When will the end of the world happen and what will be the signs of the end? This is the question the disciples asked Jesus and for many of us today we ask the same question. Is this the end of days? Is it the end of the world? Are we in the last days? People through history have asked this question and many have concluded that indeed they were in the last days. Of course that was hundreds of years ago!
People though that Napoleon was the Anti Christ and Hitler might have been the anti Christ and for many Baby Boomers who embraced the 60’s uncritically they thought Nixon, then Reagan, then Bush, then W was the Antichrist: the embodiment of pure evil. For that matter who is the Anti Christ and when will he show up and how can we recognize him? Will the Antichrist really be from Crawford Texas or from Hollywood California? (Ok—I concede that Hollywood may be a possibility!) Lots of changes have taken place lately and people are looking for answers.
Just what does the Bible Say about the end of the world? Here are some instructions Jesus gave to his disciples when he was asked:
1. Don’t be deceived.
a. Apparently we will be living in an age of mass deception.
b. The deceivers will come in the name of Jesus and they will be many
c. The Deceivers will claim to be Jesus or the Messiah or the Savior or God
d. They will be convincing and lead many astray.
2. There will be a World War (“wars far and near”) but don’t panic.
a. The Wars will be formal and declared wars. Not cold war’s or terror wars.
b. The wars will be between nations and states and kingdoms. Governmental units or sovereign entities
c. The end won’t immediately follow the “wars far and near”.
3. There will be food shortages (famines) and Natural Disasters (earthquakes) in many parts of the world.
a. There is likely to be a connection between the famines and the war. Embargos or trade sanctions perhaps.
b. There is likely to be a connection between the famines and the end of the war perhaps as a result of the war
c. The famines will not be everywhere but will be in “many parts of the world”.
d. The above is only the beginning of horrors coming on the world.
4. The Christians will be persecuted all over the world.
a. Christianity or some elements of it will be illegal and people will be “arrested”
b. Christians will be discriminated against
c. Christians will be a target for domestic violence
d. Christians will be denounced for remaining faithful to Jesus
i. Christians will be hated the world over for their allegiance to Jesus.
5. Christianity will experience apostasy and dissention and a new Religion will deceive many.
a. Many Christians will depart from the faith during the Persecutions
b. Former Christians will betray each other and practicing Christians
c. More False Prophets appear for the new “religion” (Or the old “new” religion)
d. Christian Ethics and behavioral restraints will be gone and sin will be everywhere. People will be more isolated and live only for themselves.
e. Many people will not love and cherish each other anymore but use others for pleasure or gain instead. There will be a dehumanization of human relations. The love of many will grow cold.
6. The Good News will continue to be Preached throughout the whole world
a. Access to the preaching will be for all people around the world despite persecution and public pressure to disavow Christianity
b. The entire world will have the gospel preached to it before the “end” can come.
c. When everyone has heard the Gospel than the end will come
7. The Third Temple of the Jews on the Temple Mount will be defiled by the Antichrist.
a. Some outrageous sacrilege will take place in the holy place on the Temple Mount
b. The Person who does this will be the Abomination, Antichrist who brings desolation
c. This sacrilege was talked about by the Prophet Daniel.
d. When this Sacrilege occurs it’s time to flee now because it touches off an event that had God not intervened would have destroyed humanity.
e. This event will be the most horrific in the history of the world and will never be seen again. It will be an extinction level event.
f. It could be a thermonuclear war or an asteroid or comet strike or something unknown.
g. The event will cause the sun to be darkened and the moon and stars to vanish and the “heavens to be shaken”
8. Jesus will Return on the Clouds of Heaven seen by the Whole World
a. We will see his sign in the sky first
b. We will see Jesus arrive in power and glory on a cloud.
c. Angels will gather his chosen ones from every corner of the earth and heaven.
9. We may know the General Time or Season of his coming but not the specifics
a. Everything will be done in the span of one generation.
b. The Generation that sees the beginning will also see the end.
c. Only God the Father knows the Specific Time.
10. It will be like it was in Noah’s day when the end comes.
a. In Noah’s day the people were in an ever increasing spiral of sin and rejection of God
b. In Noah’s day the people were in denial about their condition
c. In Noah’s day the people even approved of their condition
d. Sexual sin was rampant and people lived for pleasure and avarice
11. Christians should continue loving God and each other and Following Jesus
a. The basic Christian message of loving God and neighbor are our chore no matter who it “offends” or how much discrimination comes our way as a result. We continue to speak of God and preach the Gospel
b. We’re to set an example of not worshiping Money, Power, Materialism, and Hedonism, Other Gods or Ourselves.
c. Those who continue to ignore and mock God will regret it forever.
d. We live for Christ no matter the times.
12. The Return of Jesus will be unannounced and unexpected.
a. It’s going to be a big surprise.
Notes on Mathew 24
24:1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,