By Timothy Johnson
Two weeks ago, this column pointed out that the Bible compares the signs of Christ’s return to a woman in labor. Contractions start mild with a reasonable amount of time in between but gradually increase in intensity and frequency. This week we will venture into what the signs are.
To list all the signs of Jesus’ return would be daunting. Therefore, we will break the signs into six categories – nature, society, spiritual, political technology, and Israel.
Signs in nature.
Luke 21:25, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.”
With the recent hurricane hitting Florida, the phrase “the sea and waves roaring” stands out. Talk has arisen in meteorology about devising a new way to categorize hurricanes. Over the last decade, a few non-category five storms have brought category five damage. The reason for this is storm surges and rainfall of record proportion. The waves are roaring.
Signs in society.
2 Timothy 3:1-4, “This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
The passage begins by telling us this is the condition of things “in the last days.” It is interesting to note that despite the earthquakes, hurricanes, and the natural phenomenon going on, the condition of people’s hearts will make the times perilous.
“Lovers of their own selves” could be defined as someone who lives for themselves without much care for anyone else.
“Disobedient to parents.” How often have you heard an older person say something to the effect, “I’d never get away with that when I was a kid.”
As you read through 2 Timothy’s list, you can see that all these things are on the upswing.
A significant passage for our next group – spiritual signs, is found in the next chapter. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
2 Timothy 4 is within the context of the church. The passage speaks about how Christians will only listen to what they want to hear. These “itching ears” causes many ministers to avoid unpleasant topics like sin and hell. This avoidance of unpopular issues has morphed churches into entertainment centers making larger churches look like concerts, and smaller churches resemble high-school pep rallies.
This attitude and the willingness of ministers to go along with it leads to a water-downed faith without any depth as the Christian lives a self-centered life and not a Christ-centered life.
This “only tell me what I want to hear” attitude is also rampant outside the church. Many people are often unwilling to listen to any dissenting opinion.
God’s prophetic timeline and political moves revolve around Israel.
The Bible prophecizes two separate invasions of Israel that have yet to be fulfilled but will occur before Christ’s second coming. By watching the invading nations’ relationships with Israel and their political alining together, we can watch as these invasions become closer to reality.
The first invasion prophesied in Psalm 83 comes from Gaza, the West Bank, and the nations of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Psalm 83:4 gives us the goal of the invading armies, “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” They desire to annihilate Israel to the point that no one remembers she ever existed.
Described in Ezekiel 37-38, the second attack is much larger and includes Russia, Iran, Turkey, Ukraine, Libya, and Ethiopia, among others.
Watch as the relationships between Israel and her future invaders develops.
Signs in Technology.
Technology is improving every day. Daniel tells us in the last days, “knowledge shall be increased.” When my dad was young, space travel was science fiction. The space shuttle made space travel so commonplace it is no longer front-page news.
As we march toward the end times, it appears that computer chips combined with crypto-currency are significant players in the one-world economy and the mark of the beast (the Antichrist) as described in Revelation 13:16-17, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
We already have the technology for implants under the skin that can monitor everything about us: our health, our money, our location, and much more. All that is needed now is a popular and trusted leader to convince the people it is necessary.
The last and most significant sign is Israel. What needs saying about Israel and the end times would double what we already have here, so that will need to wait another week.
“And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” – Jesus Christ (Mark 13:37).
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.