END TIMES: ARE THEY NEAR? There are people in every era that answered this question with a resounding YES. And they were right – up to a point. After all, we’ve been in the end times since Jesus ascended. Sure it feels like a long time. But remember, God isn’t constrained by time. A thousand years is a like a day to God! (2 Peter 3:8)
However, there are things happening or possible in our modern times that many believe line up with end time prophecy. To name just a couple, Israel is a nation and microchipping technology could be used as the mark of the beast. I don’t know, what do you think?
And, of course, recent events in Israel sure give us pause. After all, it started in the Middle East and it will end in the Middle East. So, does the Bible give us any clues on this topic? Well, yes it does.
The Old Testament tells us:
There is mention of Gog and Magog, (Ezekiel 38 and 39) which most interpret as Russia. And, of course, Persia plays a large role. Where is Persia today? Yes, it is Iran. So, the countries that are gaining strength and coming together against Israel seem to be fulfilling some prophecies.
The timing and the details are above my pay grade, but certainly it is easy to see why so many see the end times as they observe the events happening around the world today.
So, what does the New Testament share?
Matthew 24: 6-8 says: “You will hear about wars and stories of wars that are coming, but don’t be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes. Nations will fight against other nations; kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. There will be times when there is no food for people to eat, and there will be earthquakes in different places. These things are like the first pains when something new is about to be born” (NCV).
So, are these the beginning of birth pains? If so, how long will the labor last?
Why does God drop hints?
Why does the Bible give us hints about the end times when Jesus specifically told us we won’t know the time? (Matthew 24:36),
In fact, the rapture will totally take us by surprise. It will be like the flood. People just went about their lives and didn’t know what was happening until it was too late. (Matthew 24: 36-41) God did give them warning through Noah. 2 Peter 2:5 tells us that Noah was a preacher of righteousness. So, it wasn’t just watching Noah build the ark that was a witness to the world, but Noah told the people too. But no one listened.
Same today, God is given us enough information about the end times as a warning to prepare. (Matthew 24: 42-44)
How do we heed the warning and prepare?
One thing we can do is focus on the attributes of God.
Meditating on the attributes of God brings assurance and peace. Let’s look at just a few.
Yes, God is our Creator. But did you know He will be creating in the end times too? In Revelation 21: 1-5, the Bible tells us there will be a new heaven and earth – even a new Jerusalem. And it will be beautiful like a bride dressed for her husband.
As Christians, we should not shudder at the end times, but rejoice because of the new creation we have to look forward too!
Everything feels chaotic and upside down. People fight vehemently for the right to kill babies in the womb. Men say they are women and can have babies. Women say they are men. Crime is rampant and we don’t understand the cruelty of people. As Romans 1: 24-25 states, we have traded God’s truths for lies.
It isn’t the first time people have responded like this to our faithful and loving God. Israel rejected Him for a king. (1 Samuel 8: 4-9)
Nevertheless, when the disciples were afraid of drowning during a storm they awoke Jesus and demanded He do something. Jesus told them they didn’t have enough faith, but He still fixed their problem. How? He spoke and the wind and waves obeyed Him. (Matthew 8: 23-27).
Like the disciples, we need to ask Jesus to intervene so His will is done in our lives and in the world events swirling around us day and night. However, we must trust that God is still all-powerful and on the throne. God knows what, where, why, and when. He even knows the all-important HOW!
We may not understand, but we must trust God in the storms.
In Genesis 17:1, God speaks to Abram and this is the first time the name Almighty God is recorded. At this time God changes Abram’s name to Abraham and confirms His covenant with Abraham and descendants. Did He use the name Almighty to impress on Abraham that this covenant was serious business?
Despite his close relationship with God, Abraham struggled believing that the promises would be fulfilled. How could he and Sarah have a baby in their old age? However, God kept His promises to Abraham and He will keep His promises to us too.
In short, God’s authority and understanding is beyond human comprehension. (Psalm 147:5) But just rest in Him and lean on Him knowing He is God.
It may appear the enemy is winning, but God is the Victor. in Joshua 10:7-15, God tells this leader of the Israelites to not be afraid. Victory over the Amorites was guaranteed. True to His word, God killed more of the enemy with hail than the Israelites did with the sword. He also lengthened the day to bring victory to His people. Can you imagine the sun not setting? Only God can suspend His own laws.
It is hard to imagine Jesus’ return in the sky, but He will return. And while, like Joshua, we must be prepared, we shouldn’t be afraid. This is the victory we’ve all longed for in our earthly lives, and, it too, is guaranteed. Death is defeated and we will spend forever with God and those we love. What a glorious day that will be.
Find peace by meditating on these attributes of God. A good start:
Creator God: Psalm 104: 5-6
Sovereign God: Psalm 96: 7
Almighty God: Psalm 145: 1
Victorious God: Psalm 98: 9
As always, comments are welcome – even encouraged.