|End Times - In the Words of Jesus Himself|
|Written by Kelly|
|Saturday, 14 July 2007 16:22|
|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. (Matthew 24:6-8; Mark 13:7-8 NIV). |
Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven." (Luke 21:10-11 NIV). But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God -- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV). 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 in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:10 NIV). "What can we expect in the End Times" is the same question the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 24. This chapter, in His words, tells us what signs and conditions of the world we can expect as End Times approach. They are fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies as well as what Christ spoke to His students.
The first thing to clarify is that End Times (or latter days) does not mean the world will blow up into non-existence as is often misunderstood. It does mean that the world will not be as we know it now. The most important thing we can expect is that Jesus will return to earth to establish a New Kingdom. In it His faithful and righteous followers are rewarded with eternal life (Daniel 7:27 and Matthew 24:12-13).
Prior to Messiah's return, the world will be in severe chaos and devastation due to non-repentant sin. Today we continually see drastic increases in natural disasters, famines, and pockets of wars spreading across the globe. People are crying for peace while iniquities abound. These signs will be perpetually on the increase until the time that Christ returns for the final battle known as Armageddon - which Christ will win. Revelation 19:14-16 says that Jesus with His saints will be victorious over the devil, anti-Christ and the wicked.
It is key to know that regardless of one's belief system or their lack of one, the Lord says in Romans 14:11 "It is written: 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, "every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God." The next verse points out that "each of us will give an account of himself to God."
End Times events are foretold by way of prophecies, warnings and promises in both Old and New Testaments. Many want to zero in on the resulting, inevitable, consequences of sin and unbelief stated in the warnings. However, they neglect to revel in the glory and eternal blessings for all Christ's faithful, as told in the promises. All have opportunity to choose their path. We can expect to see both fulfilled (Matthew 25:31-46).
For all the prophecies, we also read to expect the unexpected. "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour" (Matthew 25:13). The plea is to be ready and watchful since no one can predict the exact day or hour of Jesus' return.