by Charles Robey
(Trussville AL USA)

Have you ever ask yourself, "What signs indicate that the end times are approaching?" Well, you're in good company, for the disciples of Jesus ask this very same question (Matthew 24 :3).

Jesus fails to give an answer, to the first part of their question of, when it will happen, maybe because only the Father knows the date and time (Mark 13:32) (Matthew 24:6). Then, He proceeds to give them the signs to look for in (Matthew 24:4-28). In (Matthew 24:4-14) we see the characteristics of the first half of the seven year tribulation period, while (Matthew 24:15-28) deals with the second half.

Here are the main points to ponder, as given in Matthew 24. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ 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. An increase in false messiahs. An increase in warfare., An increases in famines, plagues, and natural disasters. Advances toward a one-world government.

The most prominent sign of the end times, however, is the nation of Israel. Keep your eye on Israel, and the increased hostility towards Israel. Which includes a rebuilding of a Jewish temple in Jerusalem. In 1948, Israel was recognized as a sovereign state, essentially for the first time since AD 70. God promised Abraham that his posterity would have Canaan as “an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8), and Ezekiel prophesied a physical and spiritual resuscitation of Israel (Ezekiel 37). Having Israel as a nation in its own land is important in light of end-times prophecy because of Israel’s prominence in eschatology (Daniel 10:14) (Daniel 11:41) ( Revelation 11:8).

Now, do these signs, in Matthew 24, read like the daily newspaper, or seem like you are watching the nightly TV news? If so, start looking up to the clouds (Acts 1:9-11), to the soon return of Jesus (Revelation 22:10,17,20).

With these signs in mind, we can be wise and discerning in regard to the expectation of the end times. We should not, however, interpret any of these singular events as a clear indication of the soon arrival of the end times. God has given us enough information that we can be prepared, and that is what we are called to be as our hearts cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

So, we must be careful, however, to falsely interrupt every single disaster as being the "end times". Some interpreters point to every earthquake, every political upheaval, and every attack on Israel as a sure sign that the end times are rapidly approaching. While the events may signal the approach of the last days, they are not necessarily indicators that the end times have arrived. The apostle

Paul warned that the last days would bring a marked increase in false teaching (1 Timothy 4:1). The last days are also described as “perilous times” because of the increasingly evil character of man and people who actively “oppose the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1–9) ( 2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Conversely, these signs will not take place, until after the true believers are taken out of this world (1 Cor 15:51-54) ( 1 Thess 4:13-18) (1 Thess 5:1-3) (Rev 4:1), and the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from earth (2 Thess 2:6-7), which could come at any time. There are no prophecies, yet to be fulfilled, before the Christians are taking to the clouds in the rapture of the saints (1 Cor 15:51-54) (1 Thess 4:13-150 (1 Thess 5:1-3) (Rev 4:1).

So, is prophecy practical? Consider that all the New Testament writers testify to the fact that living with the anticipation of the Lord's return will motivate holy living. What could be more practical than that? Here are some examples, (Romans 13:12-14) (1 Peter 4:7-11) (1 John 3:2-3)


Please follow up by reading my "preachology" article entitled " Has The United States Seen Its Last President". Thanks !

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