If you missed the first 7 signs from last week, here's the Link.
Let me reiterate from last week some reasons I believe studying prophecy and looking for Jesus's return is vitally important
- For every prophecy in the Bible about Jesus's first coming, there are 5 about His second
- Jesus, Himself, chastised the people of His day for not reading the signs of the times and being ready for His first coming. How much more will He chastise us for not being prepared for His second arrival?
- Watching Bible Prophecy come true not only increases one's faith but brings others to a saving knowledge of Christ (Biblical prophecy was a major factor in my salvation)
- We are instructed in the Scripture to always be looking for Jesus's return and to be ready
- The early church, including Peter and Paul spoke often of the second coming
- Being in a ready state for Jesus's return helps one live a holy life.
- Seeing prophecy being fulfilled gives one hope
- Knowing the signs of the times keeps us from being deceived and from the great deception the Bible predicts will come upon the entire world.
8. Persecution of Christians
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." John 15:18
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Matthew 24:9
In two millennia of Christian history, about 70 million faithful have given their lives for the faith, and of these, 45.5 million -- fully 65% -- were in the last century, according to "The New Persecuted" ("I Nuovi Perseguitati").
Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the year before, with Syria accounting for more than the whole global total in 2012, according to an annual survey. Read more at Reuters
Persecution is definitely on the rise due to the influx of radical Islam in the middle east. We have no way to know how many Christians they have butchered there.
Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. An average of at least 180 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. (Source: Open Doors USA)
Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ. (Source: U.S. Department of State)
Though we cannot compare with that kind of suffering here in America, I've seen an intense hatred for Christians growing even here in recent years. People being fired from jobs because they are Christians. Chaplains in the military not allowed to speak the name of Jesus. Businesses close who speak out against gays, and even shootings directed specifically at Christians. Keep your eye on this because it will only get worse.
9. People will kill Christians and think it is what God wants
"...yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service." John 16:2
Did you ever think you'd see a group of people who scream "god is great" as they are slaughtering thousands of innocent people? It baffles the mind that people believe their God orders them to kill anyone who doesn't believe like they do. Yes, I'm speaking about Radical Islam whose followers have a special hatred for Christians and Jews. Hmm. Wonder why? Before I get slammed with being a racist or Muslim hater, I'm neither. I love Muslims and often pray for them. However, a quick read of their Koran and Hadith and other writings of Mohammad, as well as what he did by way of example in his life time, proves that Islam demands the death of the infidel.
Yes, Christians have done that too over the centuries, I agree. But NEVER because God ordered it or it said so in the Bible.
10. Lawlessness and Iniquity abound and love grows cold
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matt 24:12
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2 Tim 3:1-4
I thought about gathering statistics to prove this, but if you live anywhere in the world, I don't think you need any. Crime is rampant, our jails are overflowing, and most people everywhere just don't seem to care any more. Yes, there has always been crime and wickedness, but I've been alive long enough to notice how much worse things are now than when I was a kid. In fact, when I grew up, I used to ride my bike through our neighborhood streets and go visit friends blocks away. My mother had no fear of me being kidnapped because only rich kids got kidnapped. Today, with all the pedophiles running around, you can't let your child out of your site. Kids are kidnapped for sexual pleasure and then dumped on the side of the road.
People used to leave their doors unlocked too. Especially if they lived in a safe neighborhood where everyone knew each other. Now people hide behind massive bolts and sophisticated alarm systems. What about the language? I would get my mouth washed out with soap if I said some of the words you hear people saying in stores and coffee shops. Okay.. I could go on, but you get the point.
11: False prophets
There are a TON of warnings in both old and new Testaments about False prophets. However Jesus warns us more than once about them in Matthew 24 as related to end times. There have always been false prophets throughout the centuries, but apparently in the last days there will be more than ever.
There have been obvious ones over the years: People's Temple, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Branch Davidians, various Christian cults, Scientology, Wicca, Universalism, New Age... etc.. But did you know there are several people today who claim to be Jesus? Google it and you'll see. They actually have a following! Also, I believe there are many false prophets within the church today, some preaching from the pulpit. They have huge followings and are almost worshiped like gods, and they twist Scripture ever so slightly so as to make it of no effect. We need to be extra careful what we listen to and who we listen to. Most of all, we must know the Scripture extremely well if we are to judge the truth from lies. Remember Satan is very subtle with his lies. They almost always sound very close to the truth.
