beginnig of sorrows, birth pains, Church Age, economic, end-times, Jacob's trouble, koloboo, Lake of Fire, last days, lessen afflictions effectiveness, occult proctices, political, prophetic signs, religious systems, shortened, simultaneous
“So when all these things begin to happen, stand straight and look up, for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:28, NLT)
NOTE: Unless otherwise notated, the cited biblical Scriptures in this work are taken from the New Living Translation Bible (NLT).
More than ever before, true Christian believers can say that they are living in the prophesied last and evil days. Although there are many who argue that the world has been in these last and evil days since the time of the first century A.D. apostles, it is doubtful that the majority of these people will disagree with this writer’s observation: there NEVER has been such a preponderance of the end of the CHURCH Age signs as those that are appearing today.
Yes, since the time of Jesus the Christ, who addressed the issue of the last and evil days’ signs with His disciples (cf. Matthew 24:4-44), there have been wars and rumors of wars. Certainly, there have been scores of nations rising up against nations; there also have been countless natural disasters, and there have been numerous and various diseases and epidemics. However, it should be accepted as fact that the people who lived in centuries past NEVER had seen as many prophesied end of the CHURCH Age signs occurring simultaneously like the people who lived in the latter half of the twentieth century and on into this twenty-first century. Furthermore, some of the signs that resemble the last and evil days’ signs, especially those signs that have been occurring simultaneously and with increased frequency and intensity from the middle of the twentieth century and on into this twenty-first century, are merely false labor pains. Like Braxton Hicks contractions, which can happen as early as the second trimester but mostly happen in the third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy, mainly to prepare her body for the “real thing,” these false labor pains are just getting the Earth ready for the “real thing”— the Tribulation Period.
Thus, the signs that Jesus the Christ refers to in Matthew 24:8 as the “beginning of sorrows” will be those signs that have effects (birth pangs) that resemble the inevitable process that leads to the birth of a child. Like false birth pangs, the “beginning of sorrows” (the true labor pains that happen during the first half of the Tribulation Period) also will start slowly and almost without notice. Then these birth pangs will come faster and be more unbearable, until the Great Tribulation (the second half of the Tribulation Period) has reached its climax, which is the time of the Battle of Armageddon and the inevitable Second Coming of Jesus the Christ.
Now, there are many biblical end of the CHURCH Age signs that signal the nearness of the end times. However, most of the signs Jesus the Christ mentions and some of the end of the CHURCH Age signs apostles Paul and Peter mention, which together are appearing in the same time frame (from around the middle of the 20th century through this present day in the 21st century), will be mentioned here. These signs have been false birth pangs, which began slowly and almost imperceptibly, and then increased in frequency and intensity. However, it should be emphasized that the decisive end times’ signs (those that are symbolic of childbirth’s true labor pains) will be ALL of the global signs of wars, famines, deceptions, false prophets, and other disturbing and catastrophic troubles, which Jesus the Christ and His apostles mention, that not only will happen simultaneously but also will increase in frequency and intensity simultaneously until they lead to (give birth to) the fulfillment of the prophesied parousia—the Second Coming of Jesus the Christ.
What causes this writer to believe that the signs soon to be discussed in full detail are indeed the end of the CHURCH Age signs that lead to the Rapture of the Body of Christ and the end times’ signs known as the “beginning of sorrows” (the first half of the Tribulation Period that follows the Rapture) is the fact that God uses the apostles Peter and Paul, and James the brother of Jesus, to make distinctions between the last days’ signs and the end times’ signs that are recorded in the Holy Bible. For clarity, everyone who reads these listed signs should note that the phrases “last and evil days” and “last days” refer to the soon-coming end of the Age of Grace or the present day CHURCH Age. In contrast, the phrase “end times” refers to the “Day of the Lord,” which is the seven years of the Tribulation Period. Having said that, the list of last and evil days’ signs is as follows:
SIGN # 1: We are living in an era in which there is an unhealthy emphasis on New Age spiritualism, which often is erroneously compared to Christianity. True Christians define spiritual people as people who are born again, saved believers in Jesus the Christ and believers who also are indwelled and infilled with the Holy Spirit of Creator God. Moreover, the Holy Spirit is the One who justifies and sanctifies these blood-bought believers, and He oversees their conversions—makes sure that they are transformed into the image of Jesus the Christ. On the other hand, followers of New Age spiritualism define spiritual people as people who are self-confident, self-pleased, self-disciplined, self-improved, and self-made individuals. In reality, these kinds of spiritual people are merely self-centered individuals who see themselves as “believers” who do not need a priest, pastor, evangelist, missionary, or any other “traditional” church leader to help them know the true and living God, because these followers of the New Age spiritualism have become their own god.
