This is part three of a multi-part series dealing with Christian’s who are weary of waiting for Jesus to Return. If you missed those earlier posts please go back and read It Might be Something Special and Tired of Waiting so you will know what we are talking about.
I am continuing to take on the issue of Believers who have grown tired of thinking about the return of Jesus. They profess to having heard this refrain forever and yet, there is never any rewarding” TA-DAH” arrival. After awhile, unless one has carefully studied the scheduling part of these prophetic scriptures it is easy to become baffled by it all, doubtful and discouraged.
I do believe that it is human nature to sift all or most information through the “what does this have to do with me” part of our brain. We like to think that the world revolves around us. All prophetic scriptures therefore, since I am reading them right now, must be for me right now! I think that this is at the core of most of our frustrating, Waiting Weariness. I believe that we as humans are all a bit narcissistic in this way and must strive to look at the prophetic portions of scripture more objectively.
In this vein, I believe Adam and Eve believed, based on their interpretation of what God had said, and supported by Rabbinical writings that in Gen. 4:1 that Eve believed that her first-fruit, Cain, would be their Redeemer and fulfill the Gen 3:15 Prophecy.
Likewise, I believe that the First church believed, based on what they knew- that they would live to see the return of Jesus in power and glory. There is nothing wrong with belief in the Imminent Return: It’s a good way to live. No unfinished business, forgive everybody, stay all confessed up and keep living it out. But, now that I have the full canon of scripture to glean from, I want to base my beliefs and hopes on accurate, Holy Spirit inspired, actual Word of God information.
As a matter of fact this is the very thing that Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church because some of them had decided that they would just sit down and wait for Jesus’ return. He reminded them in 1 Thess 2:1 that the Lord was not coming a) until there was a Great “falling away” in the Christian church and, b) until the Man of Sin or the Anti Christ is revealed. That was prime advice then and it is prime advice now.
Actual date setting will almost always get you in trouble with a critical crash and burn loss of credibility. Going back hundreds of years we have all heard of different “sects” or church groups that have set a specific date sometime in the past. All of their followers sold their goods and waited together for the magical hour to arrive and then… nothing happened except major embarrassment.
I don’t want to set my stop-watch but I do want to be very watchful of the shifts and of the seasons. My credibility is based in the Lord and the words and the signs that he has given me (many of which are very specific) therein! It is my job then to be very thorough in studying what is really there. (2 Tim. 2:15)
It is not my job or your job to stop what we are doing, set a specific moment and wait. My job is to be out there- obedient to the Word of God- in the field telling people about Jesus, all the time, right down to the last minute. My particular job is to writing compelling posts or teaching irresistible, salty lessons that launch you out into that field also, to do the same thing. Hope it’s working!
While I have no control over what people do with this information once it lands on them, I definitely don’t want anyone that I ever knew to turn to me on Judgment Day ask me why I never bothered to share with them about Jesus. I cannot think of a scenario that could be any worse! That is my driving motivation and hopefully yours as well.
I gave a nod in the first post in this series to the “Always be ready” line of thought because we never ever know how long we will live on this earth. It is obviously important to, personally, be ready to meet our Maker every day. However, in this series we are not talking about personal or imminent death we are talking about Jesus’ return.
What are folks missing? Regardless of the time in history– It is easy enough to be wanting Jesus to return, to see that the world situation is going from bad to worse, and wishing that we could all go Home where things would be fine and no one would be sick or broken. I do that myself. That is wishful thinking or forward thinking but, it is a bit different than actual point-to-point navigation.
It tells us where to turn, which exit we should be lined up for and how many miles and how many minutes we should expect. The Bible is no different. The authors of these Bible books under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit flowed through these fellows and gave us everything we need to know. And while we see there was some confusion in the early church on this timing we can see that these prophetic times would be clear only once Israel came fully back into existence and will be understood by the Believers that will be operating at/in those times. We have already flagged two big points from Paul to the Thessalonians stating pretty big, must-happen flags, but what else?
