Nov 29, 2012

The End Is Near I

"But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer."  (I Peter 4: 7)

I am no date setter, yet I believe that the "day of the Lord" and "day of judgment" are "at the doors."  (Matt. 24: 33)  There are numerous signs and evidences for this conclusion now in existence. 

In the Scriptures there are numerous events that are prophesied to occur prior to the coming of the day of the Lord.  These events are appropriately called "signs of the times."  They are also referred to as the "times and seasons."  These signs may be categorized into political, social, moral, technological, economic, physical, and ecclesiastical. 

Christians in former ages had some reason to think that the signs were evident in their eras, yet Christians today have far greater reason to think that the present state of things in the world show that the day of the Lord is truly imminent.  If "the end of all things" was near in the days of the apostles, then they are certainly nearer today!  Wrote Paul:

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."  (Rom. 13: 11) 

In this series of articles I plan to look at the evidences in this day for my belief that the coming of the Lord and the day of judgment are "at the doors."

Times and Seasons

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you."  (I Thess. 5: 1:  See also Acts 1: 7)

"Times" is from the Greek word chronoi and "seasons" is from the Greek word kairoi.  Trench, in his Synonyms, writes:  "According to Ammonius: "Kairos indicates quality of time [chronou];  chronos indicates quantity." Eukairos chronos (a fitting time) occurs in a fragment of Sosipatros." 

The biblical signs of the coming of the day of the Lord are given in either the context of chronological time, in relation of one event to another, or else in the context of an era of physical or social characteristics.  For instance, the month of June is defined by a definite beginning and ending point, or chronologically.  But, when we say that June is the season or time of weddings, we define June by its associated characteristics. 

It is not always easy to put things into their proper chronological order when it comes to studying end time prophetic events.  Sometimes it is done for us by the biblical writers.  When a bible writer says that event A must occur before event B, then there is no uncertainty.  But, there is not always such precise chronology given as respects all the numerous events connected with the coming of the day of the Lord.  If you poll bible students today and ask them - "what is next to occur in the order of events leading up to the coming of the Lord" - you will likely get varied responses. 

One of the chief disagreements among Christians concerns the relation of the "rapture" of believers to the coming "great tribulation."  Some believe that the rapture is scheduled to occur prior to the tribulation, while others, like I do, believe it to occur at the end of it.  In this blog are numerous writings dealing with this issue.  See also the side link dealing with the second coming for numerous articles on this issue. 

Fulfillment of the Great Commission

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."  (Matt. 24: 14)

It is hard for me to see how this prophecy is not practically fulfilled.  Yet, I know that it is not fulfilled, for the end has not yet been experienced.  But, who can deny that its fulfillment is imminent?  Where in the world today is there no knowledge of the Gospel? 

Science and Technology

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."  (Dan. 12: 4)

Christians in former ages had reason to think that the above prophecy was fulfilled in their days, yet who can deny that it is superlatively fulfilled in our day? 

Distress and Perplexity

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." (Luke 21: 25-26)

One cannot help but believe that the present distress that we see in the world today is typical of what is described here by our Lord. Doubtless it will grow worse as things progress towards their zenith. Men are in distress and perplexed about what to do in regard to problems that they are not able to solve.  What is happening now in our world is but a prelude.  Men even sense it is coming and the rise of the doomsday "preppers" is phenomenal.  Men are preparing fortifications in the holes and caves of the earth, the place the Lord will find them in the day of his judgments upon the world.  (Rev. 6: 16)  Yet, such hiding places will prove to be a failure for men cannot "hide" from the judgment of God.  The only safe hiding place at such a time is in the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Isa. 32: 2) 

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