Now, not only is today’s unhealthy emphasis on New Age spiritualism prophesied in the Holy Bible (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Peter 2:1-2; 1 John 4:1-3; Jude v. 18), but also there are prophecies that allude to the 21st century’s rise in technological discoveries, like those that make it possible for televised, celebrity supported false prophets, psychics, ghost whisperers, occultists, and tele-evangelists to saturate the airways (cf. Daniel 12:4; Revelation 11:8-9, 11; and Revelation 13:16-17). Indeed, Jesus the Christ, Himself, prophesies to His disciples that in the last days “…many false prophets will appear and will lead many people astray” (Matthew 24:11). He also says that in the last and evil days, “…false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones” (Matthew 24:24). Therefore, it is undeniable that our modern-day technologies (i.e. television, satellites, Internet, computers, iPods, and so forth), have made it possible for 21st century people to witness the rapid increase in the number of individuals who are being deceived by the New Age spiritualism fed to them by intentionally conspicuous, well-publicized celebrities, tele-evangelists, and the like!
SIGN # 2: Although there have been wars and rumors of wars down throughout the centuries, we NOW are living in a time when there are universal wars, conflicts and distresses happening on grand scales. Not only is our generation able to read about these historical accounts, but also in our century, unlike none other, billions are able to watch the moment-by-moment LIVE devastations via their televisions, satellites, and their Internet connections. For example, the wars, conflicts and distresses that have happened in France, Iraq, Myanmar (Burma), Afghanistan, Turkey, the Sudan, and Israel have been transmitted globally, and their worldwide transmissions (broadcasts) are the reasons why the prophetic last and evil days’ second sign can now be witnessed by an astronomical number of 21st century viewers. Once again, it is Jesus the Christ who prophesies about this sign. He tells His disciples that “…wars will break out near and far, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won’t follow immediately. The nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other… (Matthew 24:6-7a), and, yet, because of our modern-day technologies, it is in our time that God has allowed the greatest number of people to be coexisting eyewitnesses of this second last days’ prophetic sign!
SIGN # 3: With the rise of nuclear weapons in Third World countries, along with the already existing nuclear weapons of the major world powers, it is apparent that we now have the capacity, unlike in any other time in history, to destroy ourselves. Total world destruction is obtainable. Jesus the Christ says in a Scripture parallel to Matthew 24:29 that in the end times:
…there will be strange events in the skies—signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And down here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. The courage of many people will falter because of the fearful fate they see coming upon the earth, because the stability of the very heavens will be broken up. (Luke 21:25-26)
During the end times, which is the “Day of the Lord” (or the Tribulation Period), mankind’s ability to destroy this Earth with nuclear weapons will reach its peak. Jesus the Christ describes that catastrophic time by saying that “In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, the entire human race will be destroyed. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones”(Matthew 24:22).
We should note here that when Jesus the Christ speaks of the Tribulation time being “shortened” (a King James English word translated from the Greek word kolobovw, which is transliterated as koloboo), He is NOT saying that the full course of the seven year Tribulation in which God and the Antichrist’s wraths are poured out on the Earth will NOT take place. What our Lord is saying is that God will koloboo (cut short) the time of Jacob’s Trouble by making the Tribulation Period’s affliction to be less effective than Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet had intended. In essence, God will make it possible for Jesus the Christ’s “Wheat” (His elect) to be preserved from physical destruction—to survive the intended global annihilation so that not all of the left-behind humans will be wiped off the face of the Earth. As we know from the Scriptures, the “Wheat,” the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it harvest, consists of the surviving Tribulation humans who enter into Jesus the Christ’s Kingdom of God on Earth (the 1,000 years kingdom) in their unglorified bodies. These are the ones God has chosen from the foundation of the Earth to be the people who will repopulate the Earth; therefore, they should not be confused with the CHURCH (Bride of Christ)!
