Summary: Signs of the last days compared with events today.
Are We Living in the Last Days?
February 15, 2015
Signs of the last days given in Scripture:
I. RIDICULE OF THE LORD’S SECOND COMING – 2 Peter 3:3-4 – “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
People joke about the second coming and the rapture today. Comedians have routines making fun of it.
Illus. – Radio broadcast on one of the BBC stations by a panel of Church of England theologians who scoffed at those who expect an imminent return of Christ. One of them said, “These people have been waiting for 2000 years now. And each generation keeps looking for Jesus to return in their generation.” Sneeringly, he said, “But Jesus always lets them down. He never comes.” What he didn’t realize was that his very scoffing may have been a fulfillment of this very prophecy.
II. THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL AND THE RETURN OF JEWS TO ISRAEL FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
Note these scriptures:
Ezekiel 20:33-34 – “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: 34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.”
Ezekiel 36:24 – “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
Isaiah 11:11-12 – “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
These are perhaps some of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible and is actually prophesied several other places in the Old Testament. Until the early 1900s, the re-establishment of Israel seemed to be absolutely preposterous. In 1900 Hebrew was a dead language, spoken by no one in the world, like Latin today. Jews were scattered all over the world, and virtually only a handful were in the Holy Land. All of Palestine was under the complete control of Muslim Palestinian Arabs.
However, in 1948 the United Nations established a homeland for the Jews and since that time millions of Jews from every corner of the earth have returned to live there. There are many prophecies about the blossoming of Israel when the Jews returned that we could look at too, but we will not look at today. And by the way, guess what the spoken language in Israel today?—Hebrew.
III. JESUS’S PREDICTIONS IN MATTHEW 24 OF THE EVENTS DURING THE TRIBULATION AND BEFORE THE GLORIOUS APPEARING.
Note Matthew 24:3 – “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
Bible scholars say that Matthew 25 predicts events during the Tribulation itself, but we would expect that some of the conditions described in the Tribulation would probably develop over time and thus would begin to be evident in the period leading up to the Tribulation.
Let’s look at four of the signs of the Tribulation and see if there are similarities in our day:
1) Matthew 24:4-5 – “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
Note also verse 11 – “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
Today is the greatest period of worldwide religious deception in the history of the world and will only be exceeded by the deception during the Tribulation itself. We see many self-styled “Christs” sowing confusion in our world today. There are more cults and false religions today than ever before
2) Matthew 24:6 – “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.”
War will be a terrible feature of the Tribulation period. But even today, prior to the Tribulation, the daily headlines are about wars and rumors of wars all over the world.