Are we living in the end times now? What do we mean when we use the term, ‘the end times’? This term describes a period of time that is detailed in the Bible as occurring immediately prior to Jesus’ return. The Bible prophesies that Jesus will return again (the Second Coming) to gather His faithful, to judge those who have rejected him and restore creation to its original perfect condition. In a sense, it is true to say we have been “in the last days” ever since Jesus ascension. However, if you compare current world events with the conditions associated with His return, you will find they point uniquely towards the times we are currently living in as being the days that usher in Jesus’ return. These “signs” or “birth pains” have been rapidly increasing in frequency and intensity which means this stage is set in many ways for Jesus imminent return.
Unfortunately, within much of the Christian landscape, many passages of Scripture in both Old and New Testament that outlines features of the end times has being allegorised or interpreted symbolically. This results in the texts losing its power and leads to far less urgency and alertness – sometimes the Bible consistently warns us against. Given the way we see so many predicted features of end time events all converging simultaneously, there is every reason to suspect the world is set for these ancient prophecies to be literally fulfilled – we live in exciting times!
Jesus warned His believers to watch and look for these signs. Although setting the date for Christ’s return is strictly prohibited, we are instructed to recognise the conditions in the world that point to the imminency of Jesus’ second coming to prevent being caught off-guard. These signs should be an immense encouragement for us in these latter days that God’s Word will always be fulfilled as God keeps His promises:
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night…But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, 4-6 NIV)
The predictions of Jesus’ 1st coming in the Old Testament were fulfilled very literally – this is God’s way of verifying His message to humanity. We have no reason to doubt that the details given in Scripture associated with Jesus’ 2nd coming will be fulfilled in an equally literal manner. For the reasons listed below, we believe the stage is set for the Coming King…
2020 – What is happening?
Many people are looking at the events already happened this year and thinking what is going on?! 2020 has been an unprecedented year in terms of chaotic events. Here are a few:
- Australian Bushfires – recording-breaking temperatures and severe drought have led to massive bushfires
- UK Flooding – Storm Ciara, Storm Dennis, and Storm Jorge batter the UK as it sets the wettest February on record
- UK Brexit – on the 31st January the UK left the EU and entered an 11-month transition period
- Ukrainian jetliner ‘unintentionally’ shot down in Iran
- Floods in Indonesia – Jakarta experienced extreme rainfall triggered by cyclones
- Coronavirus pandemic – COVID-19 has affected every country and effectively shutdown the Western world
- Locust swarms – unprecedented numbers of locusts (hundreds of billions) are swarming East Africa
Things are escalating and there are many more events happening that the Bible says will happen in the end times.
In May 2020:
In April 2020:
Signs of Israel
It maybe surprising, but the most important sign of all is Israel. Israel is the centre point for end time prophecy and is often referred to as God’s prophetic clock. Only in recent decades has Israel become a state again (14th May 1948) which would have seemed extremely unlikely in the years leading up to this when the Jews were being systematically murdered in the holocaust. In 1967 Israel re-occupied Jerusalem which is described with many others fulfilled prophecies in our Can you prove the Bible? article.
The Bible describes the land of Israel as being deserted with rocky fields, swamplands and ruined cities. But God will restore these when the time is right.
But you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will cause many people to live on you—yes, all of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will increase the number of people and animals living on you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I will cause people, my people Israel, to live on you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children. (Ezekiel 36:8-12 NIV)
He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. (Isaiah 11:12 NIV)
The return of the Jewish people to Israel is a miracle in its own right. Ever since the 1880s, Jews have been returning to the land and now they number almost 7 million. Furthermore, Israel now has one of the biggest economies in the world and are world-leaders in many industries including technological developments. Prior to 1948, it was very difficult to see how many as-yet unfulfilled events concerning Israel could be fulfilled literally – in this very generation, we are observing these very events unfolding just as foretold!
Many Jews coming to faith in Christ
The following passage is the well known “dry-bones” prophecy. Seventy years ago, during the holocaust, it could be said that the Jews were “dried up” and their “hope is lost”. Since then, they have been placed in their own land and record numbers of Jews are coming to faith in Jesus their Saviour.
Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37:11-14 NIV, emphasis added)
So, what is next on the horizon for Israel?
On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. (Zechariah 12:3 NIV)
This verse has never been more relevant as nations continue to fight over Jerusalem. Israel’s immediate neighbours are being overtaken by groups who are overtly antagonistic towards Israel and regularly engage in political and military hostility towards the Jewish people. Slightly further afield countries such as Iran, Egypt, Syria and Libya as well are rarely shy about their desire to annihilate Israel. A horrific war could start at any time in the region which could see a fulfilment of Scriptures such as Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38/39. The massive discovery of natural gas and oil off the coast of Israel could prove to be another motivation for other nations to take a share of the wealth that Israel looks set to profit from. [ref].
You can read more about Israel in our Why Israel? article.
The stage is perfectly set in relation to Israel – only the Lords knows how long it will be until end times events erupt in the region.
Signs in Nature
The Bible outlines many signs in nature that pertain to the end times – we are seeing an increase in frequency and intensity of many of these signs around the world.
For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 24:5-8 NIV)
Everyone will be aware of the alarming rise of climate-related events across the world – a situation that is predicted to get worse, not better. Despite the environmental activism that saturates our media at present, our ability to prevent ‘climate change’ is hugely exaggerated. We should do everything possible to be responsible stewards of our resources and play our part in protecting the environment, but nothing will be able to stop the catastrophic events outlined in the Bible.
Here are some videos covering some of these signs:
Despite living on a planet that has ample resources to feed everyone alive, malnutrition and disease are rife in huge areas of the world. Strange and unpredictable weather patterns have reduced food supply driving up food prices in many areas – pushing more people into poverty.
Many experts now say we are “facing unprecedented outbreaks of Ebola, Chikungunya and even the Plague.” Here is a frightening update on some of the “most dangerous infectious diseases that are now spreading out of control” – Natural News: One third to die by plague or famine; one third will fall by the sword; one third to be scattered to every wind.
With a world that is interconnected in ways unique in human history, the threat of a catastrophic health-related outbreak being unleashed is entirely plausible. In 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic has proven how quickly and deadly a virus can spread. The COVID-19 outbreak as shown how unprepared some countries are to a fast spreading virus as panic buying and confusion spreads through societies.
Another example of the increase of destructive natural events is the escalation of earthquakes across the world in recent years. This trend is detailed by this website which shows the increase in 7.0 and above earthquakes in recent years – http://www.earth.webecs.co.uk/.
Wars and Rumours of Wars
Throughout history there has been a constant succession of wars and conflicts, but there has been a steady increase in the last 150 years [ref]. In the last century alone, there have been two world wars and there are currently numerous scenarios that could trigger World War 3. The media is constantly reporting rumours of conflicts all over the world for many reasons including weapon development, drug trafficking, insurgency, etc. The world we live in is looking very unstable and troubled.
Deception and false Christs
The Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 is the classic account where Jesus graphically describes the signs immediately prior to his return. As already detailed, many events and signs are described which includes wars, famines, natural disasters and persecution of Christians. Whilst these symptoms of end times are each mentioned once, there is another feature that Jesus mentions FOUR times – deception!
Jesus clearly wanted to emphasize that growing religious deception would be one of the clearest signs that his return is imminent:
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. (Matthew 24:4 NIV, emphasis added)
For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:5 NIV, emphasis added)
and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:11 NIV, emphasis added)
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:23-24 NIV, emphasis added)
Many churches are re-defining the gospel message to make the message more “seeker-friendly” in a vain attempt to accommodate culture. However, this goes completely against the clear teaching of Jesus that the message of salvation will always be seen as offensive and divisive to the unsaved. Any message of salvation which sidesteps the issue of sin, repentance and our salvation through Christ is not a message of salvation at all – it is a deceptive false gospel. Many churches are rapidly turning away from God’s Word and pastors are often attempting to “entertain” congregations instead of lovingly guiding them to repentance. The focus during services often becomes “self” instead of Christ and it is not uncommon to hear of church leader denying key doctrine such as the bodily resurrection of Jesus and His virgin birth.
