Evidence for the Last Days

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading apocalyptic literature such as Daniel and Revelation, then you’ve probably wondered whether we are living in the end times. Every generation seems to cry out, “This is the end,” yet the end doesn’t come. Even those in the first-century church were led astray and frightened that the second coming of Christ had already happened, supposing they had missed the coming of the Lord Jesus for His Church and were now destined for tribulation. Paul needed to reassure their troubled spirits, explaining that there were things to come (such as the man of lawlessness) prior to the coming of the Lord for His Church (2 Thessalonians 2:1–10).

Signs of the Times

Concerning the time of His return, Jesus tells his disciples, 

… of that day and hour no one knows… therefore be on alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:36, 42)

We may not know when Jesus is coming, but He does speak of signs of the times and of His coming. He clearly indicates that there are many such things that point us to or give us a hint of His coming. He warns His disciples that false messiahs will come and lead many astray. The nations will be in turmoil; there will be “wars and rumors of wars” as nation rises against nation. There will be signs of devastation with earthquakes and famines occurring in various places.  (Matthew 24:6–7).

There is other evidence that seems to indicate that the last days are nearing, such as the rebirth of a united Israel which occurred in 1947 (Isaiah 11:11–12, 66:7–8; Ezekiel 37:21–22; Zechariah 8:4–8) or the gospel reaching every nation (Matthew 24:14). Just as we see signs of Christmas coming, sometimes well before Thanksgiving, so there are signs of His second coming even prior to the rapture of the Church (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; 5:1–11).1

Joyful Anticipation

The value of studying eschatology (the study of last things) comes in that it reminds us that this world is passing away. There will be a day when the old things give way to the new when God welcomes us into our true country, our true home. 

Nevertheless, it’s important not to be too fixated on the end because the Lord has called us to so much in the present. He’s called us to be like Him and to live in a manner worthy of the gospel until that day comes. There is certainly a healthy balance to be struck. Let us not be obsessed with end times theology, as many want to be. Instead, let us always be ready, making the most of the time as we look forward to the future, not with fear but with joyful anticipation of the Lord’s returning for His Church. We can be certain our Lord will come, and we should always be ready.2


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FOOTNOTES

1. While there is much debate over the rapture (pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, no-trib), we believe in the imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His own, the Church, and His subsequent return to earth to consummate His kingdom (Zechariah. 14:4-11; Ephesians. 4:11-16; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 4:13-18; Revelation. 20:6).

2. For further exploration of this topic, consider studying the following passages, comparing and contrasting them: Matthew 242 Peter 31 Thessalonians 4:13–185:1–112 Thessalonians 2:1–10

Evidence for the Last Days

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