“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [f]heaven, but My Father only.” “Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:36,44 NKJV
Recent events over the past couple of years has a lot of people asking whether we are living in end times. More importantly a lot of people are wanting to know exactly what the Bible has to say about the times that we live in.
There is so much confusion about the topic of end times. Jesus was keenly aware of this. When his disciples asked the same questions that we often ask today, he addressed their concerns with clarity and details so that they would not be confused or misled.
I personally am glad that the disciples asked him tough questions about the end times. I also appreciate his candor and direct response.
To be totally honest, when I first read these events as described in Matthew and Revelation, I was horrified and scared. When I was a non-believer and unrepented sinner, I knew that I would not hold up well or endure those events with my mind intact.
The fear gripped me and held me tight. Yet I knew that Christians were keenly aware of these things but did not seem to display the high levels of anxiety that I had. I needed to know what they knew, that I didn’t.
Watching world events unfold in front of our eyes can bring a certain level of uncertainty and anxiety. However, if we know the truth of what is to come according to God’s word, we can have confidence that God is still very much in control.
We can also be assured that even though the world will experience horrendous events as the day of the Lord approaches, inner peace and rest for the soul can be had for all who are called of God.
For those who are in union with God there is much hope during these turbulent times. With unimaginable death and suffering to mankind, even as the world and all of it’s systems is failing, the promises of God will prevail, guaranteed.
It is important to separate truth from speculation, as only God’s word can do. Let’s explore what God has said about this pivotal time in the future.
The Big Picture
To understand the end, we need to understand the beginning from God’s point of view. All of the history changing events that took place at the time of creation and in the Garden of Eden set the stage for everything else that takes place in world history. It reaches its conclusion and climaxes in the last book of the bible, Revelation.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15 NKJV
Immediately after the deception by Satan which caused the disobedience of Adam and Eve, God declared war against him and his offspring for all generations. God set in motion back in Genesis a plan and strategy to win the war with Satan and redeem mankind back to himself from his fallen sinful state.
All of history is culminating to this end. God rules history and he will bring it to its conclusion and consummation in Jesus Christ. Ladies and gentlemen that is the big picture of what God is doing.
“Remember the former things of old, For I am God and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all of My pleasure.” Isaiah 46:9,10 NKJV
From our perspective here on earth, we see only a sliver of details, that fit into the tapestry puzzle of eternity. We see a few bits and pieces of the puzzle, while God sees the entire finished process and it turns out and will look exactly as he wanted it to be, from the beginning. A basketball analogy is that God called his shots before he even made them!
Diagnosis Of The World
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2Timothy3:1-5
The first time I read the above verse in the Bible, I was blown away at the detailed accurate description of the current world we live in. It’s hard to believe or imagine that the single act of disobedience from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden has become a full-blown cancer of sin, which is terminal, both to the world at large and to individuals.
If you turn on any news channel, or social media you will be saturated with stories of the deteriorating condition of the human race. Make no mistake about it, this is exactly where we are. Things are going to get exponentially worse before it gets better. But wait, there’s more!
Scripture And Headlines, A Perfect Match
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24: 6-8 NKJV
As I write this article, there are numerous wars and conflicts going on around the globe. The latest war between Russia and Ukraine underscores the precise accuracy of scripture. Even though it is foretold that there will be wars, I am far more comforted by the fact that a day will come when war will be a permanent thing of the past. God has decreed it to be so. Currently the world is experiencing the hostility of bombs and bullets, but the day shall come when God will fulfill his promise concerning the end of all wars.
“He shall judge between the nations and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4 NKJV
There have been several major events in my lifetime that have captured the world’s attention. While these events unfolded across my television set, the expert commentators tried to make sense of it all. Human wisdom, rationale and logic was applied to calm the masses. Unfortunately, more and more of the same old rhetoric does not bring any measure of peace to the hearts and minds of the listeners.
Having the very words of Jesus Christ as written in the above verse as my voice of reason and understanding of world events, they gave me more clarity than any of the so-called experts.
God’s word serves as my proof positive that all events taking place in the world will go according to His sovereign will. I am comforted by the acknowledgment that God is still on track to solve the dilemma that took place in the Garden of Eden.
Can We Believe What The Bible Says About End Times?
It is very understandable that we as humans do not want to think about the prospect of a horrible future for this earth and mankind. However, if we are honest, truthful and faithful to God’s word, we must take it at face value, as it speaks the truth about these events to our hearts.
With detailed clarity about the last days, it makes it easier for us to understand the rest of God’s word on how it will be dealt with. It also makes it easier for us to understand why things are unfolding around us as they are. To include, wars, sickness, crime, death and destruction, and the rampant effects of sin on the human race.
We need to get clarity about the closing events that will take place on planet earth. We do not need speculation but rather we need to hear precisely what God has said about these things, to include the order of events. Jesus Christ himself gave specific revelation of these things. Hence the last book of the bible is called Revelation.
Jesus Christ gave His Revelation from a unique vantage point. He was seeing it from the future on the timeline of eternity. Imagine if you will that you are seeing a long parade marching down the street. From your point of view on the ground you can only see a small segment of the parade as it passes by in front of you. You cannot see where the parade started, nor can you see where it will end as it turns the corner heading to another block.
