The “End Times” (Part 1): Are We There Yet?

****UPDATE: 3/18/20****

I am writing this during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The entire American economy is grinding to a halt, and hundreds of millions of people across the planet are scared to go outside.

These are extraordinary times, and I cannot believe I am updating this again in just six months.

In early 2020, we have witnessed another increase in civil unrest, increased political polarization, and increased hatred of President Trump. We are now in a “cancel culture” that ends the careers of anyone – particularly celebrities and politicians – who have ever expressed an “offensive” word.

There has been a plague of locusts devastating Africa and parts of the Middle East, and now a pandemic unlike anything seen in about 90 years with a potential economic crash to rival The Great Depression.

Plagues, pandemics, wars, and a global economic collapse. Have we finally arrived at the “End Times”?

Please read as I continue to update this series of articles written just a few years ago. I can think of no better time for God to Rapture the Church than during a global panic featuring extreme social isolation.

If you were “left behind” would you even notice your Christian friends were missing? Would you even question their disappearances during a situation such as this?

***UPDATE: 9/30/2019***

The changes in society are stunning. Since I wrote this original article four years ago, the social fabric in this country has unraveled like nothing I have ever experienced. The political rhetoric has deteriorated, the rise of the LGBT movement has been meteoric, and our social institutions have never been less trusted.

It feels like a ticking time-bomb is ready to explode.

**UPDATE: 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.

*2015*

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. I believe we are getting closer to the “End Times.”

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.

THE END TIMES

I believe that we are headed toward the Rapture and Tribulation that mark what most Christians refer to as the “End Times.” I believe it will begin in the next 3-5 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 (Hitler, Napoleon, Nebuchadnezzar), so I really do not think it is a stretch to believe that there will be a 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, because I have Faith that my Bible is the “Final Authority” in all matters as it is written by the Creator of the universe.

It is entirely plausible that God created the Earth as we read in Genesis 1 and that 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 (2 Peter 3:8).

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 1 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 (Revelation 20:4-7).

The end of the sixth day of creation ended, and God rested on the seventh. Likewise, the first 6,000 years are ending, and for the next 1,000, 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 30:6-8 says,

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 – an event in which every true Christian on Earth will mysteriously leave the planet in some form or another at one time (Matthew 24:31 talks about gathering “his elect from the four winds” after the sound of a trumpet).

I am not sure if our bodies will remain while our spirits are taken, or if we will just vanish. I will discuss this more in depth in part two of this series.

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 72 years old. This is less than fifteen years away from the longest overall life expectancy in the world; Japan’s 84 years. Mathematically speaking, we must be near the end, right?

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

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 to evangelists 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.

Right now the New Age infiltration of Christianity is the embodiment of this deception.

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, Israel vs. the world, constant civil wars in Africa, 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.

This passage, especially in the middle of COVID-19, takes on a new flavor as well. Perhaps the peace and safety is not from war, but from a pandemic.

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

Again, this is obviously happening around the globe.

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

The locusts in Africa and the Middle East are causing quite a famine. The Coronavirus represents pestilence.

According to Earthquake Track, there were 63,491 earthquakes from March 2019-2020. Compare that to 38,313 earthquakes in 2015, 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.

THE TRIBULATION

The next section of verses are referring to the Jews and take place DURING the Tribulation. Pay attention to how close we are getting even before Christians are removed by the Rapture.

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

ISIS and other radical Muslim terrorists make a point to murder Christians and Jews.

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

Of course, anti-Semitism is at the highest levels since WWII and almost the entire United Nations (save for the United States) stands against Israel when any and all opportunities are presented.

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.

Fake “Christians” will still remain after true Christians have been Raptured. Their very existence will be an excuse to explain that it is impossible for the Rapture to have actually happened.

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

Increases in divorce, the prevalence of pornography, and the social isolation and antisocial behavior expressed across all forms of social media are great examples of this.

Our society is experiencing a crisis of empathy unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime.

NEXT UP: THE RAPTURE

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.

Please continue reading the rest of this series on the End Times. I will discuss the Rapture and the one world government, religion, and currency, as well as detail some characteristics about Antichrist.

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