THE END TIMES
The end times seem to hold a great fascination for many, and our Lord Jesus has much to say about this Scriptural matter.
He tells us, “…When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) In so speaking our Lord teaches us that faith will grow scarce, very rare in the last days. In another place Jesus reminds us that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Those words could have been written yesterday by the holy writer, for they perfectly describe the times in which we live.
Jesus also says: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:6-7).
We need to understand that Jesus spoke not to scare us but for our encouragement—to strengthen us, to reveal the glory which will be every Christian believer’s possession through Spirit-worked faith in Jesus.
We understand that all these details describe ongoing events throughout history. We cannot know the Lord’s timing in this matter, but He ever encourages us to be mindful of the times, saying: “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is” (Mark 13:33).
As His believing children we look forward to the day of our Lord’s return. We rejoice in the certainty of forgiveness and salvation we have been given in our Savior and say, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
In the meantime our Savior exhorts us to stand fast and hold the traditions which we were taught (2 Thessalonians 2:15), the timeless certainties of the gospel. The end times will be tough for Christians, but the Lord promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11), so that the vast majority of humanity is offended by our Lord and His Word.
Every teaching of our God and His Word is being violently attacked in our day, and not just by pagans but by the ‘visible’ church as well! Jesus says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
False prophets include anyone who teaches falsely concerning God’s Word. Beware, dear Christian, for the evil one seeks your overthrow and will not stop his assault! The evil one walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. The devil has been defeated—we understand that—yet he continues to try to take as many down with him as he can!
The way to resist the devil and to continue in the true faith is to “take up the whole armor of God…having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” (Ephesians 6:13ff).
Fellow believers, make faithful use of the means of grace! The Holy Spirit will preserve us through the gospel, which is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
Therefore, “The end is just the beginning” for Christ-believers!