After looking at who, why and when we’re to watch, we review what Jesus told us to watch out for:
Omitting those which appear to apply to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70, here’s a selection of signs stated in the first Gospel (Mark 13), augmented by Matthew (24) and Luke (17 & 21) plus insertion of Paul’s first and follow-up letters to believers in Salonika, to whom he stressed the origin of his teaching; ‘For this we say to you by the word of the Lord…’
- The Gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
- Disciples will stand before and councils, rulers and kings, beaten in religious assemblies.
- Many will come in Jesus’ name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.
- Wars and rumors of wars – nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom (“Do not be troubled for such things must happen, but the end is not yet”)
- earthquakes in various places – famines and troubles – as the beginnings of sorrows.
- “Brother will betray brother to death – a father his child – children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death and
- “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
- “SO, when you see the ‘abomination of desolation’, spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing where it ought not (let the reader understand!), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” [This would refer not only to Roman standard placed in the Temple’s Holy of Holies but also to any profane object/person therein at any time (including its mount?).
- “those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.
- “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days….
- “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it for false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
- For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven…’and the dead in Christ will rise first,
- ‘then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [‘harpadzo’ = rapture] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…’
- ‘You know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety” then sudden destruction comes…’
- ‘Let no one deceive you…for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first (Apostasy), and
- ‘the man of sin (lawlessness) is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped,
- ‘so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God…
- ‘The coming of the lawless one is according to the workings of satan with all power, signs and lying wonders, and
- ‘with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they didn’t receive a love of the truth, that they might be saved…
- ‘For this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie (!!)…’
- “After that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
- “The stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
- “On the earth perplexity, seas and waves roaring
- “Men’s hearts failing them from fear and expectation of what’s coming on the earth.
- “As it was in the days of Noah, so also in the days of the Son of Man: “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”
- “Likewise as it was in the days of Lot…on the day Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
- “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife: Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
- “I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
- “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory and
- “then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.” [The Rapture]
Jesus said, “Take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.
IS THE END NIGH?
No! I’m not of that alarmist brigade because, in my humble opinion, Jesus is coming back for a bride who’s ‘made herself ready’, which I understand to be a church that has been restored to move fully in the ‘greater works’ – one that has arisen with the glory of the Lord appearing over her and piercing the ‘thick darkness covering the peoples’ (see Revelation 19.7, Acts 3.21, John 14.12 and Isaiah 60.1-2)
There’s clear indications this preparation is already happening through many ministries. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16.18).
On praying to our Heavenly Father, He instructed us to ask, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matt 6:10).
The Lord’s Kingdom rule has yet to come in its fullness so, in my opinion, a reworking – even a significant sifting or pruning – may be necessary as the Lord finishes building his Church and believers make themselves ready for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Next, we look Nelson Walters’ theological nuances of the meaning of ‘watching’ (here).
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version; copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.]