In the previous post we saw that Jesus mentioned one thing that would mark the end times and of him coming back. He summarized what we needed to know in his “Olivet” talk. Jesus and the disciples were on the mount of Olives looking back at the beautiful temple as they were discussing the future.
Jesus commented that that very temple will be gone by the end times and added a list of calamities that would come: “… Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Mat 24:7,8)
Then he said we would experience persecution, even from friends and family, and many would leave. Jesus added “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel…”(Mat 24:15) His disciples were well aware of the “antichrist” that is mentioned in Daniel 9:27.
The antichrist is a person or force opposed to the anointed. Now we know who that is…
Satan knows about the return of Jesus to rule the world, on behalf of God. He can read the bible too. So to oppose Jesus Satan will attempt to set up a world government under a single religion and economic system. How to do this?
The world must be faced with seemingly insurmountable problems (like pandemics, earthquakes, climate change, financial collapse, war, famine, etc). Antonio Guterres said today at the UN “Our world is in big trouble…and we must work together as time for doing so is short.”
If we look at the list of calamities going on at the moment, he is right, time is short.
Jesus stressed that “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Mat 24:21-22)
This time is also referred to as the “Great Tribulation” and “Jacob’s trouble“.
Then comes the end, when the good news of the Kingdom has been preached to all the world. From our perspective it is in reality the beginning.
What should we be doing?
Our focus is following Jesus as he guides us what to do. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1Pet 3:15)
We will be asked why we are so hopeful when really the world is falling apart which gives a chance to tell them about the real kingdom which is what makes us hopeful.
Here is why we are hopeful, even excited:
“Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,
because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Rev 5:1-14)
That is why the book is called the revealing (unveiling or apocalypse) by Jesus that God gave him.
In the next post we will take a closer look at why people look at the end times with dread.