3 Responses to the Signs of Christ’s Return
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.Revelation 3:20
This is somewhat of a “choose your own ending” post like some of the novels and books that are out there which offer different stories based on which path you choose. To that end, I have split this post into 3 sections for 3 different audiences. First for those believers who love the Lord but you don’t sense that the Biblical signs are significant—or that they are a distraction. Second to those who see the signs and believe the Lord’s return may be near. Third, for those who are not Christians and somehow stumbled onto this post out of curiosity or purely by “accident.” See subheadings below to choose your own adventure.
READ HERE IF THIS IS YOU:
“I DON’T THINK THE SIGNS ARE OF ANY REAL SIGNIFICANCE. ESCHATOLOGY IS MORE OF A DISTRACTION.”
I get it. I know people have been saying the Lord’s return is imminent for the past 40+ years. I get that many have sensationalized the topic and lost credibility. I get that some believers have even set dates for the Lord’s return only to watch the date pass and many walk away from the faith. I get that we live in a post-Christian culture where most citizens do not have a Biblical foundation.
I get that the church has faults, some claim that doctrine divides, and eschatology (when faultily presented) can scare people and turn people away. I get that there are various end-time views and there has been way too much “friendly-fire” between Christians of differing opinions. I get that this sideways energy would be much more fruitful if used to point unbelievers to the cross instead of theological guns at each other. I get that pop-culture things Christianity is a joke and that we are a bunch of lunatics. I understand each and every one of these reservations.
But here’s the bottom line. Where do we get our marching orders? From the world or from the Savior? From pop-culture or from Scripture? Who’s “well done” do we want to hear? The fallen world’s or the Father’s? What if the church at large is asleep to the signs just at the time we need to watch them the most? What if this is the exact “think not” time that Jesus talked about when he told us to watch (Matthew 24:42-44)?
In fact, when it comes to the Biblical signs, we are actually expected to look for them. Over and over with both the first and second coming, Jesus expects us to understand the season and read the signs (Matthew 16, Luke 12:54, Luke 19:41-44, Hebrews 10:25.) Also, pay careful attention to 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 9-10. Believers clearly will not be caught off guard, and we are not appointed to wrath. If you haven’t carefully considered the end-time signs here are a few. Look these up and read them carefully as you look around at the world (1 Timothy 3, Luke 18:8, 2 Peter 3:3, Daniel 12:4, Daniel 9:20-27, Romans 1:18-32, Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13). Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you study those.
I’m not suggesting we halt future plans, stop working, and just wait for the rapture. On the contrary, we should be found working harder than ever to reach the lost, serve the poor, love our neighbor, fight for the defenseless, restrain the corruptive influence of sin, go on mission trips, etc. The parable of the bags of gold in Matthew 25 (which just so happens to follow Matthew 24 about the signs) gives us insight into how we should be working when the Lord returns.
I have found—in my personal life and in conversations with churches that decided to teach Bible prophecy again—that studying the signs in a balanced way leads to personal and corporate awakening—a fresh fire of faith that ignites ministry and draws many unbelievers to Christ! The unbelieving world sees the world going to Hell in a handbasket. It’s the elephant in the room and we have the answers! Let’s leverage them!
Maybe it’s time for us to be crazy again. Not weird-crazy but faith-crazy. Like Peter walking on water. Like believing God spoke the universe into existence. Like Moses parting the Red Sea. Like Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Like Jesus raising himself from the dead. Like Jesus ascending to Heaven—with he promise from angelic beings that he would return the same way!
When we pray, “Your Kingdom come” do we really still believe it? If so, let’s get crazy again. I know the world will scoff and mock. They always have. So what? It’s time to get crazy and actually believe the Lord could return in our lifetime. Why are we so afraid to proclaim it? Is it possible we are wrong? Yes, but I honestly don’t see how when I study the signs. That’s my challenge. Let’s be crazy again like the first century church, like the Puritans who said Israel would become a nation again, like the Jesus Freaks in the 1970’s. What do we have to lose? Here’s what: passion, fire, rewards, people’s souls, and our heart-beating-out-of-our-chests kind of expectancy. We have more reason now to believe the Lord’s return is soon than any other time in history. Let’s not miss the moment that generations of Christians have longed to see! What if Bible prophecy is more relevant today than ever?
If you are in this category—even if you disagree with me—I would love to talk with you and see what you think. Unity in the body of Christ is very important to me and the more we all dialogue on secondary issues the better!
READ HERE IF THIS IS YOU:
“THE SIGNS ARE SCREAMING AT US THAT THE LORDS RETURN IS NEAR! HOW DO PEOPLE NOT SEE THIS?”
Those of us who see the signs so clearly have a hard time understanding how any Christians can miss them. Perhaps it has to do with God’s distribution of different spiritual gifts to different believers. Perhaps it has to do with the end-times Laodicean church. This also lines up with Luke 18:8 where it says, “However, when the son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” And of course the 2 Peter 3:3 verse about mockers coming in the last days. The world always mocks, but I believe this verse means many in the church will also mock. I don’t mean merely disagree. I mean outright mock.