Last week we picked apart some arguments that people use to avoid scrutiny of this timing. Multiple times we see that churches, or people in darkness will be caught unawares just like the folks in Noah’s day but the believer’s the folks who are listening to the Lord know. They are not to be in darkness.(Romans 11:25, 1 Thess 5)
Jesus in Matthew 24 is answering some pretty specific questions from his team on end time events. They are finally picking up on the idea that he is going to die and leave them and will return. “What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”
Matthew 24:4 and Luke 21 have parallel recordings of Jesus’ answers:
- He warns against deception. This is the first clue. Very sneaky and deceptive times. He goes on to narrow the deception down to “many” folks claiming to be Him, impersonating the Messiah or Christ. His entrance will be big and impossible to miss. He didn’t want anyone falling for the ” there is this fella over there who claims to be…”
- Wars and rumors of wars…well we certainly have that today, don’t we? But he says don’t be worried…the end is not yet!
- Ethnic group will rise against ethnic group. This is a good description of the Islamic ethnic cleansing going on all over the mid-east and the thousands of refugee’s fleeing the scene and changing radically the demographics in Europe much to the late-waking of the indigenous populations there.
- Kingdom will rise against kingdom. This speaks of other kinds of warfare. It could be actual countries aligning for conflict as we see with Russia and China, North Korea etc or it could be speaking of rising supernatural warfare. We must remember that Satan’s forces are often described in scripture as having a “kingdom like hierarchy” Everything he does is a rip-off of what he saw in Heaven. This Kingdom against kingdom rising warfare does not have to be mutually exclusive. It can mean all of the above and probably does.
- Rising famine. Now famine is hunger. It could indicate lack of water with rising temps that make food growing difficult. It could also indicate a perfect storm of government induced scenarios whereby the food is very expensive. Whether there is lots of food and you can’t afford it or there is a dearth of food and your can’t get it the result is hunger. I imagine, seeing what is happening in the world right now, that you will have a combination of the above. I am concerned by the UN 2030 mandates that have been voted on worldwide and given the Papal stamp approval. They are herding the populace towards “sustainable” population control, redistribution of wealth, and someone else determining the allocation of food growth and resource development.
- Pestilence is next on Jesus’ list of early signs. Pestilence is sort of an old fashioned word that can incorporate insect crop devastation or it can mean diseases. Pestilence is often linked historically with famine and can indicate swarms of locusts or crop disease the result brings you to the same end. We have seen in recent years the Hive collapse disorder that is killing bees. No bees, no pollination, no fruit. This is a scary proposition and many of these may piggy back on one another as countries go thru these items.
- Earthquakes-great earthquakes in different places. Statistics in USGS show that we have had a massive spike in large earthquakes and total number of earthquakes worldwide over the past hundred years. Seismic activity is a game changer. It can change temperatures, growing conditions, it can shut down air travel and crush economic growth. Earthquakes and Volcanic activity are great equalizers and probably the easiest to follow sign on Jesus’ list.
Jesus says that these are the Beginning signs– the early birth pangs that things are beginning to shift. So, no need to have been looking too hard until we saw all these boxes ticked.
What are some other signs and signals that scripture specifies of this time?
Matthew 24 goes on to mention rising anti-Semitism, betrayals, hatred, false prophets, Lawlessness abounding ( that’s one that is easy to spot at home and abroad!) Love decreasing, Increased missionary work, The abomination of desolation in the temple ( anti-Christ euphemism) New Jewish temple, 3.5 year Great Tribulation, and Martyrdom.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 and Rev 13, 16:14 and 19:20 note that these times will be highlighted by Increasing Satanic Activity, Luke 17:27-39 mentions sex crimes, over-indulgence ( addictions?) procrastination and lethargy. Revelation 9:20 gives a list of the top 7 signs of the soon coming tribulation: Rebellion against God,
Worship of Demons, Idolatry, Murders, Sorceries ( this is from the Greek word pharmakeos which could also indicate drugs) Sexual Immorality, and theft. ( this could be regular thievery or it could be noting Malachi 3 Stealing from God- not tithing!)
OK , as you can see this is a big topic and it’s getting bigger every time we look at it! We will leave this edition here and totally wrap this up next time…I promise!
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