Anyone with a discerning eye can see that we are in the beginning of the end. But even so, the enemy is working hard to add confusion and fear to the times that are upon us. Do you know the basic signs of the times for these last days? In Matthew 24 Jesus teaches His disciples and us how to recognize the signs of His coming and the end of the age.
Jesus first cautions us not to be deceived. He says that many false Christs will arise and lead many astray. And Paul also warns us in 2 Tim. 3:13, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” If someone declares they are the Christ on this earth, be secure in the truth that they are not. Even if they perform great signs and wonders, they are not. Why? According to the Word in Titus 2:13, He will not appear to us on the earth, but He will appear to us in the clouds, and be caught up with Him, along with our fellow believers. “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” Titus 2:13. Again Rev. 1:7 confirms the way He will come to us on that great and glorious day, “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” And we, who are alive will shed this earth suit and be supernaturally changed. 1 Cor. 15: 50-53 explains it like this, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.“
Next, our Lord encourages us not to be afraid because there will be wars and rumors of wars, and explains that these things must take place, but the end is not yet. Wars and rumors of wars are frightful events, but God promises us in Isa. 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
He continues to speak to us about the political arena and says that nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. He reveals to us that there will be disasters in various places such as famines and earthquakes. And makes it plain that these are not the final signs, but the beginning of birth pangs.
The world will be in chaos, and its inhabitants will be insecure not knowing how to meet their daily needs, but we have security in God’s Word that promises us that if we seek first His kingdom and all of His righteousness then all these things that we have need of will be met. Matt. 6:31-33 says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Did he not provide for the Israelites when they wandered in the desert for 40 years? According to the Scriptures God graciously provided for their daily needs. He supplied His people with water from the rock, see Ex. 17:5-7, it rained down manna daily, see Ex. 16:4, they had fresh meat, see Ex. 16:13, and their shoes and clothes did not wear out, see Deut. 29:5.
He then discusses with them about the individual who calls him or herself a follower of Jesus Christ. “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”
Let’s face it, this is a very serious matter that will take every ounce of faith to overcome the temptation to recant our faith. Jesus understands this temptation all too well. In the Garden of Gethsemane He is so afraid of the torture that He is to endure for you and for me that He starts to sweat great drops of blood. He cries out to His Heavenly Father to come up with another plan, to remove Him from this situation. Heb. 4:15 confirms this point, it says “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”. He overcomes the power of the human will to run away from His destiny, to be selfish and to turn away from our need, to allow fear, doubt, and unbelief to control His actions, and finally surrenders to His Father’s will and lays down His life for us. Matt. 26:39 in the New King James Version of the Bible reads, “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
He tells us that many false prophets will rise and lead many people away from God. And Peter also warns us in 2 Pet. 2:1-3, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.”
Women especially tend to be led astray by their emotions. The Bible warns us not to be gullible in 2 Tim. 3:5-7, “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Women, we are not to be naïve, but wise. No matter how godly, how charismatic, how charming or how appealing the one with the message may seem, we are responsible to try the spirits and judge the message against the Word of God.
Not everyone will have to confront the possibility of being martyred for their faith, but we will all face some sort of tribulation and be hated because of our faith in Jesus. He says that during this stage of the Last Days that many will fall away, and they will betray and hate one another. And because of the increase in lawlessness that most people’s love will grow cold. But He makes it clear, “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” See Matt. 24:13.
And this portion of Scripture closes with Jesus declaring “This gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” See Matt. 24:14.
And just to clear up a matter of confusion, can the date of Jesus’ return be predicted? According to the Scriptures the answer is no. It states in Matt. 24:36, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” So the next time you hear someone has figured out the exact date of Jesus’ return you know not to listen to them. Only the Father knows the exact date and time, but as we read in Matt. 24:3-15 God does want us to be aware of the season and clearly gives us the signs to look for.
I encourage you to open up the Word of God, start with Matthew 24 and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand the basic teachings concerning the End-Times. He is faithful and true and wants you to know and recognize the basic signs of the Last Days.
© 2014 Author Becky Dvorak–Healing and Miracles International, All rights reserved.