If you see the signs blazing like Times Square, be encouraged! Keep fighting like we’ll be here a while, but keep looking with expectancy that the rapture could be very soon. It’s tough. I don’t want to get people’s hopes up, but to me it seems we are close. Many solid Bible teachers are boldly stating that we are that generation.
I saw a clip from Franklin Graham speaking to a small crowd of pastors/church leaders in Australia from last week (near the 1:55 mark). He travels all over the world because of his work at Samaritans Purse. He said from his recent travels that “the sense from Christians all over the world is that the Lord’s return may be very soon.” That says a lot because he’s never been one to sensationalize end-time signs, and he always focuses most on sharing the Gospel vs. talking about eschatology.
I kind of think that’s what we need to do. Share the signs of the times with those who will listen and keep pointing our unsaved friends and family to salvation. Jesus said if he is lifted up he would draw all people to himself, so let’s keep lifting up Jesus. Let’s keep pointing people to the cross and the free gift of Salvation that Jesus offers.
Be encouraged watchman or watchwoman. God has his hand on you for this time in history! Last year was interesting and I personally think the next few months are going to be very telling. The Ezekiel 38 alignment, the Isaiah 17 stage setting, the constant mention of peace and security (1 Thessalonians 5:3), the Israeli elections followed by the “*Deal of the Century,” the wars and rumors of war, the cold-hearted legislation leading to the murder of full-term and post-born babies, the absolute insanity in politics and gender identity, the swift and broad rising of the occult, the growing apostasy, and so many other things that are converging right now—in Israel’s 70th year as a nation (see Matthew 24 and Psalm 90:10) cause me to look with great expectation like no other time in history.
*Just a side note that I find it very interesting that this deal is truly “with many” (as stated in Daniel 9:27) whereas previous mid-east peace deals were primarily between Israel and those who call themselves Palestinians. I also find it very interesting that Jared Kushner is the main player (vs. Trump). The single most important detail I’m waiting to hear about is the duration of the agreement. If a 7-year time period is part of it in any way, this should really get our attention. Could it be that a post-rapture leader (there are a few current candidates) will pick the ball up and run with it—strengthening or adding-to the agreement that has already been established? Perhaps involving the building of a 3rd temple? I think the next 2 months will be a wild ride and we’ll see some curve balls. Buckle up!
We should not freak out, shrink back, hunker down, or back off. Jesus gave us clear marching orders in Luke 21:28 where he said, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
READ HERE IF THIS IS YOU:
“I’M NOT A CHRISTIAN, BUT THE WORLD SEEMS TO BE FALLING APART AND I’M LOOKING FOR ANSWERS”
If you happened to stumble on this post and you are not a believer, please consider the claims of Christ. Perhaps God led you to read this post. Forget about what you have heard before and read BOTH of these verses carefully.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
The purpose of the cross is to rescue us from Hell. We stand condemned already. We are all guilty. Romans 3:10 tells us “there is no one righteous, not even one.”
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The payment for our sin is death. It’s just the way it is. It’s a fixed spiritual law. Unholy things can’t be with a Holy God. BUT the gift of God is eternal life. It is a gift. He can’t force us to take a gift. All he can do is offer it. Would you take this gift today?
If the Lord is returning soon, Christians will be raptured before a terrible 7-year period of Hell on earth. I know this sounds crazy, but it is true. The conditions of the world you are witnessing today are all stage-setting events for this future time period which I and many others believe may be very close on the horizon. Aside from world conditions, you must consider the condition of your heart. Perhaps the Lord is drawing you at this moment and you sense it. I pray that is the case.
I know you have barriers and questions and objections to various things related to Christianity and becoming a Christian, but what if that is all a smokescreen to get your eyes off of the raw truth that Jesus loves you, died for you, offers you salvation free and clear simply by accepting him as your Savior. You may not feel good enough. You may think your past is too bad, your sins too great, or your doubts too deep. None of those are true. Many verses tell us that we can’t work for our salvation. Again, none of us are good enough. Also, none of us are bad enough. The cross covers all of your sin. The gift awaits your acceptance.
Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
You can pray right now to receive Christ as your savior. Just invite him in. Ask for his forgiveness, and ask him to be Lord of your life. I promise you won’t regret it and that it will be the best decision you have ever made.
If you still are not convinced. I want to share something with you. I was once an atheist, then an agnostic, then a seeker/doubter. If you don’t accept the Lord right now for whatever reason, I ask that you begin praying this prayer. “God, if you are the God of the Bible and if Jesus is the Savior, please help me to believe.” I wrestled with questions and prayed that prayer for a period of a couple of months then like a light switch was turned on—I suddenly believed in the middle of praying that prayer one day when I was a teenager.
If God isn’t real or Jesus isn’t the Savior then what’s the harm? You would just be praying to the air. But, if he is (and I know he is), and if you sincerely pray that prayer—you will find him. I pray that you will figure this out soon because of the times in which we live. Don’t wait. Please, don’t wait.
If I can help answer any of your questions or help point you to more resources that may help, please contact me. I’d love to talk with you. If you just prayed to receive Christ, I’d love to celebrate that with you. Please contact me at Todd[at]Timbuktoons.com
To learn more about Bible prophecy, check out these resources!