Him!
In the context of this world-wide rebellion, let’s continue to look at what Father God says to the Son:
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
In these times we are also seeing the many churches uniting in prayer together. While the perverse strive towards complete rejection of God and their mocking words fill the air, the Father’s unchangeable Words to His Son, and by extension as the Body of Christ – The Church – is, “Ask of Me, and I will give you the Nations!”
His Command, our obedience in Prayer, and His Promise is fulfilled.
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.
When we consider this, and knowing what “the end” means, I am sure you would agree that it is a worthy cause to give of what time we have left, and what resources we have at our disposal. The focus of The Church, that is all Christians, primarily needs to be intensified in this area and not be neglected, or we delay “the end.”
We are Commanded to do many things and we should not neglect any of them. But we must make room to fulfill this last command.
Living a corroding lifestyle will not be enough. Living in places with stuff that “moth and rust” will destroy is not enough. Trying to live a ‘nice life’ is not enough. Living in Glass Houses – interesting for the neighbours – but it will not be enough. Chasing after riches, even finding them, is like “chasing after the wind” and it will not be enough.
Take delight in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
And one of those desires He will give to you is:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.'”
“Love your neighbour as yourself.” The Lord explains who your neighbour is in Luke 10. When Jesus asked, “Who was the neighbour?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
We must have mercy on the world, on those who have not yet heard of Christ. Remember:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:9-13
We do not need to go to hell in a basket… the new earth and the new heaven, “The End”, sounds pretty good to me!
And it all begins… HERE.