David Reagan: First Thessalonians 5:4 has been very important in my life. I grew up in an Amillennial church. If somebody went off to a conference and heard something about the return of Jesus and came back enthusiastic that Jesus would maybe be coming in our day and time, well the preacher would always get up and preach a sermon putting that teaching down. He would always use that verse saying, “There is nothing that we can know about Christ’s return because He’s coming like a thief in the night.” He would stop reading right there.
I’ll never forget when I read the whole chapter and I thought, “Yeah, but then, in the next verse it says, ‘That’s not for you brethren.'” Jesus is going to come as a thief in the night for the world. He’s going to come as a thief in the night for Christians who don’t know anything about Bible prophecy. But, Christ’s return won’t be a surprise for those of us who study Bible prophecy.
Tim Moore: My favorite passage out of Hebrews talks about how we should not forsake the assembling together, but should encourage one another, and all the more as we see the Day drawing near. So, the writer of Hebrews presumed that we who are believers and who are looking forward to Jesus Christ’s return will recognize when the Day of the Lord is approaching. Knowing this truth, we would redouble our efforts to encourage one another.
David Reagan: And, once again, Amillennialists always explain that passage away. They say, “Well, yes, we are to make sure that we get together as we see the Day drawing near.” But, they’ll add, “That day is Sunday.” In reality, the passage in Hebrews 10 identifies what that day is in the next few verses — as the day of judgment.
So, God has provided His followers with something that we can see. We can tell people: “Do you see this sign? Do you see that sign? Well then, hey, we are indeed living in the season of the Lord’s return!”
Nathan Jones: Then there’s Postmillennialism, which as an end time framework has been getting more and more popular in churches. It holds to the idea that the earth will get better and better until the Church finally overcomes the whole world. The Church will then give the keys of the kingdom over to Jesus upon His return.
It should be obvious that the world is not getting better and better. Rather, Jesus prophesied that in the last days the world would be getting more like the times of Noah and the times of Lot. Now, that reference doesn’t mean that God is going to rain and flood the earth, as some of the global warming alarmists would cry. No, rather what Jesus is saying is that society will become eviler and eviler as the world plunges into the Day of the Lord. When a society openly advocates for giving sex changes to children and all of the other crazy evils that are pouring out of society left and right that just boggles the mind, we can know that we are truly living in the same type of evil society that Noah lived in.
David Reagan: Yes, Jesus said the end times would become just like Noah’s society. If you go to Genesis 6 and read about Noah’s society, you see there were two characteristics which defined it — violence and immorality. Well, that’s where we are today. Our society is engulfed in violence and immorality. Some people today are even talking about trying to legalize pedophilia for children who are consenting. As if a child knows what he or she is consenting to!
Tim Moore: Our ministry focuses on Revelation because there is so much that we are looking forward to with the return of Jesus Christ and the Rapture of the Church. Revelation focuses on that topic. But, there’s a bookend to the Bible that provides a foundation for all of the other understanding we have concerning the Gospel and God’s promises to send His Son the Messiah back at the very end of time.
I think it is important to recognize that some of the societal downfall that we are witnessing today is a renunciation of everything God revealed at the very beginning. A distinction is provided between God and His Creation. In Genesis 1:1, God created everything we see. And, then, in Genesis 1:26-28, God established that Man would be distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom, set apart due to being created in the image of God and for holding a special relationship with Him.
In the same chapter, in verse 27, God talks about a man and a woman being distinct from one another. In Genesis 2:24, God said that a man and woman would create a relationship — a marriage — that would be distinct from every other kind of relationship Man would have in this world.
But, in our society, we have people who deny that there is a God and that He created the universe. They deny that mankind is any different than animals. They deny that men and women have an equal but distinct role created by God. And of course, they deny the covenant of marriage as being special and set apart.
So, in our own day and age, we are witnessing our society renouncing the very foundational truths established in Scripture. This is another sign that Jesus indicated that would tell us we are living in the last days, and we certainly are.
Nathan Jones: It boggles my mind that the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3 prophesied that in the last days people would deny the Creation and the Flood. What is that teaching today? That is the teaching of Evolution. Evolution was prophesied in the Bible!
David Reagan: In that same passage, Peter also prophesied how people in the end times would claim that the world would be continuing to go on as it has always been.
Nathan Jones: That is the foundational evolutionary teaching called Uniformitarianism.
David Reagan: Uniformitarianism can never be true. God has intervened in history in the past, and He’s going to intervene in history in the future.
Wrath and Repentance
David Reagan: Many years ago, I spent seven years studying the First Coming prophesies of Jesus. I identified 109 separate and distinct prophecies. Theologians often talk about there being over 300 First Coming prophecies. There are over 300, but many of these prophecies are repetitious, while exactly 109 are distinct.
Then I started studying the Second Coming prophecies and I noticed that there are so many more Second Coming prophecies than there are First Coming prophecies. I believe the reason is because God never pours out His wrath without warning. Jesus came the first time in love and grace and mercy to die for the sins of mankind. But, the Bible teaches that when He returns He will be returning to pour out the wrath of God upon those who have rejected the grace, mercy, and love of God. Then Jesus is going to reign in glory from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Since God never pours out His wrath without warning, He is determined to give us many more signs to indicate that we are now living in the season of the Lord’s return.
Tim Moore: He certainly does. I heard an analogy the other day. People sometimes will get angry over why God would pour out His wrath. The fact is, wrath is abiding on us all. We are creatures of sin. Our sinful nature condemns us. Humanity flounders atop a sinking ship, but God has provided us with a lifeboat. All we have to do is accept His Son and we will be rescued from that wrath and the judgment that we deserve.
David Reagan: Evangelist Mike Gendron provided a very insightful idea recently. He said that at the end of 2,000 years of history God judged sin with the Great Flood. Some 2,000 years later He judged sin on the cross with Jesus taking on the sins of the world. And, he pointed out that another 2,000 years will pass until God is going to judge mankind’s sin in the Tribulation. The world has reached that 6,000 year mark!
Nathan Jones: God uses wrath to get people to get down on their knees and repent. That leads us to yet another sign of the end times — a great evangelistic effort. Not everybody will be evangelized before the Rapture of the Church, but during the Tribulation, everybody on the planet will get the chance to choose Jesus or not. What a loving mercy of God!
David Reagan: It sure is! Even when God pours out His wrath, His fundamental purpose is to bring people to repentance so that they can be saved. God’s fundamental purpose is not just to punish, but to bring people to the end of themselves because God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and salvation. What a God we have! What a God of glorious grace we have. Hallelujah!
Nathan Jones: And, that grace grants us the chance as Christians to live holy lives dedicated to evangelism because we know the time is short. Knowing that Jesus is coming soon, we should then desire to bring as many people as possible as quickly as possible to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.
In the third part of this series about why we live in Bible times, we will explore some more signs of the end times.