Many people think because Jesus has not yet returned, that he isn’t going to, and that, perhaps, the Bible is not true after all, wrong.
Many have come to this conclusion without examining God’s Word or truly considering the possibility, and even the probability, of the existence of God. However, the existence of God and the return of Jesus is absolutely no laughing matter.
God has, and I assure you he will continue to, faithfully keep his promises. This means one of two things are certain. You will either leave this life through death, or you will see the day that Jesus comes to take those who are his to be with him in his Father’s house.
Exposing and actively resisting the spirit of the Antichrist should be of paramount interest and importance for every Christian. We are so easily led away from the truth of the gospel by clever words and good appearances when we should be attuned to the spirit behind the façade.
The Bible has a lot to say about the end times. Nearly every book of the Bible contains prophecy regarding the end times. Taking all of these prophecies and organizing them can be difficult. Following is a very brief summary of what the Bible declares will happen in the end times.
We are naturally drawn to good appearances. People who present themselves well, with confidence and a talent for speaking. What we should be attuned to is people’s works – the spirit they are in. What is going on behind the scenes? Are these people walking in the light, keeping His commandments just as they are written, walking as He walked? Beautiful words mean nothing; it is the life that counts. Beautiful words can blind people to the sins of the speaker. People are used to listening to what sounds nice and hearing beautiful phrases, but they have no sense for the truth. Is there a life of walking with Jesus behind the words? People can speak so skillfully, but then they continue to live in sin.
Pastors and leaders of churches can live in adultery and other abominations, and people are not aware of anything until it suddenly blows wide open. Then people are so shocked; he was such a gifted leader! But if people had been in the spirit of truth that John shines such a powerful light on, they could have discerned the spirit behind the façade. God sees to it that such hypocrisy will be revealed. These things cannot be hidden forever. Don’t just sit and listen to what sounds nice – beautiful phraseology, the magnetism of character, and so on. Learn from what John exhorts, and learn to discern the spirits! Get a sense for the spirit of truth! Then you will not be led astray by the spirit of the Antichrist that works so powerfully through these people to turn people away from the truth that is in God.
Christ will remove all born-again believers from the earth in an event known as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54). At the judgment seat of Christ, these believers will be rewarded for faithful service during their time on earth or will lose rewards, but not eternal life, for lack of service and obedience (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
The Antichrist (the beast) will come into power and will sign a covenant with Israel for seven years (Daniel 9:27). This seven-year period of time is known as the “tribulation.” During the tribulation, there will be terrible wars, famines, plagues, and natural disasters. God will be pouring out His wrath against sin, evil, and wickedness. The tribulation will include the appearance of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the seven seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments.
About halfway through the seven years, the Antichrist will break the peace covenant with Israel and make war against it. The Antichrist will commit “the abomination of desolation” and set up an image of himself to be worshipped in the Jerusalem temple (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10), which will have been rebuilt. The second half of the tribulation is known as “the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).
At the end of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist will launch a final attack on Jerusalem, culminating in the battle of Armageddon. Jesus Christ will return, destroy the Antichrist and his armies, and cast them into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-21). Christ will then bind Satan in the Abyss for 1000 years and He will rule His earthly kingdom for this thousand-year period (Revelation 20:1-6).
At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released, defeated again, and then cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10) for eternity. Christ then judges all unbelievers (Revelation 20:10-15) at the great white throne judgment, casting them all into the lake of fire. Christ will then usher in a new heaven and new earth and the New Jerusalem—the eternal dwelling place of believers. There will be no more sin, sorrow, or death (Revelation 21–22).
The Bible says our life is but a vapor, it comes and goes as quickly as a flower blooms and withers. No one is guaranteed another day, so we need to be prepared for the imminent return of Jesus, or the day we will draw our final breath and enter our eternity.
There are four important things to keep in mind as we look for the return of Jesus:
• Watch for wolves in sheep’s clothing. Many people, from politicians to preachers, profess to have the truth but share a different gospel or different truth than the truth Jesus taught. We must read our Bibles to discern who is speaking the truth.
• Hold tight to Jesus. The Christian life is about a relationship with God. The Bible says many people are deceived about their salvation, and we ought to examine ourselves to see that we are in the faith.
The natural question that you may be asking is, how do I know? The Bible says you know a tree by its fruit. If you are “saved,” God’s Spirit lives in you. The Bible says the fruit of God’s Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Examine yourself to see if you are growing these fruits. God promises if you seek him with all your heart, you will find him.
Jesus chastised religious leaders in the first century for not knowing the time of His arrival. Will we make the same mistake today? Christ stated how His second coming would be preceded by global events signifying the end of our age. We may not know the day or the hour, but we can know the season!
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28.)
John Wesley who said that what we tolerate in our generation, will be embraced by the next. Wesley is 100% correct! We are living in sick times.
Usually, the Lord doth no great thing for or against his people, without giving warning of it before it comes.
They perverted justice among themselves (v. 7): “You turn judgment to wormwood, that is, you make your administrations of justice bitter and nauseous, and highly displeasing both to God and man.’’ That fruit has become a weed, a weed in the garden; as nothing is more venerable, nothing more valuable, than justice duly administered, so nothing is more hurtful, nothing more abominable, than designedly doing wrong under color and pretense of doing right. Corruptio optimi est pessima —The best, when corrupted, becomes the worst.
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
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