SIGN # 4: Today, we also are able to witness a time of fragile peace agreements that are broken quickly after they are made. On a larger scale, we see several quarrelling or warring nations breaking their peace agreements as early as 24 hours after putting pen to paper, or after shaking hands. On a smaller scale, we hear of and often see the many broken agreements made between individuals. For example, we see and/or hear about the rise in broken alimony and child support agreements that result from the numerous broken marital agreements. It is the Apostle Paul who mentions this fourth last days’ sign. He writes about what the global peace climate will be like just before the Tribulation Period begins. The apostle says that the people in the last and evil days will declare that “‘…All is well; everything is peaceful and secure,’ then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman’s birth pains begin when her child is about to be born. And there will be no escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
SIGN # 5: The sign that is staring 21st century individuals in the face is the increasing world famine dilemma. Throughout today’s world, billions are feeling the effect of the growing decrease in bountiful harvests. Therefore, Jesus the Christ’s predictions about famines prevailing in the last times should hit home with all of us, especially Americans, since most of the world still looks up to us as being the land flowing with milk and honey. For sure, now that we Americans are facing our own economic crisis, most of us can understand clearly what Jesus the Christ meant when He compared the last days (the beginning of birth pains [sorrows]) to the time of increased “…famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matthew 24:7b, KJV).
SIGN # 6: Growing proportionate to today’s worldwide famines are fear-provoking diseases like the pandemic Mad Cow, West Nile Virus, HIV and AIDS, and the pandemic contagions like the Salmonella, E. Coli, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, MRSA and SARS. We should keep in mind that this “pestilences” sign and all of the other signs mentioned here in this work have been happening for centuries; what makes these signs so important is the fact that never before in history have they all occurred together, at the same time and with the same high levels of frequency and intensity, until NOW. Once again, Jesus the Christ predicts that diseases and plagues would prevail in the last times. He says that “…there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matthew 24:7b, KJV).
SIGN # 7: We are living in a time when there is an increase in worldwide water, air, and land pollutions. Now, this prophesied last days’ sign comes from the Old Testament, but since Jesus the Christ is the Word–the whole Bible made flesh—the fulfilling of this prophecy during our time is what makes this sign relevant to us. Although the Prophet Isaiah is speaking for God to ancient Israel, he is nonetheless also prophesying about our present day toxic situations and, thus, is commanding us to:
Look up to the skies above, and gaze down on the earth beneath. For the skies will disappear like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing. The people of the earth will die like flies…. (Isaiah 51:6)
This very day, billions of people are experiencing the effects from having to drink from a growing number of contaminated water sources, or from eating fish full of mercury, or from breathing in traffic emissions, or from breathing in toxic chemicals (hazardous waste) from landfills, and the list of global pollution problems continues to grow. Without a doubt, Isaiah’s prophecy is being fulfilled in our time!
SIGN # 8: Also growing in large proportions are global earthquakes, some of which occur in strange places. Again, for centuries, people have seen and/or heard about such happenings; thus, the real significance is the fact that today’s increase in earthquakes in “divers places” is happening right along with all of the other aforesaid last and evil days’ signs. As mentioned previously, Jesus the Christ also predicts that “earthquakes” would prevail in the last times. He says that “…there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matthew 24:7b, KJV).
A few of the most notable earthquakes that have happened in divers places, which 21st century people have witnessed, include the second largest ever-recorded earthquake of December 2004. This Indian Ocean Tsunami, between a 9.1 and 9.3 magnitude, happened off the coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. This earthquake’s tsunamis (tidal waves) caused a disaster of extraordinary proportions, including causing about 187,000 deaths! In February 2005, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake flattened buildings in central Iran, destroyed many Iranian villages, forced people to live in tents, and injured hundreds while killing around 400 people. In March 2005, a 8.6magnitude earthquake happened off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, and it collapsed hundreds of buildings and killed around 2,000 people. In June 2005, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Tarapaca, Chile. Widespread damage occurred throughout the mountain villages near the epicenter, but because this huge earthquake happened in a sparsely populated area only 11 people lost their lives. Lastly, the May 2008 earthquake in the Chinese province of Sichuan, a mountainous region in Western China, is described as being the 19th deadliest earthquake of all time. It was a 7.9 magnitude earthquake that was responsible for killing at least 69,195 people (with an additional 18,392 people who were missing and presumed dead). Also, at least 374,177 were injured in this earthquake, and an estimated 5.36 million buildings were completely destroyed while an additional 21 million buildings suffered major damage!
SIGN # 9: We NOW are witnessing an upsurge (rise) and an upheaval (cataclysm) in nature, as natural disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, and unusual hot or cold spells are increasing all over the world. However, after the CHURCH is raptured, and the end of the Tribulation Period (the end of the world as we know it) grows nearer, the increase in intensity and frequency of natural disasters will create the scenario Jesus the Christ describes, when He says: “Immediately after those horrible days end, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken”(Matthew 24:29).
