The End Times pt. 1 (Are We There Yet?)

**UPDATE**: In 2017, we have experienced devastating earthquakes in Mexico, hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and a mass shooting in Las Vegas. Wildfires are raging throughout the midwest, northwest, and Napa Valley, California. The United States is in a perpetual state of protests, many violent. Since I initially wrote this piece, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, anti-Trump, and Alt-Right white nationalist movements have all become public fixtures. These events have only served to strengthen my arguments that the “End Times” are near.

An interesting phenomenon is happening. My pastor, my father, and several other pastors that I know of, who do not communicate with one another, have begun doing in depth study and teaching on the prophetical book of Revelation. None of it has been planned or scripted.

Mainstream media has also seen an increase in Biblical films and television shows that, even though may be almost completely devoid of Christian theology, are bringing Christian stories into the homes of millions. Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Bible, A.D., and a Left Behind reboot starring Academy Award winner Nicholas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) have all been produced in the last three years. Another show on HBO called The Leftovers is eerily similar to a Rapture type event where dozens of people in the town vanish for an as yet unexplained reason.

Moreover, I have felt oddly compelled to read the Left Behind books and movies although I have never wanted to in the past. I also experienced an unexplainable and sudden urge to take my family on a plane to visit my hometown. I just woke up one day and felt that I needed to see some people. Without reading too much into it, I have to wonder if there is a larger reason to do so.

So, given all the “end times” phenomena that seems to be of interest to a host of people that I was previously unaware had such interest, I though that I would share some of my thoughts and feelings about what is going on and where we are headed. Keep in mind that I am not a Bible scholar, but I have had a fascination with prophetic books since I was a kid. In short, I am aware of some events and have been cognizant of them for more than two decades.

I believe that we are headed toward the Rapture and Tribulation. I believe it will begin in the next 10-15 years. I am also a “radical” fundamentalist Christian who believes that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. There are no mistakes in the book. It is a perfect text. If God says there will be an antichrist, then there will be one. There have been types of this kind of person throughout history, so I really do not think it is outrageous that there will be another, final version. If God says that He will judge the Earth by the means of tribulation, then He will. I know it may sound insane, especially to anyone who is an unbeliever, but that is okay. I do not expect you to read this and think “wow, I totally believe that giant human-locust-scorpion monsters are going to fly out of a pit and sting people without killing them.” I believe it will happen, but that happens when you have Faith that your founding document is written by the creator of the universe.

I am a controversial “gap theory” believing Christian. I gladly accept the theory that the Earth was created millions of years ago, covered in water and/or ice, and God peeled back the water when he said “let there be light”, and the rest of Genesis occurred 6,000 years ago. I am also okay with “young Earth” Christians who believe that this planet has only existed for 6,000 years. “But what about carbon dating?” you might say. Well, God created Adam and Eve as adults, not as fertilized eggs that developed over 9 months into a birthed baby that learned to walk after a year, talk after two, and had to wait another dozen or so to begin becoming a man and woman. Why, then, would God create only seeds or infant molecules, particles, or atoms? It is entirely plausible that God created the Earth as we read in Genesis 1 and everything on Earth in its adult form. Either way, Adam was granted dominion over the plants and animals approximately 4,000 B.C. This is important.

God created the Earth in six “days” and one day is like 1,000 to Him. I believe the first part of this phrase is literal, God created the Earth as we know it in six literal 24 periods and rested on the seventh. I believe the second part of the statement to be a hint to his second coming. There were 4,000 years of life on Earth until Jesus came in 0 A.D. We are now in the early part of the 2,000 years since the birth of Christ. That is a grand total of 6,000 years, making a direct reference to the 6 days of creation. This leads us to the seventh day of rest, which correlates to one additional thousand year period; the Millennium that occurs post-tribulation. The end of the sixth day ended, and for the seventh, God rested. Likewise, the first 6,000 years are ending, and for the next thousand, God will rest. However, for the Millennium to begin, the world as we know it must be destroyed.

The end times begin with the parable of the fig tree that predicts that Israel will be returned to its former lands (as a leaf sprouting on a fig tree) after being dispersed throughout the Earth and having faced a great torment (Jeremiah 30: Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him)

After Israel returns to the promised land (which happened in 1948), Matthew 24:34 states “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” The phrase “all these things” clearly refers to the Rapture (Matthew 24:31 talks about gathering “his elect from the four winds” after the sound of a trumpet). So, at least one representative of the generation that was alive when Israel became a nation in 1948 will still be around for the Rapture. For the sake of argument, let us say that the generation began that very year, which would put the youngest of that generation at 67 years old. This is less than twenty years away from the longest overall life expectancy in the world; Japan’s 84 years. Mathematically speaking, we must be near the end, right? There are several other “signs of the times” that are nearing fruition. For example:

Daniel 12:4 “even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

The past century has seen a technological expansion like no other time in human history, and has accelerated in the past three decades. With computers that can fit in our palms and cars that run on electricity, it is like we are living in a 1950’s science fiction film.

Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

With advances in technology (especially social media) and transportation, the entire world is accessible for the first time in human history.

Matthew 24:5 “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”

This refers to the hundreds of false religious leaders with cult-like fanaticism that are all over the world. Not all of them are as infamous as David Koresh or Jim Jones, but that does not mean that they are not out there leading people astray.

Matthew 24:6 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

ISIS, Iran, US vs. China, the rise of Russia, the “Arab Spring”, the European collapse, a nuclear North Korea, and raging protests around the U.S. Have you heard of any “wars and rumours of wars” lately?

I Thessalonians 5:3 “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them…and they shall not escape.”

After all of the warring and global violence, the world will long for peace. This is where the antichrist emerges to offer peace in the midst of war, and the tribulation begins.

Matthew 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

Again, this is obviously happening around the globe at this very moment.

“…and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.”

Africa, Asia, South America, Korea, Russia; all these places have seen starvation, disease, and an increase in earthquakes over the past couple of years. According to earthquaketrack.com, there have been 38,313 earthquakes in the past year (2015). Compare that to 16,590 in 1990 22,256 in 2000 or 16,667 in 2012.

Matthew 24:8 “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” The beginning, not the middle of sorrows. We are on the doorstep of the End Times.

Matthew 24:9 “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you…”

ISIS, anyone?

“…and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”

Christians have been hated around the world for centuries, but the rise in American anti-Christian sentiment is a new trend that is surely not slowing down any time soon.

Matthew 24:10 “and then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”

We are living in the most easily offended culture in the history of the planet. You can’t say “God bless you” to someone sneezing without being sued for religious discrimination.

Matthew 24:11 “and many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

As I mentioned before, this occurs all the time. Be wary of “mega-church” pastors who can deceive crowds of thousands in an instant or Christians who use corrupt Bible versions who pervert the words of God.

Matthew 24:12 “and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

Increases in divorce, the prevalence of pornography, and the uprising of affair websites like ashleymadison.com are great examples of this.

These are but a few verses (of MANY) from the Bible that seem to describe the world we are living in right now – The End Times.

In part 2 of this post, I will attempt to point the finger toward the one world government, religion, and currency, as well as detail some characteristics about Antichrist. I hope you will read it.

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