Between all of the increased natural disasters, political chaos in the Muslim nations, political and religious unrest and corruption in the world today, and the economic problems sweeping the world we can now begin to see certain signs, or clues that the end of the age is fast approaching. The very thought of it leaves many today bewildered, disorientated and somewhat panicky, not to mention all the other various subjects on Biblical Prophecy. For the most part, as long as things are going well people sort of block it all out of their minds until the next catastrophe and you then see the masses jamming into the church looking for answers. Jesus said; “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the doors!” (Matthew 24:32-33). As winter fades and spring approaches, the budding of trees signifies the coming of summer. This is the picture Jesus is giving with the parable of the fig tree. The signs described in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24) by Jesus will give warning of His Second Coming. It is interesting to note that these sign began to appear in earnest only after Israel became a Nation again in 1948. And in truth, none of the signs were relevant until Israel was reborn as a nation.
Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars, revolutions, wars between Ethnic Groups, widespread famine, disease, and earthquakes in many places of the world (Matt. 24:6-7; Luke 21:10-11). Widespread religious deception, lawlessness and anarchy will increase, and finally the appearance of the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:3-4). Alongside of the appearance of the Antichrist will be the emergence of the apostasy, or falling away as the love of many, if not most, who call themselves Christian will grow cold (Matt 24:12). The Greek word used here for love is “agape,” this verse describes not the love the world knows and shares, but Christian love. It is the agape love revealed in Jesus, seen as spiritual and selfless, a love that is a model to humanity.
A waning love is the picture given here which decreases gradually in intensity like that of the moon which shows a decreasing illuminated surface between a full moon and a new moon. The agape (Christian) love for Christ and each other will be reduced to the infidelity of the faith and the absence of belief itself. It will be because of the name of Jesus that many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another (Matt. 24:9-12). The shadow of this waning love is being cast upon the church today as well as society. Never before has the church been divided as it is today. In spite of the Bible’s teaching that there should be no schism (division) in the body, that the members should have the same care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25), denominational and doctrinal lines have been established partitioning the body of Christ into neat little groups all opposing one another. Oh sure, there is a lot of talk of love today but still there is very little of it unless you run in certain circles and conform to their particular group think. Some might even love you from a distance so long as you are not a threat to what is relatively true to them, truth it seem is now subjective to the individual. Real love rejoices in the truth (1 Cor. 13:6), not much of that going around today.
These signs are compared to the labor pains of a women about to give birth. “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). “Sorrows” literally means “birth pangs.” The world will witness these birth pangs and they will increase in intensity and frequency until Jesus Christ returns. For example, earthquakes are one of the signs given by Jesus and the number of massive earthquakes is undeniably increasing. I’m not a big fan of Hal Lindsey, in my opinion he has been wrong about a great many things on the subject of Eschatology, however, he gave some statistics which I will include here, you can also see the video if you like here.
Japan’s 9.0 quake was 8,000 times greater than the New Zealand quake last month.
Haiti’s Quake was a 7.0, Japan’s 9.0 quake was 5,000 times greater than the Haiti quake.
The USGS classifies Major Earthquakes between 7.0 to 7.9
Great Earthquakes are classified at 8.0 and above.
The USGS (US Geological Survey) Yearly expectations of quakes are usually 17 major earthquakes a year and 1 great earthquake a year. Earthquakes greater than 9.0 usually only occur once every 20 years. The Great Japan Quake is the third 9.0 earthquake in the last eleven years. It is the seventh major quake of 2011 and the fourth most powerful earthquake in recorded history. Of the ten most powerful earthquakes in recorded history, six have struck since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Three of them have happen within the last six years alone. It has been determined that the Japan earthquake alone shifted the earth 4 inches on its axis. News reports indicated that many of Japan’s coastal cities were now 6 feet below sea level because the Island shift east. Every time there is a high tide, these coastal cities are flooded. Japan’s island of Honshu was Shifted 8 feet and it was recorded that the shift on the plants axis changed time itself. These are hard facts, and when you consider in the condition of the church today, it becomes self evident we are fast approaching the end of the age.
A felt faith is replacing orthodox Christianity as False Apostles and False Prophets are busting out of the seams claiming God is revealing new things to the church today. To them, God is moving in a way that is different and more relevant to the world now. People are giving up their Bibles for new revelations, men such as Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson and many others are preaching sermons that the Bible is being superseded by new revelations. Ecstatic experience is now sought as a valid “God” encounter and anyone who holds to the bible is looked upon with distain. Yet everything about these new movements resemble very little of Christianity, the entire movement is characterized by satisfying one’s own flesh and carnal nature, especially in light of the many “manifestations” where people slither like snakes, bark like dogs, and crow like chickens. It’s about getting as much as you can for yourself, the greater anointing, the next manifestation, seeking after the next sign and wonder. We live in a time of indifference and carelessness! A time of corruption and violence! A time of uncertainty.
Scripture tells us that the last days well be met with a society that is barren of virtue but abounding with vices. People will be characterized by all sorts of self-centered and unnatural perversions. Some will maintain an outward pretense of Christianity but refuse the reality of the Christian faith. “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” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5a If you are honest, the above verses are in fact characteristics of the modern and post-modern cultures. And sadly they are traits which have overrun the church. Even stronger language is given by the Holy Spirit Himself of the condition of the church in the latter times; “Now the Spirit EXPRESSLY says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron” – 1 Timothy 4:1-2. Ever wonder why you can’t seem to reach many with the truth of the Gospel today? Why many of our Church leaders won’t answer for their false doctrine, why they refuse to be transparent and accountable? Here is your answer why! “having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” We are seeing the above verse played out before our very eyes, we are watching the church apostatize, we are watching our leadership out right deny the essential doctrines of Christianity. Abandoning God’s Word they are motivated by evil spirits and have become insensitive and lethargic to spiritual truth.
So if the Bible predicts that all these things will come upon the earth just prior to the return of Jesus, why do we gasp as though all is hopeless and lost? Most view Bible Prophecy as just doom and gloom yet within its confines is recorded the hope of the church, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the resurrection and rapture of the Church, His millennial kingdom, the new heaven and new earth, and lastly, God dwelling with men, in the end, we win.