This Scripture pertains to the effect God’s wrath will have upon the Earth, including nature, herself. These signs in nature, then, not only will be so dramatic and cataclysmic that men’s hearts will fail them—meaning people will literally drop dead from witnessing the terror—but these signs will precede the physical bodily return of Jesus the Christ. Indeed, the One who holds EVERYTHING together will relax His power (control) over the universe, and this relinquishing of control is what sends nature, and the world, spinning out of control until the sign of the Son of Man (Jesus the Christ, Himself,) appears in the Heavens, as our Lord comes on the clouds with ALL Power and Great Glory (cf. Matthew 24:30).
SIGN # 10: Moral decay is spreading to the degree that it was in Noah’s day. In Genesis we find these words recorded: “Now the LORD observed the extent of the people’s wickedness, and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil” (Genesis 6:5). The specific moral decay that has become widespread today is sexual exploitation. It is no big thing, today, to turn on the television to the movie channels and see naked men and women engaging in sexual activities, or hear some of the most vulgar profanity. Likewise, it also is so easy to surf the Internet and view pornographic pictures and videos, view R and X-rated movies, and read filthy communications.
Moreover, primetime television now carries some programs that have profanity and nudity in them. The television networks really are pushing the envelope where televised vulgarity and sexual intercourse are concerned. Then too there are those NOT SO discreet telephone hotline advertisements that insinuate sex is the ultimate goal. These late night televised advertisements specifically target degenerate men and women. What is equally despicable are those televised advertisements about pills that correct any erectile dysfunction, and other pills that enhance male genitals.
These once taboo subjects were not only unacceptable topics for polite conversations but also unacceptable material for most “public” media formats, which today include a wide range of recorded soundtracks, music videos, the silver screen, and almost every kind of magazine and book. Once again, the Internet is perhaps the most abused “public” media format. Contrary to how people used to respond to the public television and radio stations that aired nudity and profanity, where electronic mail is concerned, most modern-day individuals hardly raise an eyebrow when moral decay finds its way into their email “In Boxes,” even though the filthy communications in most of the unwelcome SPAM emails are dreadful.
For sure, we are bombarded with moral decay, and the saddest thing about this truth is that so many so-called Christians are some of the persons responsible for and/or patrons of America’s, as well as the world’s, steady diet of wicked lasciviousness (lustfulness). Therefore, since our generation is compared to the generation in Noah’s day, then we must not forget that in Genesis the wrath of God comes upon Noah’s wicked generation. These words are recorded:
So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them. It broke his heart. And the LORD said, ‘I will completely wipe out this human race that I have created. Yes, and I will destroy all the animals and birds, too. I am sorry I ever made them.’ (Genesis 6:6-7)
The significance of the above Scriptures is that, in the New Testament, our Savior tells His disciples, and modern-day believers, that the sign of Noah is one way they will know when our Lord is about to make His second appearance on this Earth. Then, Jesus the Christ makes this following comment about Noah’s day: “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day” (Matthew 24:37). That’s right! As it was with Noah’s generation, so is it going to be with today’s diseased sectors of the CHURCH, as well as the way it will be for the world’s unbelievers who continue to reject Jesus the Christ and who continue with business as usual. Today’s masses are behaving just like the people of Noah’s generation were behaving while Noah built the Ark. Noah’s generation was eating, drinking, and marrying right up until the time that Noah entered the Ark.
Let there be no doubt about it. God is going to unleash His wrath upon the idol worshipping Laodicean Christians of today. He also will be unleashing His wrath upon every apparent unbeliever. However, before He does He will do the same thing for our generation that He did for Noah’s generation. God will warn us that His judgment is coming.
In today’s world, God not only warns us through these signs that are being discussed, but also He offers Jesus the Christ for the forgiveness of our wicked and sinful behaviors. All of the signs of the times definitely indicate that God soon will remove His spotless and blemish-free CHURCH. After this Rapture happens, then God’s judgment will fall upon the left-behind people and this old Earth.
SIGN # 11: Also in Noah’s day, there was a sudden increase in crime and violence—an increase in lawlessness. Likewise, the same is true of our twenty-first century’s generations. Therefore, a word to the wise should be sufficient. Today’s Word to the wise is from Genesis. The writer of Genesis says: “Now the earth had become corrupt in God’s sight, and it was filled with violence…and depravity everywhere” (Genesis 6:11, 12b).
