Nathan Jones: We are continuing our discussion about why we are currently living in biblical times.
The Sign of False Messiahs
David Reagan: Let’s go into one or two or three of the signs of the end times that indicate that we are truly living in the season of the Lord’s return. Maybe there’s been a sign that has never been on the scene before except in recent years?
Nathan Jones: I love to preach on Luke 21 with it’s parallel chapters in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. In these chapters, Jesus gave ten specific signs that answered the Apostles’ three questions. For one of those questions, they wanted to know what the signs would be that would lead up to Jesus’ return? Jesus detailed ten signs and added that they would increase in frequency and intensity the closer the world got to the end of this age and His return.
Jesus started off with the first sign — false messiahs. Luke 21:8 verse reads, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” So, right off the bat, the number one sign was that the world would experience a proliferation of false christs and false teachers. And we certainly live in the age of the cults! According to Watchman Fellowship, an Apologetics ministry dedicated to defending the Christian faith against the heresies of the cults, there are some 1,200 false religions and 500 cults in the United States alone.
David Reagan: Yes, and incidentally, an increase in false prophets was the only sign that Jesus mentioned more than once — three times — in Matthew’s version. The cults explosion began in the middle of the nineteenth century. Sure, there have always been cults, but the explosion occurred with the formation of the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and today we’ve got a cult housed on almost every corner in Los Angeles.
Nathan Jones: That to me says that Satan knows that we are getting very close to the end times, because he’s been trying to flood the market, so to say, with false christs and false teachings. Due to the Internet, especially, we have seen church membership numbers and a belief in Jesus Christ continue to plummet as the Internet proliferates new ideas and false religions. They’re constantly permeating our society and especially are targeting our youth.
The Sign of Societal Decay
Tim Moore: One of the signs that I harken to is a sign that everybody can recognize. For many years here in the West, people always assumed that our children would live better lives. Society would improve, technology would improve, and we would progress. But, that progress hasn’t always gone in the right direction.
I attended a one-day conference over in western Kentucky. A friend had ridden along with me and we were coming home. We were driving, having a great time, and just enjoying the beautiful day while conversing. Pretty soon we realized that we’re not heading in the right direction. We had missed a turn on the interstate and found ourselves heading toward Nashville instead of back toward Louisville. We had not been paying attention to the signs, and so we were going in the wrong direction.
Likewise, today, our society has missed the signs and so has been going in the wrong direction. There are people who proclaim themselves to be Progressives, but the progress they really want to make is regressive. They are causing us all to go in the wrong direction. Sadly, we see our formally Christian society now embracing Secularism. It’s been renouncing God.
For example, a very famous actress recently decided she wanted to become a Hindu. Why? Because she saw some maharishi’s picture and decided that she’d embrace his teachings. So much confusion abounds when we are not going in a proper direction.
Yes, we are making progress technologically, but some of that technology is horrific. Some scientists today have been blending human and animal embryos, which are called chimeras. Scientists herald this new advancement in mankind, but really it is a horrific move morally and is causing society to go totally in the wrong direction.
We are witnessing the downfall of our society. This is what I call social entropy. Society isn’t improving, rather it’s degrading constantly. The Bible proclaimed this very event in Romans 1. It explained that society would grow darker and darker, which as famed pastor Adrian Rogers once said, is getting “gloriously dark.”
Those of us who have eyes to recognize the signs of the end times understand that the Bible prophesied the different signs many centuries ago. They can be evident to even the spiritually blind because most people realize our society is not getting better, but rather seems to be degrading. We are at each other throats! We’re rife with racial and other social strife that we’d thought had begun to wane, but is creeping back in as a fulfillment of the end times.
David Reagan: At the end of the nineteenth century, right on the verge of the beginning of the twentieth century, nearly all of the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, was caught up in Post-millennialism. It’s the belief that the Church was going to take over the world, then reign over it for a thousand years, then Jesus would come and the Church would give Him the Kingdom upon His arrival. In fact, nearly all of the writings from the 1890s were about the “Christian Century.” The people then referred to it repeatedly that the twentieth century was going to be the “Christian Century.” But then, World War I and World War II took care of that!
Of course, there is no view that is more unbiblical than Post-millennialism, because the Bible says that the majority of people will always reject the Gospel, and the Church is never going to take over the world. Yet, we see that view coming back today in many churches. Some of the most prominent evangelicals are now getting into Post-millennialism. I think it’s that old idea that: “Well, we can do it better. We are smart enough now. We are clever enough now. We can take over the world and reign for Jesus Christ.”
Tim Moore: Some of these preachers are even abandoning the Gospel for another Gospel, which really is Secular Humanism, by elevating man above God. Rockstar pastors have been renouncing the core doctrines of the faith, and yet they are still calling themselves Christians!
In the fourth and last part of this series about why we live in Bible times, we will discover the mega-sign.