There are so many events taking place in the world today that Christians should be aware of the seriousness of the hour. I am cognizant of the fact that there have been many “prophecy experts” who have set times and dates for the coming of the LORD. They have all been wrong. The only thing that has happened is these “experts” have made thousands of dollars off their “prophecies.” Many good Christians have been caught up in the thought the LORD is coming back in______, and you can put your own date down as to when Christ was coming back. If you talk with many Christians today, they believe the LORD is coming back but sometime in the future. He could come back in their lifetime, but probably not.
One of the sign of His soon return is the lack of faith and the “falling away” from the faith once delivered to the saints. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…”
Jesus warned us that there would be those who believe the LORD would delay His coming: “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you; he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The faithful servant is doing what he has been instructed to do. The LORD calls this servant blessed. However, the wicked servant say the "Master is not coming now but in the future." This servant begins to live and act in a ungodly and evil way. The result is the Master comes when no one is ready. Even though the LORD has given us the signs of His coming. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. In all the trials and tribulations in the past, they will not compare to what is coming.
It is the responsibility of the servant of the LORD to understand the times and seasons. If we are doing what the LORD has called us to do, then we are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Paul explains why the faithful will not be caught unaware.
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. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 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. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
We have not been appointed to wrath. However, we will suffer tribulation. Jesus explains it this way, Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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 out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Increasing deception will mark the "end time." At a certain point, these deceptions will be augmented by signs and wonders—miracles! Today we are seeing these signs, wonders, and miracles. Through technology the blind have sight, the deaf can hear, the lame can walk, and even the dead can be brought back to life. In the last 50 years, man has learned to genetically engineer the flaws in human DNA. Governments have created weapons that can rain fire from heaven, and destroy life with chemical weapons. Man has become his own god, and Satan has moved the hearts of man towards more evil and wickedness.
If we are not careful, even the elect—if possible—could be deceived. This phrase "if possible" has made some people wonder, "Can the elect be deceived?" Well, it is kind of a trick question. If they are deceived, then they are not the elect! This is because the elect do something that keeps them from being deceived! It is not as if God says, "Here's my favorite children. I am not going to let them be deceived." That is not how it works. They are the elect because they do not allow themselves to be deceived. They are aware the signs, wonders, and miracles that are being performed by the technology advances of today are to be viewed with caution. Rather than seeing this as man’s ability to do things without God, the faithful knows that God is in control of whatever is happening.
So it is not possible to deceive the elect. It is not because these people have a particular "safety net" around them so that they cannot be fooled. They cannot be deceived because they will not let themselves be deceived, which is why they are the elect. They are working hard to do what the LORD has called them to do so that they will not be deceived. And that is the group that we want to be part of.
In the book of Matthew, we read where the disciples asked the question, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
As we look at what is taking place in the world right now, we should be concerned about not only our own spiritual condition but those around us. The rumors of war are daily events. Our own government feels it must threaten Russia and North Korea with war, and everyday we wonder when will this happen. With the US military having withdrawn many of its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, most Americans are unaware that hundreds of US bases and hundreds of thousands of US troops still encircle the globe. Although few know it, the United States garrisons the planet unlike any country in history, and the evidence can be seen from Afghanistan to Ukraine, Japan to Germany, Singapore to Djibouti, South Korea to Poland. The US government has over 300,000 troops stationed in over 150 countries. Our government has brought war to nations and kingdom at the cost of millions of lives.
Famine may not be an American problem, but it is a world problem. The world is facing one of the largest food crises in over 70 years, with an estimated 76 million people in need of emergency food assistance. For more than 30 million people in Africa and Yemen severe hunger is a daily reality. Every day too many men and women across the globe struggle to feed their children a nutritious meal. In a world where we produce enough food to feed everyone, 815 million people – one in nine – still go to bed on an empty stomach each night. Even more – one in three – suffer from some form of malnutrition. For some, the risk of starvation is even more significant. More than 20 million people in northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen are at immediate risk. South Sudan, famine occurred in early 2017 and risk of future famine is still high, and in Somalia and Yemen, there is also a high risk of famine in 2018. Without immediate support, 1.4 million of those at imminent risk of death are children.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that some of these areas have experienced famine. And the threat of famine persists, as needs remain high due to prolonged conflict and drought,
Researchers warn that 2018 could bring an increase in massive and devastating earthquakes. About four years ago, the Earth’s rotation slowed slightly. Although the decrease was not enough to notice, the Earth’s slower rotation it is thought it may spark an increase in severe earthquakes for 2018, researchers from University of Colorado Boulder predicted in the fall of 2017.
According to the team’s research, which they presented at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Seattle in October 2017, there may be a trend between slower Earth rotations and more global earthquakes. Over the past 100 years, there was a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of significant earthquakes associated with a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.”
Last year there were 12,860 recorded quakes around the world. Many earthquakes are undetected by the USGS; in fact, the organization estimates that around several million earthquakes occur around the globe annually. Annually, an average of one earthquake of a magnitude 8 or higher occurs, while approximately 15 earthquakes ranging from 7 to 7.9 occur. As many as 1.3 million earthquakes measuring 2 to 2.9 in intensity occur annually.
Can we be safe in saying the “beginning of sorrow” is already underway and has been for several years?
Jesus went on to say, Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Christianity is the most offensive religion. It is offensive because it is the only true religion and excludes any other means of salvation other than through Jesus Christ. True Christianity exposes sin and requires repentance and forgiveness. Christianity teaches salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This is offensive to all other religions, and they will do whatever they can to wipe out the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is offensive to those who do not believe there is a God and they will do whatever they can to destroy Christianity. It is offensive to the Jews because its required them to accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah. It is offensive to the Muslims because it teaches that Muhammed is a false prophet. Is it any wonder that Christians are hated all over the world?
In the Twentieth Century, more Christians were killed than all the centuries previously. On average, a Christian is martyred every five minutes — killed because of their faith. The persecution and genocide of Christians across the world is worse today than at any time in history, and governments are failing to stop it. The study by Aid to the Church in Need said the treatment of Christians has worsened substantially in the past two years compared with the two years prior and has grown more violent than any other period in modern times. “Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution,” the report said.
The report examined the plight of Christians in China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Turkey over the period lasting from 2015 until 2017. The research showed that in that time, Christians suffered crimes against humanity, and some were hanged or crucified. The report found that Saudi Arabia was the only country where the situation for Christians did not get worse, and that was only because the situation couldn’t get any worse than it already was.
There were 45 million Christian martyrs in the 20th century, that does not count those killed for national, ethnic or political reasons who just happened to be Christian but were not killed because of their being Christian."
The tribulation Christians are going through around the world has never been witnessed in the history of mankind. In some areas in the Middle East, if the killing does not stop soon, there will be no Christians left.
Even though the American Christian has not suffered what our brothers and sisters in other countries are going through does not mean we will escape the coming persecution that is beginning to happen here in America.
Do you think that maybe we are at least approaching the last days? It is essential that we do what we can to warn those around us of events that are happening that they not be caught unaware like the five foolish virgins who lack the oil in their lamps. It vital that we share the Gospel with those who have not come to the knowledge of salvation. As the faithful servant, we are told to give those around us food at the proper time. Do you think that now might be the right time to share what is happening to prepare Christians for the end times?