In the New Testament, Jesus the Christ’s words parallel those in Genesis. Our Savior tells His disciples that in the last and evil days, prior to and after the Rapture, that the following signs would be present: “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). Thus, this worldwide increase in lawlessness (crime and violence) sign will come to pass when the sign of a worldwide decrease in the number of people who show love for the sanctity of life also is evident.
SIGN # 12: In the last days, there will be an increase in skepticism, expressly in the CHURCH, and this skepticism will concern: (1) the inerrancy of the Scriptures; (2) who God really is; (3) what God expects from His spiritual sons and daughters; (4) who Jesus the Christ really is; and (5) how Jesus’ blood affects His believers’ lives. Moreover, what is evident today is that there are too many people who will NOT believe what is going to happen next on the prophetic timetable until the Rapture is over and the Tribulation Period has begun. For example, since many will not believe in the pre-tribulation departure of the CHURCH, as a result, there will be far too many unprepared, unaware and careless believers, as well as unbelievers in Jesus the Christ, who will not pay attention to the signs that point to Jesus the Christ’s return. Our Savior confirms this analysis of the last and evil days’ people, especially the Left Behinders, when He makes this statement: “People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. This is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:39).
Then too, the Apostle Peter also speaks about the increased skepticism that will be in the world before the coming “Day of the Lord.” He writes:
First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: ‘Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.’ (2 Peter 3:3-4)
SIGN # 13: The apostasy (falling away) from the biblical and historic truths that pertain to Christianity is yet another last and evil days’ sign happening right now in many local Christian churches. According to Jesus the Christ, apostasy is the act of blaspheming the Holy Spirit (refusing to be convicted by the Holy Spirit about the Grace of God, the Divine Word of God, and the atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Christ). In other words, every one who once accepted God’s gifts but then decides to reject God’s saving Grace, which He has extended to the entire world through Jesus the Christ’s atoning sacrifice, is guilty of apostasy (falling away). Jesus the Christ says:
Every sin or blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven. Anyone who blasphemes against me, the Son of Man, can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come. (Mathew 12:31-32)
The writer of Hebrews explains apostasy (falling away) another way. That writer says:
For it is impossible to restore to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come—and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people to repentance again because they are nailing the Son of God to the cross again by rejecting him, holding him up to public shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
SIGN # 14: In the last and evil days, people will be lovers of pleasure more than they are lovers of God. Regardless of how God has instructed them to live, these last days people will choose to seek thrills, a buzz, a need to push the envelope, and a hunger to live a free-spirited life. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy that in the last days, as the CHURCH Age draws to a close, that “…there will be very difficult times” (2 Timothy 3:1). Then the Apostle Paul warns Timothy about the kinds of people who will be living near the end of the CHURCH Age—the kinds of people a young Timothy should avoid. Apostle Paul writes:
…people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that. (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
SIGN # 15: In the last days, God will pour out His Holy Spirit once again. Since the 1960s, the Holy Spirit’s prophesied second outpouring has been happening, city-by-city and country-by-country. As a result, more and more people are accepting and using ALL of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (e.g., gifts of healing, miracles, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, prophesy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, discerning of spirit, special faith, the laying on of hands, administration, helps, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, and so forth). Furthermore, there are more local churches, as a whole, that are now following the FULL Gospel—the unadulterated Word of God—and these churches involve those that are not Pentecostal, Apostolic, and Full Gospel churches. In short, more of the “traditional” denominations—Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Brethren, and so forth—are becoming “charismatic.”
The Old Testament mentions the Holy Spirit’s outpourings several times. For example, the Prophet Isaiah speaks for God saying, “For I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children” (Isaiah 44:3). Then, in another very famous Old Testament passage, the Prophet Joel writes these prophetic words:
Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike. (Joel 2:28-29)
In the book of John, the apostle quotes Jesus the Christ, who makes a prediction or two about the Holy Spirit’s outpourings. John writes, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37b-38, KJV).
On the Day of Pentecost, the original 11 disciples, plus one newly elected disciple, and 108 additional Jewish believers, who were tarrying in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit, received the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Their baptism by the Holy Spirit is considered to be the Former Rain, and from this first outpouring came the birth of the CHURCH. Today’s believers are waiting on the Latter Rain to be fulfilled. As previously stated, the Latter Rain is pouring out, but not all at once—rather it is falling from city-to-city and country-to-country. Therefore, the fact that the second outpouring can be witnessed in many believers living in numerous countries today serves as indisputable evidence that proves that we are the generation who will not perish unto all of the remaining prophecies are fulfilled! (For more information on the Latter Rain outpouring, see “Is It Revival Time Again.”)