Now let’s again imagine you are up in a helicopter and looking down on the entire panorama of the parade. From high up in the air you can see where the parade begins, and you can see the entire parade in motion and see precisely where it ends many blocks away from the beginning.
When Jesus gave his revelation to John, that is the advantage point he had and when you read the book it will become clear to you that he has this advantage point. This unique perspective from Jesus Christ gives credibility to its accuracy.
It is understandable that scoffers will say, that the end time is never going to happen because people have said these things for years and the world has continued as is. They said it in the Old Testament period, and in the lifetime of Jesus, and they are saying it today. No doubt we may hear from them yet again in the future.
That does not change the fact that this world as we know it has an ending date. Just as time, earth and all of creation had a beginning, determined by God, it also has an ending, determined by God.
The Second Coming of Christ
“knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3,4 NKJV
An article published by Live Science (October 21,2011) cited a Pew Research survey conducted in 2011 of US Christians who believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Fully 79 percent of US Christians say that they believe that Christ will return to earth someday. What I find interesting is that same survey cited 17 percent of US Christians who don’t believe that Christ will return, and 4 percent who do not know.
It seems inconceivable that one of the very basic articles of the Christian faith, the return of Jesus Christ, could be dismissed or rejected by anyone who claims to be a Christian. There are countless verses that specifically address this unannounced event. It is global in nature and unmistakable, as it will be witnessed by everyone on earth.
As Christians this is the very event, we all are waiting for and want to occur. Let me attempt to bring some clarity to this event. Jesus will literally come back in the air, on the clouds and call all living believers to himself and resurrect dead believers to himself.
He specifically tells us so. These words are spoken from his mouth, as noted in the red-letter edition of the Bible.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:30,31 NKJV
To not believe this fact or belittle its reality is to deny and negate God’s power and authority over all creation. Cannot the God who created the universe and raised the dead by his spoken command not do this?
This one single event will be the kickoff for the end of the world as we know it. Other things will follow in relatively fast succession. Books, and movies abound to describe what will occur during and after this cataclysmic event. The Bible is the best source of truth regarding all things related to the end of the age.
I encourage you to read the finer details for yourself in your Bible. Here is a brief summary, or a 30,000 feet view.
The Rapture, the taking away from the earth the people of God, both dead and the living. Jesus Christ will do this. This event takes place in the air. Jesus will not touch down on the earth. That comes a bit later when he rules the earth, for 1000 years. Romans 13:11 Mark 13:32
The Great Tribulation, a specific time period of seven years where things become exponentially worse. It will be a real horror show when things go from bad to hell on earth! Even during this awful period of global upheaval, God still is allowing for repentant hearts to turn to him.
What I find amazing is that even during the unimaginable suffering, chaos and worldwide plagues, there will be some that still will refuse to repent of sin or submit to the authority of God. Can you imagine? Matthew 24:21,22; 1Thessalonians 5:3; Daniel 12:1
“But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” Revelation 9:20,21
Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, a 1000-year period when Jesus Christ will return to earth. He will touch down and literally rule the earth, with a select group of martyrs and saints. Satan will also be bound during this period. Revelation 20: 1-15, Micah 4:1-4
Last Judgement, the end game where all decisions by the judge Jesus Christ will be final. He will render his verdict on all of mankind, every individual, from which there is no appeal. Eternal sentencing begins, and eternal rewards given. Revelation 11:18
New Heaven-New Earth, God will destroy the old and create the new. The new earth will be free of sin and righteousness will dwell therein. Isaiah 65:17,18; Revelation 21:1-5
The end of Revelation will put the final stamp of vindication about everything that interrupted the original plan and purposes of God in the Garden of Eden. Notice I said interruption, not a change of plans, not a stopping of plans, nor a change of purpose. It is the restoration of all things lost when sin entered the world by Adam and Eve.
God has always and will continue to project his Sovereignty over all of creation. He has always existed in his glory as the triune God, eternally existing as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The end of the age and end time events puts his undeniable signature on everything that happens.
God conveys to us a consistent theme and message. Even though the human race was sabotaged by the deception of Satan and became sinful, he has always been working out his plan to redeem them and restore all things.
The war between Satan and God and the offspring of God is what is being unveiled. Regardless of how bad things look, Gods original plans and purposes will prevail.
Make no mistake about it, he will render justice and judgement on the world and on all those who refuse to acknowledge his sovereignty and repent of their sins.
He will establish a holy people for himself, who are free of sin. He will establish a permanent kingdom in which to rule the new heaven and new earth that he shall create.
Though the drama has played out on the world stage over several thousands of years, when the final curtain is drawn, God and his chosen people reign victorious over all the earth eternally. It will be a new world where former things of old are remembered no more.
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:4,5
Eugene Coghill is a contributing writer for Faith Filled Family Magazine. His blog Kingdom Living, www.eugenecoghill.com is an inspirational blog, that also highlights his two published novels. Love Is A Fishnet (2008) and A Loving Deception (2020) He is drafting his third book. He is currently a full time professional tractor trailer driver for Walmart, and is pursuing a freelance copywriting career. He lives in New England and has a growing passion for cycling.