This has coincided with a rapid decline in the clear teaching of Scripture within mainstream church circles where secular worldviews have gained prominence. We have now reached the point where Darwinian evolution is often promoted as an explanation for our origins within the church as opposed to the creation accounts. Furthermore, the church has capitulated on a host of moral issues such as the sanctity of life and definition of marriage as it seeks to comply with a social narrative that is being steered by culture as opposed to Scripture.
Jesus is the ONLY way to find salvation, but we now observe the alarming trend of Christian denominations try to compromise on the exclusivity that Jesus was crystal-clear about. The church must never seek to offend for the sake of it, but the desire to perceived as “inclusive” and “politically correct” is causing complete surrender to culture in some areas of the church landscape.
Amidst dwindling congregations, many churches are so desperate to get people through the doors that services are designed to entertain and generate an experience. This results in concert-style ‘worship’ and easy-to-listen-to sermons that are really just motivational speeches. Teachings on biblical concepts like repentance, sin, judgment and hell are rarely if ever, heard. Instead, the church has followed our humanistic culture and focussed on self-esteem, self-love, self-pity, self, self, self! The rough edges of Jesus’ teaching become softened and we see warnings against deception playing out before our eyes:
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude 1:3-4 NIV)
The relentless attacks from both inside and outside the church on the authority of the Bible have resulted in many viewing the Scriptures as archaic and irrelevant. Ironically, in an age where there is more access to the Bible than at any other time in history, peoples faith in Scripture dwindles to an all-time low and are therefore far more susceptible to deception – as a result, much of mainstream Christendom appears to be yawning rather than yearning at the prospect of the Lord’s return.
The Bible indicates there will be a one-world system in place at the end times which will sit under the rule of the antichrist.
It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Whoever has ears, let them hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. (Revelation 13:7-17 NIV, emphasis added)
This passage would make no sense unless there is a system in place to control all the inhabitants of the world. There are currently three trends that indicate the world is moving towards this “unity”:
One World Religion
A number of organisations are attempting to merge the worlds different faiths together in concerted Inter-Faith movement – these includes efforts such as Chrislam and the United Religions Initiative. Bizarrely, there are many Christian churches reading from the Quran during services in an attempt to demonstrate solidarity – Faith Shared lists all of these. Many people suspect the Roman Catholic church will take the lead in this which certainly fits with many sentiments that come from the Vatican.
This short video explore some points around the coming One World Religion.
The world’s economic systems are very closely connected and it would not take much to cause the world’s economy to descend into chaos. Many experts are surprised that we have not experienced a catastrophic financial collapse already and considering the unsustainable levels of debt, particularly in western economies, we appear to be spiralling towards a climax. A huge economic collapse could provide the perfect environment for a worldwide organisation to step in and take control.
Vatican calls for global authority on economy, raps “idolatry of the market”. The links to videos below give you idea of how connected all the nations economies are:
One World Government
Despite, much geopolitical unrest and uncertainty, it would only take one major event or disaster to trigger such a rapid change. Economic collapse, world war, natural disaster or even the rapture itself could be that event that shocks the world into a greater unity. An event which caused the lights to ‘go out’ around the world would set the conditions for a world leader to step onto the world stage and take control.
This video – YouTube – Confessions of an Economic Hitman – shows how richer countries take over and control poorer countries.
There has been a dramatic rise of demonic activity in recent years – here is just a small sample of strange supernatural phenomena around the world, many in the UK:
- The Occult: There has been a dramatic increase in recent times of occult participation. There is a greater fascination in the spiritual world which has been encouraged by entertainment and media. Many now regularly read horoscopes, seek advice from psychics, practice various forms of spiritualism or engage in more overt forms of occultism which are strictly condemned in Scripture.