There are more signs happening today that will not be addressed in detail in this work. Some of those signs are: (1) the return of the dispersed Jewish people to Israel, which results in Israel becoming a nation in one 24-hour day, on May 14, 1998; (2) the Jewish people’s regained control of Jerusalem, which happened in June of 1967; (3) the rise of Russia—an enemy of Israel; (4) the formulation of an Islamic confederation that is against the State of Israel; (5) the revival of the ten-nation Holy Roman Empire; (6) the rise of the 200 million man Chinese army; (7) the revival of ancient Babylon’s dark occult practices; (8) an unprecedented turn to drugs and alcohol; (9) the move toward a one-world religion; (10) the move toward a one-world government; (11) the move toward a one-world economy; (12) the deterioration of the family unit—mother and father, and their children; and (13) the decline of the United States as a major world power!
If we take the time to examine all of the major and minor biblical last and evil days’ signs (and the end times’ signs) that are occurring simultaneously in our twenty-first century A.D., then we would see how expedient it is for us to pay close attention to what has been prophesied to happen next. Our ignorance of the signs and their meanings can cause us to be like the people in Noah’s day (full of unbelief, skepticism and scoffing). This ignorance also will cause us to be left outside of the Ark!
In contrast, our genuine seeking and obtaining of the spiritual wisdom, knowledge and understanding that pertain to all of the biblical last days and end times’ signs that relate to the prophetic events that already have taken place during our time period, as well as those prophetic events yet to happen, without a doubt, will help us to be prepared, careful, and watchful believers who are looking up, when the beginning of sorrows (birth pains) increase all the more. We must be looking attentively for the signs of the Rapture—the time when Jesus the Christ, our Bridegroom, will alert us (His Bride) with a SHOUT and then beam us up to Heaven (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:52-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
What can anyone lose from believing the Word of God? Is it their clout? Their friends? Their bank accounts? Their homes, cars, or clothes? Their life? For non-believers as well as believers, God neither expects nor asks us to give up anything that is essential for ensuring that we live an abundant life—a born again, saved, Holy Spirit filled life. Furthermore, there is nothing that we can do, in and of ourselves, to ensure that, after we are dead, we will be able to keep what we now have. When it is our time to die, all of our earthly titles, positions, jobs, relationships, money, possessions, and especially our human life will cease to belong to us, no matter what we plan to do to prevent ANY loss from ever happening. Therefore, if we all are going to die one type of death or another (physical and/or spiritual), if we all are going to lose EVERYTHING worldly that we have acquired in this life, then isn’t it more profitable for us to believe the Holy Bible’s promises about the spiritual/heavenly gains we will receive?
If God’s Word is NOT true, then we just die and the world goes on as it has been doing for the past millenniums. But, if the Word of God is true, then we are promised that we will receive eternal life and live in God’s presence for eternity; we are promised that the treasures we lay up in Heaven will NEVER rust, fade away, get stolen, or revoked; we also are promised a loving marital relationship and a honeymoon experience that NEVER will end; we are promised a mansion and the experience of walking on streets made of transparent gold; and we are promised that we never, ever will grow old.
If the Word of God IS true, and we have denied our Creator and Savior the life the Father and Son have asked us to live, what will we be able to offer for our wasted life? NOTHING! It, then, should be much easier NOW for us to take God at His Word—the total unadulterated Word—much easier NOW than it would be to come to a moment in time when we are denied any opportunities to make the “right” choice (to choose God’s salvation plan, which means choosing Jesus the Christ to be our Lord and Savior). How sad it will be for us if we run out of time—if God no longer warns us, and He no longer offers His everlasting saving Grace and eternal forgiveness to us.
Finally, won’t it be a tragedy if we let our own skeptical, non-believing, scoffing attitudes and ungodly ways of living (our own unrighteous deeds) make our choice for us—be the reason why we are sent to our place in the Lake of Fire, which is the eternity that God ONLY intended for Satan and his fallen angels to experience. Jesus the Christ Himself says this Divine Truth about His final judgment of the centuries of unbelievers. Our just and righteous judge and millennial “…King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons. ’” (Matthew 25:41).
Why not secure our eternal place in Heaven with God rather than secure our everlasting place in the Lake of Fire with Satan and his demons? Why don’t we choose this day whether we will serve God or serve Satan’s corrupt economic, political, and religious systems?
As for my choice, I choose the Lord and all of His benefits. It is my prayer that my family, friends and readers will join me and make the same choice.