Discerning the Signs of the Times (Part Two)
We believe that we are living in the End Times. We believe that the Lord will return soon to catch his bride away and begin the Tribulation period where he deals with the Jews. If this be true, what are the signs Jesus is coming?
Last Lesson we covered “The Signs of Nature”
The Signs of Society
[Matt.24:12,37-39] Jesus said that society will become increasingly lawless and immoral as the time approaches for His return. In fact, He said it would become as evil as it was in the days of Noah.
Paul paints a chilling picture of end time society in [2 Timothy 3:1-5]. He says it will be characterized by three loves — the love of self (Humanism), the love of money (Materialism), and the love of pleasure (Hedonism). Men’s minds will become depraved [Romans 1:28], and people will call evil good and good evil [Isaiah 5:20].
We are seeing these prophecies fulfilled before our eyes today as we watch our society reject its Christian heritage and descend into a hellish pit of lawlessness, immorality, and despair.
The Spiritual Signs There are both positive and negative spiritual signs that we are to watch for.
The negative ones include:
• The appearance of false Christs and their cults (Matthew 24:5,11,24) JW’s, Mormon’s
• The apostasy of the professing church (2 Thessalonians 2:3) Falling Away, Methods, message, and music
• An outbreak of Satanism (1 Timothy 4:1) Seducing spirits
• The persecution of faithful Christians (Matthew 24:9) (Jn.16:1-4)
The positive spiritual signs include:
• The proclamation of the Gospel to the whole world (Matthew 24:14) Missions/Internet
• Spiritual illumination to understand prophecies that have been “sealed up” until the end times (Daniel 12:4,9).
The Signs of Technology
The book of Daniel says that there will be an explosion of knowledge in the end times and that people will move about quickly (Daniel 12:4).
There are many Bible prophecies that cannot be understood apart from modern technology. For example:
• How can the whole world look upon two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8-9)? Modern television satellite technology makes it easy.
• How can the False Prophet build an image of the Anti-Christ that appears to be alive (Revelation 13:15)? The answer, of course, is the science of robotics.
• How can the False Prophet require all people on earth to take the mark of the Anti-Christ in order to buy and sell (Revelation 13:16-17)? It would not be possible apart from computers and lasers.
Jesus said that the Tribulation will be so terrible that all life on earth would cease to exist if He did not cut the period short (Matthew 24:21-22). How could all life be threatened prior to the advent of nuclear weapons? Another reference to nuclear power is likely contained in Luke’s statement that men in the end times will “faint from fear” because “the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:26). That certainly sounds like a reference to the splitting of the atom.
The Signs of World Politics
The Bible prophesies that there will be a certain pattern of world politics that will characterize the end time geopolitical map. The efforts to establish a one world government, religion, and currency.
The focus will be the state of Israel (Zechariah 12:2-3) gathered together against it
There will also be a threatening nation to the East that will be capable of sending an army of 200 million — namely, China (Revelation 9:13-16).
The final source of danger to Israel will be all nations that will surround it. They will covet the land and will try to take it from the Jews (Zeph.3:8)