- Crop Circles: crop circles are a very strange phenomenon and occur more in the UK than anywhere else in the world, especially in Wiltshire, England. Each year, new crop circles appear with some of these circles within the stunning patterns being perfectly completed. They seem to appear within hours and are amazingly complex – it’s hard to believe these are all of human origin. Here are some circles in England: August 2012 Hackpen Hill, nr Broad Hinton, Wiltshire, August 2012 Cheesefoot Head, nr Winchester, Hampshire. Although the video below is made by producers who don’t believe the Bible, it clearly shows how complex the crop circles are and their connection with other ritual sites e.g. Stonehenge.
- Cattle Mutilations: these mutilations are very precise surgical procedures and aim to take a specific part of the animal’s body e.g. eyes or genitalia. The cuts are clean and many bodies are drained of blood. These are not random acts by other animals or humans, nor caused by natural circumstances. Horse Killed In Stithians After Horrific Mutilation is just one example.
- UFOs: the number of UFO sightings has been increasing each year. YouTube is full of videos capturing bright lights or strange sights in the sky. Some of these clearly fake but there are many that show objects moving in ways that are impossible to explain. View recent videos – YouTube: Videos Of The UFO Experience 2014, YouTube: UFO Sightings Of April 2013. Some believe these are aliens from another planet – we suspect that this activity is demonic in nature and could be part of a coming deception
- Marian Apparitions: sightings where someone claims to see a vision of the Virgin Mary have been happening for many years. Again, in our view, this is a demonic activity that seeks to deceive people from recognising Jesus as our one and only Saviour. This website lists many sightings Miracle Hunter.
- Madness in the Fast Lane: there was an incident in the UK back in 2008 that was so strange the BBC made a documentary about it – Madness in the Fast Lane – showing two sisters run onto a motorway with vehicles at full speed. These women repeatedly get up after being knocked down by cars and fighting off the police who were trying to restrain them. Tests showed neither had any drugs in their system – although we cannot know the truth, there was something is very strange about this. The full video of the program can be viewed here YouTube – BBC Madness In The Fast Lane (49 mins).
All the above examples go to demonstrate there are some inexplicable things occurring in our world that defy a natural explanation. We believe there will be steady of supernatural activity which will cause a growing fascination in the occult – something which will undoubtedly be part of the coming deception.
We live at a time dominated by an obsession (and increasing hysteria) about climate change and related environmental issues. Major cities around the world have been ground to a standstill by protests from groups such as Extinction Rebellion who paint a bleak picture of impending doom unless we act to save the planet. We are repeatedly warned by scientists and academics of dire consequences unless there is radical and immediate action. The language and tone used against those raising sincere questions about the science behind the climate agenda or advocating a balanced approach to green issues usually consist of ridicule and dismissal.
The church appears to be hopelessly confused between the secular worldview and the Biblical worldview when trying to carve a response to the aggressive environmental activism we are subjected to. Whilst we wholeheartedly support a principle of restraint with regards to earth’s resources and advocate the conservation and care of our planet, we are certain that our ability to control the climate is hugely exaggerated. The Bible predicts environmental mayhem in the end times:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:10-13 NIV)
A read through Revelation chapters 8 and 16 will reveal more shocking events that are to come. The key point is that God is in control throughout and God is the architect – humanity cannot stop this. However, the signs that environmental armageddon is closing in further strengthens the notion that we are living in the last days.
Jesus states that:
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37 NIV)
So, just as it was in Noah’s time it would be the same when Jesus returns – what happened in Noah’s time? The Bible describes this as total corruption across the whole earth with only Noah and his descendants, “perfect in their generations”. The term “perfect” appears to be referring to human DNA because in those times fallen angels corrupted the seed by mating with women – something which became so prolific that Noah’s family were the only ones left with uncorrupted DNA (see Genesis 6). This was the reason for the flood – to judge the rebellion and start again with Noah’s family. We live at a time where we have the tools (and the will) to engage in DNA manipulation. We do not hear much about this in the media, but tech firms have long been mixing DNA with different animals and experimenting with human DNA.
Companies/groups who do not believe in God will naturally have no moral objection with manipulating DNA to enhance humanity and pursue an ultimate goal of immorality.
