Signs of the End (What to Watch For)

Besides Hank Aaron’s record getting broken by a juiced up, grumpy 43 year old…

Out of the book of Daniel, three big predictions
– Rise of the Final Kingdom
– Ruler Who Will Come
– Abomination that Causes Desolation set up in the temple

The final kingdom has been believed for many years to be a revived Roman Empire of sorts. Daniel 9:25-27 for instance said “the people of the ruler who will come” would destroy the temple after the Messiah was “cut off” (Jesus was killed around 36-41 AD). We know the “ruler” was probably the Anti-Christ from many of the things Daniel says, and in 70 AD the Romans destroyed the temple. So… there you go. Revived Roman Empire. That’s just one of the places that indicates it.

It is interesting that so many major religions of the world are currently looking for a Messiah-type figure to arrive. Islam has their 12th Imam, Judiasm is still waiting for the Messiah since they decided Jesus wasn’t it, Christians await Jesus’ return, and Scientology already has their Messiah figure evidently in the person of Tom Cruise.

Uh… standards must be lower with some religions.

When the charismatic world leader arrives, there are more than enough people waiting for him. This world is crying out for such a person.

Daniel also mentions this “ruler” will set up the “abomination that causes desolation” on a wing of the temple. Even Jesus said to look out for this, and some Bible scholars believe this was literally fulfilled by the Romans in 70 A.D. Without going into great detail, let’s just admit that since many Jews are planning to rebuild the temple and have even made overtures to the Palestinians and Arab nations to get this done…

In other words, regardless of the debate over whether the Roman destruction of the temple in 70 AD works as a fulfillment of this prophecy or not, the anti-Christ himself is still future and low and behold, there are plans to build the temple in the near future. Very soon, the world pictured in Daniel and Revelation may look remarkably like the world we have today.

Coincidence? Not for me.

Out of Matthew 24, three big predictions:
-The message of Jesus would be preached to the entire world before the end
-Many “false” messiah’s and “false” prophets would appear to deceive the world, even Christians.
-Wars, Persecution, Death, Earthquakes, ….life gets bad.

Some mission organizations have already been saying for years that we have reached every “people-group” through the use of missionaries, radio, television and more. It’s difficult to measure, but the message of Jesus is certainly not far from this, if it hasn’t already happened.

The false messiahs? In a world seeking a real messiah it’s easy for a new cult leader or religious type person to step up collect tens or hundreds or thousands of followers. According to the Bible, this will get worse as we get closer to the end. As far as false “prophets” go… throw in some supposedly Christian messengers, along with the others.

The rest of Matthew 24 seems to fit the Seals of the book of Revelation. None of those seven Seals are new things, or even supernatural things necessarily. They are events that have been going on for most of human history at one level or another. The difference is in Revelation, and in Matthew 24, things are out of control. It’s like God said, “You want a world without me completely? You got it.” (insert flushing sound)

The Seals-Revelation 6 and 8
#1 – Likely the Anti-Christ (many figures in world history have fit his description, but this is THE Anti-Christ.
#2 – War -takes peace from the earth
#3 – Famine and shortages
#4 – Death – killing one-fourth of the earth through war, famine, and disease
#5 – Persecution of Christians
#6 – God’s Judgment
#7 – God’s Silence

Matthew also mentions the Abomination that Causes Desolation. Jesus here says when you see it in the temple, run. Don’t look back -run. Consider the awfulness of living in any time when the advice from God himself is “if you are on your roof, don’t go down to get anything out, run! And pray that it doesn’t happen in the winter.”

How do you like that for peace of mind?

Mark 13 is pretty much the same as Matthew 24, but Luke 21 gives us a few more signs to be ready for:
-Great signs from Heaven
-General terror and apprehension

What they are, we can only guess, but reading closely, you can almost feel what it will be like when Luke writes the nations will be distressed at the roaring and tossing of the sea, and “Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” -Luke 21:26

You even have people talking about a feeling of uneasiness today. Glenn Beck has brought this up, . even having a section on his website entitled The Perfect Storm. He has noted that even our movies always seem to be about the destruction of the world.

Luke also makes it sound like Global Warming is for real, but that can’t be true.

Can it?

I Thessalonians 5 says people will be saying “peace and safety” just as destruction comes upon them all. Interestingly, after 9/11 we all began to say “peace and safety.” Prior to that, most of our speeches simply talked about “world peace.” Now we say both.

II Thessalonians tells us there will be a “rebellion” before the end, and the “man of lawlessness” will be revealed. There’s that Anti-Christ thing again.

Does the move of our nation away from Christianity, and the strength being gained by the atheistic movement have anything to do with the “rebellion?” Personally, I have usually had great respect for atheists since most of those I conversed with were honestly questioning things, and honestly searching for the truth. I teach my son to question everything in fact.

However these days, it seems those outside of Christianity are increasingly becoming more angry towards it, and on the attack against it. It seems fewer and fewer are seeking truth, but simply taking what MTV has told them, and attempting to prove their superiority to those who disagree. I know that’s not true of everyone, but it seems increasingly true.

Whatever the reasons, and whatever group happens to be leading the “rebellion,” it is easy to see that our world is moving away from any sort of faith in God. Are we in the rebellion?

I think you can see it from here.

I and II Timothy make predictions that sound an awfully lot like today.

Second Peter says Jesus will come like a thief, that the earth will be destroyed with a roar and the elements will melt in the heat. In Peter’s day, only God could make a fire that strong. Today, we can, too. It’s generally called a nuclear weapon.

I John tells us to look out for the Anti-Christ.

Then you run into Revelation. It starts with the Seals, then moves on to God’s judgments. These are represented by seven trumpets and seven bowls. It speaks of the Anti-Christ as well as a “false prophet” who is more or less a running mate. Two witnesses will prophesy on the streets in Jerusalem and 144,000 Jews will be “sealed” or protected from harm during God’s judgments.

Revelation also mentions the False Church will gain world domination. Who is the false church? They have and will approve of persecution of God’s people, and in Revelation they make a deal with the Anti-Christ, at least for awhile.

I’m not pointing fingers, but it’s usual practice for world religious leaders to do their best to accomodate and team up with political leaders, and leaders of other religions. It’s not hard to imagine the leaders of an organization God will call “Babylon the Great” doing just that.

You may have heard that “Babylon the Great” will be in the ancient city of Babylon? Read Revelation 17-18 if you want and you’ll notice it is highly symbolic. Now the symbols are symbolic of real things, but figuring out what those real things are is tough, and Babylon has been used as a symbol of many things in the Bible -even Jerusalem. Here, I believe, it is symbolic of false religion or the false Church.

In short, there’s not much in Bible prophecy our world is not literally set up to fulfill. I’m not saying sell all your things and sit on the roof. After all, if Jesus was coming today, you should BUY not sell….

No all I’m saying is this 2000+ year old Bible is still doing pretty good, and perhaps we should…

you know…

keep an eye on things.

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