The thing that concerns me most is that there will be a final false prophet who will also claim to be world's messiah, and he will prove himself through signs and wonders. He may even say he is the real Jesus and that the Bible is wrong. People will adore him and many will be deceived by him.
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect Matthew 24:24
12. People faint from terror
People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, Luke 21:26
Talk to anyone now a days and most people will say they are apprehensive of what is coming on the world. Even here in America where we are accustomed to feeling distant from the wars in Europe and elsewhere,, that sense of security vanished after 9-11. Just a quick glance over the news headlines each day reveals an abundance of terrifying events. The recent Paris attacks, the shootings here in the US, our open border, the influx of refugees, military cutbacks, a collapsing economy, inflation, our health care system crises. Not to mention that there is an entire group of people who call us the great Satan and want us all dead. People today are nervous about the future. However, even as bad as it is now, I believe Jesus was talking about a time when things will be much worse.
13. Gospel preached through the entire world
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matt 24:14
My husband has a theory about the spread of the Gospel. As we know it started in the middle east.. spread west to Europe and Africa, then it leapt over the Atlantic and took root in North and South America,and now it is finally ending up in Asia. When all the Asian countries have heard the Gospel, it will have encompassed the entire globe.
Well, guess what? China, Korea, and India have the largest growing Christian populations!
Here's just one article on China becoming the Worlds most Christian Nation within 15 years!
Here's an article about India
There are stories after stories coming out of Asia about how the Gospel is absolutely on fire over there, even despite the persecution. I'm actually a part of an organization called Global Media Outreach. They use the internet to reach people in distant lands through a cool website and then various ads. People can click on the ad and get the gospel presented to them right through their phone, and then if they want to receive Jesus, they can click another button and they get connected with an online missionary who can email with them one-on-one to help them find the truth. So, has the Gospel been preached in all the world to every nation? I think we are pretty close.
14. Nations involved in the Gog-Magog war are aligning
There is a war described in great detail in Ezekiel 38 which many Biblical Scholars believe to be a war that occurs right before the return of Christ. It is referred to as the Gog-Magog War.
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh,Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.
There is much debate over what these countries are called now, so I'll just list the various interpretations
Rosh, Meshech, Tubal (Russia or Turkey)
Persia (modern day Iran)
Cush - (Modern day Sudan or Somalia, also could be Iraq)
Put (Modern day Libya)
Gomer/Togarmah - (Modern day Turkey and/or perhaps parts of Russia, or Germany)
The prophecy states that these nations will form an alliance and attack Israel. This has never happened before, nor have these nations ever formed an alliance. Until Now. If you follow anything about the middle east, you know that Turkey is on the rise in both power and in its Islamic roots, and Iran continues to threaten Israel. Also Libya has been in the news lately too! It used to have a dictatorship but it is now run by Islamists. All these countries hate Israel and continue to threaten to wipe Israel off the map. Our recent deal with Iran has handed them the ability to make a nuclear weapon. Russia has also been flirting with Iran, which is unprecedented. Anyway, keep an eye on these countries and their attitude toward Israel.
If you're interested, read all of Ezekiel 38. It's really interesting and you will discover that it has a happy ending!
Come back next week for the Final Seven Signs of Jesus's Soon Return! I think you'll find the last 7 the most interesting of all!
Do you know where you are going when Jesus comes?
Whether Jesus comes soon or not for another thousand years, each one of us only has 80 or so years here on earth. Some much less. So, if you think about it that way, Jesus will come for you during your life time. The only question is, will He know you and grant you entrance into heaven or will he say "I never knew you, depart from me" and you end up in a very dark place without light or love or anything good for all eternity.
If you aren't sure where you'll end up, all you need to do is ask God to reveal Himself to you through Jesus. You must be sincere in your desire to know the truth. God will answer your prayer. Then all you need to do is believe in Jesus, receive the sacrifice He made for you on the cross, and submit your life to Him. It's simple and can be done in a minute. I'd love to pray with you or answer any questions. Simply contact me through the Contact Me button at the top of this blog.