Much of this research is happening in the UK – YouTube – Transhumanism.
It is being reported that in 30 years time super-humans will exist – The Economic Times – ‘Super-humans like the X-Men will exist in 30 years’.
Transhumanists are pushing for a “future human” in order to achieve immortality. As you can see in this video, they are aiming for a new era of humanity by 2045:
We now have the technology to do amazing things, some of these will hugely benefit mankind and the world we live in – however, as with everything that can be used for good, this is also open for abuse. The attempts to manipulate DNA and mix with other kinds cross a very serious line and represent an offensive rejection of our God’s design – we believe we could get easily get close to crossing a “red-line” with this technology, something which approaches redefining humanity (which would have severe implications for the gospel!). God will not let this happen and is another clear sign that we are in the last days.
Signs in Society
The following passage describes moral behaviour of humanity in the last days:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7 NIV)
This appears to be a very accurate description of what we see in society today, do you agree we see these behaviours around us more and more?
|lovers of themselves||lover of oneself, vanity|
|lovers of money||care more about making money that anything else|
|boastful||self-assuming; valuing themselves beyond all others; boasting of having what they have not|
|proud||showing themselves above their fellows; those who love to make a show|
|abusive||evil-speakers; those who speak impiously of God and sacred things|
|disobedient to their parents||manners of the young; whom their parents cannot control|
|ungrateful||who think they have a right to the services of all, yet feel no obligation, and consequently no gratitude|
|unholy||without piety; having no heart reverence for God|
|without love||bound by no promise; persons who readily promise anything, because they never intend to perform|
|unforgiving||forever holding a grudge|
|slanderous||slanderers; striving ever to ruin the characters of others|
|without self-control||lacking self-restraint; uncontrolled|
|brutal||wild; opposite of gentle|
|not lovers of the good||actively oppose those who do good|
|treacherous||betraying their friends, no loyalty|
|rash||reckless, irrational, inconsiderate|
|conceited||“puffed up” with pride; those who are full of themselves|
|lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God||pleasure and sensual gratification is their god; and this they love and serve|
In the last 30 years, there has been an incredible increase in many of the signs above with our culture shifting dramatically towards as obsession with “self” – everything is the list above has become more commonplace with no sign of change. Verse 5 implies a religious element in this, stating that people will have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” This sounds like more than a hint that the behaviours listed above will become just as commonplace within the church!
History shows that many Western countries were founded on the belief in God and had legal systems established according to God’s standards. Bibles were found in every hotel room and the truth of God as creator was taught to our children in schools. As a result, people grew up with a well-rounded sense of morality. This dramatically changed in the nineteenth century when evolutionary thought started taking hold of society with Darwin’s Origin of Species.
Advocates of the theory of evolution have grown very aggressive in promoting a no design, no purpose of life, and an “answerable to no-one” worldview. Society blindly accepts evolution as a world-view which conveniently means there is no one to answer to for our actions and we can behave as we like without worrying about accountability. The fruits of this have been played out with devastating effect with the many genocidal regimes we have witnessed worldwide in the last century which were driven by atheistic communist ideologies.
In the UK, we are increasingly witnessing society falling apart. If the school system teaches children they are evolved apes, they will behave like animals and we see this manifest itself in many different ways. If children are taught they are unique and treasured creations of a loving God, they will respect themselves and values those around them. The Bible abundantly refers to God as creator and repeated appeals to humanity to revere its designer. God is jealous over his work of creation and there is probably no greater insult to Him than to believe the absurd idea that the unfathomable complexity we see around us is the work of a huge explosion sometime in the past! The militant rise of “science” claiming there is no need of God to explain our origins is a significant piece of the jigsaw as we head towards last days, particularly when large portions of the Church have adopted this world-view. Our Are the Bible and Science compatible? article covers some of the evidence that clearly leads to the conclusion that a creator God is the only plausible explanation for the existence of the world around us.
