Are We Living in the End Times Right Now?
Reverend Boudreaux was the pastor of the Cajun Baptist Church, and Pastor Thibodeaux was the minister of the Covenant Church across the road. They were both standing by the road, pounding a sign into the ground that read: “Da End is Near! Turn Yo’ self Around Now! Before It’s Too Late!” As a car sped past them, the driver leaned out his window and yelled, “You religious nuts!” From the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash… Bordeaux turned to Thibodeaux and asked, “Do ya tink maybe da sign should jus say ‘Bridge Out’?”
The Bible says even Jesus doesn’t know when He’s returning! As we walk through this, I want to remind you that what is more important than asking “Are the End Times Near?” is the gut check, “Am I near Jesus?” Tweet
Here’s a Brief Review of the Book of Revelation. The first five words in the book of Revelation are, “the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Notice that the focus at the very beginning is on Jesus! Always keep your focus on Him, not your circumstances or the End Times. Tweet
Every generation since 70 AD felt like their time was the end. Many generations thought they knew who the antichrist was – some thought it was a Roman Emperor, and some thought the Pope. Others on this list included Martin Luther, Hitler, Gorbachev (because of the mark on his forehead), and Putin. LSU fans are convinced that it's Nick Saban!
I can understand why people are asking about it right now, because there's so much going on in the world, what with turmoil in the Middle East, Ebola last year, and now 21 beheadings of Christians recently. Yes it was Egyptians, but they were killed because they were Christians. Let me be clear! And on top of that, I just read this week that at least 220 Christians were abducted in Syria.
A Time/CNN poll found that more than one-third of America is paying attention to how news might relate to the end times. Tweet
The disciples asked this question too: Read Romans 13:11
Based on this verse, clearly the coming of Christ is nearer than it was when you got saved! Not very profound is it? What is also abundantly clear is that we need to get ready for this! Wake up out of your sleep. Don’t waste time.
Some say, “Pastor, I will give my heart to God after the rapture.” What? No you won’t. The Bible says there will be a strong delusion, and you will not repent.
So how do you prepare? Give your heart to the Lord today. The Bible says that today is the day of salvation. And if this day comes and you are not saved, you’ll get to be involved in a series of famous books – Left Behind!
Matthew 24 is a good synopsis of the end times. Jesus answers the question about signs – earthquakes, famines, pestilences, wars, and persecution of the church – He just doesn't answer the question about when. He talks about earth signs – earthquakes, famines, pestilences, wars, and persecution of the Church. He just doesn’t answer the when.
All of those signs are being fulfilled in our generation, but every generation thought they were too. However, there are many unique things about our day; some parts of prophecy have only been fulfilled in our generation. For example:
1. The Gospel preached to the whole world
The word “nation” in the Greek is the word “ethnos,” meaning “ethnic group.” It used to be you would send in missionaries, start a Bible school, and raise up pastors. Now an entire Bible school can fit on a chip the size of your fingernail.
Twenty years ago they were writing profiles for the unreached people groups in the 10/40 window. Now we are close to the end of that. Do I know for sure that the whole world has heard the Gospel? No, but the Bible says,
“When every tribe, every nation has heard, then the end will come.”
2. The rebirth of Israel
Isaiah 66:8 says, a nation will be born in a day. On May 15th, 1948, the nation of Israel was reborn. In one day.
3. The Two Witnesses
In Revelation 11, about halfway through the Tribulation period, two prophets will be murdered in the streets, with everyone around the world watching live. That couldn’t have happened in another generation. It could only happen with the technology we have today.
4. The Increase of Knowledge
The word in Hebrew literally means “knowledge explosion” We are in a knowledge explosion. From the beginning of time until the year 1900, there was no electricity, and transportation was primarily by horses. Then, after the invention of the light bulb, within one generation that same light now can cut thru steel or delicately thru an eyeball.
Until 1900, communication was by smoke signals, beating drums or brightly shining brass reflecting off each other from mountain to mountain. Then came radio, telephones, telegraphs, tv, fax machines, and fiber optics. Now you can fly in a airplane at 30,000 feet at 600 mph and your wife can call you. (How do I know that?)
Many think the problem with the world is more education. Many secularists have taught for years, “If you educate man, he will produce paradise.” Knowledge without God only produces an intellectual barbarian. Hitler’s original Nazis were mostly PhD’s, yet they threw Jewish children into ovens, burning them alive.
How about now? The United States is one of the most educated countries in the world, and we are throwing children into ovens, too. They are even younger than those in Nazi Germany. In our system, we just change the name from “baby” to “fetus” and hide the murder behind the womb. This is still the most dangerous place in our country.
Kids are now shot on school playgrounds. We ask God, “Why do you allow so many slayings at school?” Maybe God responds, “Because I am not allowed in schools.”
5. The Birth of Nuclear Warfare
Before nuclear bombs, there was a scripture that was a mystery to Bible teachers. Now it’s tragically clear as we race toward Armageddon. I’m no prophet, but there will be a nuclear exchange in the Middle East way too soon.
Before I continue, I say let’s not fight Jerusalem. This verse is a perfect picture of a nuclear explosion – 150 million degrees Fahrenheit in one-millionth of a second. That verse is not hard to understand now.
6. Many Turning to the Lord, and Many Turning Away
Matthew 24:12 says, Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.
This verse hurts to even read. What is happening on the internet? What is happening in secret? What is happening with the media? LISTEN! The world is trying to redefine life, marriage, happiness, holiness, and intelligence. But just because they say it loud, that doesn’t mean it’s right. Jesus is a lover, but He never compromises the truth.
In the sermon with the same title (Watch - Are We Living in the End Times?), I mentioned that when you study faith trends in America, you will find that the younger the generation, the much less likely they will be Bible-based believers. In fact, 65% of the oldest generation call themselves Bible-based believers, while only 4% of the youngest generation do. This is why we focus so much on the youngest generation! That number, that 4%, drives me. (Global Faith Stats).
This stat is why we do church the way we do. Some say, “I don’t like the smoke and lights.” And I say, “We are trying to reach a generation that has the hand of Satan around their throat. Get over it!”
This stat is also why we now have a college, training young people for ministry in America and around the world, in every walk of life. If our nation looks the way it does now with the Baby Boomer generation currently leading it (35% of whom are Bible-based believers), what will it look like when the 4% are leading? I want to do my best to make sure that this generation, the 4%, has every tool they need to turn this nation and this world around!
For a further description of the culture of the end times, see 2 Peter 3:3-10.
Keep Jesus at the center of your home. Keep walking out the vision of your local church.
I can’t say how close we are to the end, but this is by far the most important event in your future. It actually closes the book on history. God chose you to live here and now. So, meanwhile, what should we do? It’s simple! Keep Jesus at the center of your home. Keep walking out the vision of your local church.
Finally, keep reaching the world – your family, your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors across the street, and the country or countries God is calling you to – with the truth that God loves them so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son to spare them from both the temporal and eternal wrath to come.
Don’t just be nice to people, but be willing to tell them the truth – love with compassion! Tweet
Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. – Matthew 24:40-42