End Times Signs
End times signs and prophecy are biblical information that many people are interested in finding more about, as the events of today and of recent history point to many fulfilled prophecies of the Word of God. Soon after the fall of man, God foretold of the coming of a Messiah and the ultimate creation of a New Heavens and a New Earth. The Old Testament and the New are both full of prophetic teachings that not only tell us about the coming days of judgement, but they are also full of warnings which urge God's people to live a godly life, to keep to sound doctrine, and to watch carefully for the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). And as years have crept by, many have forgotten that the Bible tells us that the end of all things is at hand. We are living in the Bible last days.
In the book of Matthew, Christ's disciples come to Him and ask what will be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age. Christ answers the disciples with clear indicators that give those who read Scripture clues which signal that the end is very near. While Peter wrote that the end was at hand nearly two thousand years ago, and we know that these are the latter days of Satan's reign on earth, the end times signs that Christ revealed should alert all believers to take biblical action and prepare for the coming of our Lord. "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer" (1 Peter 4:7).
Christ's first response to the disciples was to warn them to take heed that no one deceive them, for many would come in the Lord's name saying that they were the Christ. Interestingly, Jesus first warned his disciples, knowing that Satan would attempt to counterfeit God at every turn. More important than observing the times was the need to keep oneself immersed in true doctrine, in the Word of God, able to discern truth from a lie. Then Jesus explained that there would be wars and rumors of wars, but that this would not yet be the end. The Bible last days would hold many more tribulations. There would not only be world wide strife, but there would be wide spread famine, pestilence, and natural disasters; earthquakes, to be exact. Jesus explained that Christians would be persecuted during this time and that all nations would hate those who follow and love the Lord. Christ also said the love of many would grow cold and that people would hate one another, being easily offended. Verse 14 of Matthew 24 explains that other end times signs would include the gospel of the kingdom of God being preached to all the world and that the abomination that the prophet Daniel spoke of would be fulfilled, and then the end would come. For more related topics such as Bible prophecy, false teachers and the apostate Church, visit our Bible resources.
In the book of Acts, Luke records Peter preaching that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit upon all of mankind and that both men and women would prophecy. Peter also taught that there would be end times signs in the sky above and on the earth below. Peter also wrote that in the Bible last days that scoffers would come, making mockery of those who waited for Christ. But, Peter wanted the readers to understand that the heavens and earth that exist now were reserved for fire, just as the earth had once been destroyed by water. He further stated that the day of the Lord would catch many off guard and that the heavens would pass away. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
Because Christ also told His disciples that no one knows the exact day or hour of these great events, many have claimed that the watching and waiting for the Bible last days is not important, nor should it be the focus of Christians living today. But, other Scriptures indicate quite differently. Because we have been given many signs, Christ fully intended for us to be alert and aware for many different reasons. "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness" (2 Peter 3:11). We are to be looking forward to the promise of a new heaven and earth and not enjoying the pleasures of this earth. "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless" (2 Peter 3:14). Knowing that the end of time draws near should also serve to remind us to live a holy life, knowing that at any moment we will meet or precious Savior, face to face.
There are many more Scriptures about the end times signs and how we are to respond to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word equates Christ to a groom coming for the Bride, which is symbolic of the church. As a bride awaiting the wedding day, so we should wait with great anticipation, watching for any indication that the time is near. To discover more Scriptures about the Bible last days, take the quiz linked above.
PersecutionChristian persecution, as in days of old, has begun to become prevalent around the world today, as other religions and faiths exercise intolerance for the belief that claims that only by Christ can one enter into eternity. During and immediately after the life of Christ, many Jews and other people groups found what Christ taught about himself to be harsh and offensive. Christ himself suffered the ultimate persecution, experiencing a slow painful death of crucifixion. Though Christians have always suffered some form of mistreatment in certain parts of the world, it does seem as if the pendulum is beginning to swing, once again, back to the idea that a man who claimed to be God and the only way to heaven conjures up offensive reactions in a multitude of people. But, the Bible clearly states that suffering ill treatment is not only walking in Christ's shoes, but it is also to be expected as the battle lines are drawn and the last days grow ever nearer. In today's American culture of comforts and religious freedoms, perhaps all northern Americans can use a reminder of what Christ taught in order to become more alert, as Christianity slowly becomes a disrespected religion.
The teachings of Jesus Christ upset many faiths and religious leaders. Jesus did not claim to be a prophet or to be a wise man of God. Jesus claimed to be God, and the only begotten son of God. When considering that the Jewish nation had built their spiritual authority upon the laws of Moses, this claim was considered blasphemy. Men and women were faced with making the decision that Jesus was either who he said he was, or Jesus was a mad man, upsetting the entire religious system of that day. Those who believed in Him followed him faithfully, and those who did not believe had reason to fear him and to hate the new teachings Christ supported. The religious leaders of the day put together a plan to persecute Jesus for these outrageous claims and persecution of the disciples and Christ followers would soon follow. But, as we now know, the persecuted Jesus was part of the plan for forgiveness and redemption, and in order for mankind to experience the ultimate atonement, Christ had to die.
Before Christ was crucified, he made sure that the disciples understood that to follow him would mean to choose a road of pain and suffering. Because we are made in God's image, and Christ was the very nature of God, we must walk the paths that Christ walked, enduring trials and persecution. "And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it" (Luke 9:23-24). Because Satan is the prince of this world and is the great deceiver of men, it is Satan's desire to not only prevent men from believing the truth of salvation, but it is also a principle objective to destroy the efforts of Christians throughout the world. Because there is a battle in the spiritual world, there is battle on earth. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). And so the results of spiritual battles raged against men, Christian persecution results. Discover related issues for those who follow Christ by visiting these Bible resources.
Jesus Christ also warned his followers that they would be hated. "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sale; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 10:22). The book of 1 John explains that believers should not be surprised at Christian persecution. And Paul the apostle urges the young churches to pray for those who persecute them because those who led a godly life would certainly suffer ill treatment from others. Paul also stated that he considered it joyful to suffer for the sake of Christ. Because Paul had an eternal perspective about his future, he considered being persecuted as gain for the kingdom of Christ. The New Testament is clear; believers who are devoted to the cause of Christ threaten the eternal security of false teachings, and persecution will follow.
And, as we live in the end times and the second coming of Christ draws nearer by the hour, we should heed the words of Christ himself. Increased Christian persecution is actually a significant sign that we are coming ever closer to this magnificent event. "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake" (Matthew 24:5-9) Though being persecuted for one's faith is never easy, we can all take heart that on the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, every knee shall bow and those who have persevered shall inherit the riches of his kingdom.