The Bible clearly indicates that the only sexual relationship intended for humanity exists within a heterosexual marriage. In our culture, it is commonplace now for unmarried couples to live together and society encourages multiple sexual partners. Adultery seems to be something this is far more accepted now and with films and TV normalising marriage breakdown as people choosing different paths for themselves. The use of pornography is no longer a taboo subject and openly promoted as an acceptable norm along with other forms of sexual experimentation and expression.
The LGBT movement has exerted a huge influence over culture and become increasingly outspoken and intolerant of any view perceived to challenge features of this lifestyle – it now dominates the cultural narrative and has a firm foothold within every institution in society. The situation within the church often looks no different with many examples of churches employing church leaders engaged in same-sex relationships. The breakdown of the biblical institution of marriage will have catastrophic consequences for society and is a huge feature of the end times.
Abortion statistics are frightening with thousands of babies being murdered in the UK each year. The female womb is no longer a place of safety. Interestingly, even some pagan religions that practised child sacrifice would never practice abortion as they viewed the female womb and a special place of safety…not so now. Figures reveal that 196,082 abortions were notified as taking place in England and Wales in 2011, there have been over 5 million in the UK since 1967 [ref]. The chart below shows the increase in abortions in the UK since 1968:
We are also seeing a push for euthanasia – something we will be a dominmant issue in coming years. We have blogged about – Worrying trend concerning euthanasia in Holland.
Veganism (and vegetarianism) has become an increasingly trendy lifestyle choice in recent years. In the UK, there are approximately 3.5 million vegetarians and around 600,000 vegans with numbers set to increase rapidly. It is important to respect the right of others to adopt whatever diet they choose – however, the increased militancy which with the vegan lobby on the society has led some wonder whether this is a feature of the last days due to a reference in the Bible.
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. … They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1,3 NIV, emphasis added)
Positive Spiritual Signs
There are many other areas we could explore in this section that outline the continual moral decline and unbelief in God throughout our society – however, there is positive signs that we are living in the end times!
And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. (Mark 13:10 NIV)
The gospel message is now available in all countries of the world. Even in nations where there is hostility towards Christians we still see very high conversion rates to Christianity [ref]. Satellite TV channels and internet can be sent worldwide which allow the gospel message to break through barriers into countries never thought possible. Bizarrely, the Christian faith is exploding in the parts of the world that suffer the most severe persecution.
Understanding of Bible Prophecy
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. (Daniel 12: 8-9 NIV)
We are understanding Bible prophecy now than ever before. With Israel being re-established in 1948 and the way the Middle East countries are aligning against Israel we have a clearer picture of the end time prophecies. God is speaking to people through His Word giving an understanding of these times and prophecy ministries are active throughout the world warning people of the times to come.
Increase in Knowledge
But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge. (Daniel 12:4 NIV)
The last 20-30 years has seen an incredible growth of knowledge and understanding. Technological advancements have accelerated, global communications are now standard and we can talk to others across the world instantly. Internet and satellite television allows us to see real-time pictures of events. These help us understand certain prophecies as the fulfilment is now possible:
- nuclear weapon advances (Zechariah 14:12)
- real time images of the two witnesses that the whole world witness (Revelation 11)
- mark of the beast technology (Revelation 13)
Many will say “these signs/events have been happening for hundreds of years, so what?”. This is true and if these things were happening individually, they would not grab our attention in the same way. However, it’s because they are all happening simultaneously and increasing in frequency and intensity, it is impossible not to take notice!
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:28 NIV)
Prophecy followers are often mocked about Jesus’ return by those both inside and outside the Church. However, God uses prophecy to validate the authority of His word to us – we have no excuse not to treat the Bible seriously when we see the predictions given in Scripture being fulfilled. Believers need to be prepared to be ridiculed and are told to expect it:
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. (2 Peter 3:3-4 NIV)
But again this is another sign of the times, Jesus is very critical to those who refuse to take notice of the signs:
He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (Luke 12:54-56 NIV)
These signs point to Jesus’ imminent second coming and we suspect the rapture of the Church will occur at least seven years before this so if we are seeing the signs now it is time to sit up, take notice and get prepared!