Just when you think things can’t get any worse, you guessed it, they do. 2020 is definitely a year to remember, or forget, depending on your personal World View. Isn’t is amazing how we think we are in control, sitting on top of the world, seizing the moment then the rug is yanked from beneath our feet in one swift motion. Welcome to the new reality of COVID-19. Did you think a microbe could have such a devastating effect on our world? And does it really, or is it just another aspect of the power of the news media and our government spreading fake news and fear? It is shocking what can come out of a little bit of truth mixed with a whole lot of assumption and a pinch of speculation. The result is a recipe of fear, anxiety and uncertainty for most of the world. And if that is not enough, add to that the injustice of a life being taken by one who is sworn to protect, followed by protest, riots and civil unrest. Not just once, or twice but multiple times. And this doesn’t describe a small section of society but the whole world. And as of today, tensions are rising in North and South Korea and China and India are in a stand off on their border! We truly are living in perilous times, but things WILL get worse.
One of the most interesting attributes of the Bible, in my opinion, is it’s prophetic nature. There are roughly 1,800 prophecies in the Bible and the greatest majority of them have already come true as numbered by J. Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy lists. There are over 1,200 in the Old Testament and over 500 in the New Testament and the amazing thing is that the majority of these prophesies have already come true! So from my point of view, when multiple people can give multiple predictions, hundreds of years apart, relating to specific events in the future, you have to go hmm-mm, there could possible be something to this narrative. And so it is with scripture.
The majority of people in the United States have attended a church service at some point in their lives and have heard that this world will come to an end and Jesus will return to get his bride, the church. So these memories tend to surface in our memories when traumatic experiences or dire circumstances appear in life. Church attendance and spiritual questions sky-rocket as our mortality is put front and center in our lives. Times like war, 911 and now COVID-19. Even with physical church services put on hold, online and streaming views exploded beyond normal service attendance capabilities. So why all the attention now? I believe a majority of the current population over 25 has a Christian background, claims to be Christian, but knowingly lives a life contrary to the Word of God and do not follow in the footsteps of Jesus. So when their comfortable and secure life is thrown out of kilter, their minds are thrown back to their bible study days. The days when they use to attend worship and the story of the return of Christ comes to mind then panic and questions begin to arise. Questions like, ” are we living in the last days?”, “are these signs of Jesus’ return?”, “is the rapture about to take place?”. Or, people usually know a true Follower that they blow off as crazy most of the time but when extreme circumstances arise the thoughts begin to surface such as, “hey, is there something to the Christian worldview?” I mean if the world is coming to an end and Jesus is returning, we need to know when to straighten up and fly right! The Second Coming is not an event you make a days worth of preparations for, it is something your live prepared for by following in the footsteps of Jesus daily.
The short story of the Christian worldview is the Gospel or Good News and describes how God restored the broken relationship from sin between God and man through the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of his son Jesus the Christ. And since the resurrection, Christians have been living in the ‘Last Days’ waiting expectantly on the return of Jesus. In the New Testament before the return of Christ, we learn the circumstances that will precede His return but before we get into some of the signs let me remind you of one prophetic verse that stands out above the rest in reference to the Second Coming of Christ.
‘ “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. ‘Mat. 24:36
- Wars and Rumors of Wars Does this need any explanation. I cannot remember a time in my life where this prophecy is not in action . There does not a year go by that this prophecy is not in motion in some shape, form or fashion. But Jesus ads a statement to the sign, ” see to it that you are not alarmed”. Mat. 24:6
- Famines and Earthquakes Several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. However, many of these are undetected because they occur in remote areas or are very weak. On average, there are 18 major earthquakes and one great earthquake each year as documented by the European Space Agency. Since the year 2000 there have been 8 famines with 2 currently active as posted by Wikipedia. But again, Jesus says, “all these are the beginning of birth pains”. Mat. 24:8
- Christians will be Hated by all Nations Christians continue to come under assault around the world with believers being imprisoned and killed in most eastern and African countries. Now even in America, when the current statistics show a population make-up of 73% Christian, Christian values are coming under attack. This is largely due to the appearing of many false prophets within churches and denominations proclaiming good what God has called sin and distorting the Word of God. This is causing many to be deceived and as a result there is a deep divide in churches and the love of most is growing cold. Mat. 24:9-12
Even though we do not know the day or time, we can read the Signs of the Times and know that the day is near, right at the door. Matthew also tells us that the whole world will see Jesus when he returns and will mourn. Why would everyone mourn? There are several reasons in my opinion but in general people realize they have believed a lie. No matter if it is from a false religion, a deceived religion or no religion, it is too late. The story of the 10 virgins waiting on the Bridegroom tell us plainly we should have oil in our lamps waiting on his return. The oil for our lamps is our faith and hope in anticipation for the return of Jesus. Mat. 25
These are some of the signs of the Second Return of Christ, but it is clear Jesus desires for us all to believe in Him and trust He loves us with an everlasting love. He alone can fulfill the desires of our heart of Love, Joy, Peace and Acceptance that we are deceived into believing can be filled with Money, Power, Material Possessions and Prestige. It is clear the knowledge of this world is not bringing peace or people closer to each other, but is bringing division and separating people further apart. We need to lose the pride, be courageous enough to try another way and get back to the values God desires for us to live by. If you are not ready for the return of Christ, accept His gift of forgiveness for your sins today and trust Him as Lord and as Savior. John 3:16
‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ‘ Jeremiah 29:11-13
‘From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘ Acts 17:26-27
What we are doing is not working. What could it hurt to try it God’s way? To Love God and Love Others.Phil Robertson