Summary: This is the 17th study in the study "Hope In The Darkness".
LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS (Part 1)
As a father of three, I have learned how to repeat myself. When I am trying to teach one of my children a lesson I must teach it to them several times and remind them of it often. In the last chapter of Peter’s second letter, he states that he has written these two letters to remind them of God’s truths that should be evident in their lives.
Peter uses this last chapter to remind us that this earth will not last forever. The Day of the Lord will come. What are the signs of Jesus coming again? Do you live your life as if Jesus could come back at any time because He will come when we least expect it. As the Bible says several times, Jesus will come like a thief in the night.
A question that has been asked over and over again by Christians is, “When is Jesus coming back?” Even the disciples asked Jesus this question. Although we need to be careful not to set dates and realize that only God knows when Christ is to return, obviously it is all right for us to ask these types of questions because when the disciples asked Jesus these questions He did not “get onto” them for it. In Matthew 24, Christ gave us some signs that are to alert us to the fact that Christ is coming soon. Also realize that Jesus rebuked the people of His day for not recognizing “the sign of the time” that brought His first coming.
There have been several things happen in the last 100 years that would indicate “the signs of the time”. The first thing noticeable is our increase in travel and knowledge. Since 1914, when the average speed of cars and trucks was 15 to 20 miles per hour, until today, when rockets and satellites average 24,000 miles per hour, man has had an explosion in knowledge. The two go “hand in hand” and Daniel 12:4 tells us this is one of the signs of the end.
As we study end-times theology, we must be careful in how we study it. Should we study this literally or figuratively? Jesus helps us out. Notice in verse 1-2 how the disciples were admiring the temple buildings and Jesus prophesied that not only would the temple be destroyed but that not even one stone would be left upon another stone. History tells us that in 70 A.D. the Roman army destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the temple. Not only was the temple destroyed, but the soldiers had noticed that large amounts of gold had melted and flowed into the crevices of the blocks of the temple during a fire that swept through. In order to get the gold, the Romans had to take the building apart stone by stone. In light of this information I believe it is safe to say that we should take this passage literally.
When you are getting sick the doctor finds out what is wrong by the symptoms you have. In Matthew 24 we find 2 signs that are more like symptoms.
The Sign of Deception
There has always been deception and false teaching out there, but look at it today. A new cult or group springs up in our nation almost every week. The spiritual deception will continue to get worse and worse.
The Sign Of Wars And Rumors Of Wars
There have been around 15,000 recorded wars in human history. Jesus said this was going to happen, but not to be alarmed because, “Such things must happen, but the end is still to come”. Jesus tells us that this is not the end but birth pains. If this is the case, has the birth pains began? Nations have risen up against nation. There has been famine. There have been some catastrophic earthquakes over the last several years. It may be as Jesus says in verse 33, “Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.”
The Nation of Israel has been exiled, moved around like people separated, and yet God promises this nation that He will not forget them.
In 1917 less than 25000 Jews lived in Palestine. In 1945 more than 500,000 Jews lived in Palestine and in 1948, Israel was again recognized as a nation. Today the population is over 5 million.
The Times Of The Gentiles
In these verses God put a time frame on the “time of the Gentiles” Which began with the Babylonia captivity in 606 B. C. and will continue to the end of the Tribulation and the coming of Christ. Is this time coming near? In 1967 Israel took captivity of Jerusalem for the first time since the Babylonian captivity. The only thing missing is the great spiritual awakening of the Jews calling upon the Messiah they had rejected.