Are We Living in the Last Days?
- Jennifer Waddle
- 2017 27 Nov
Well-known physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has recently theorized that humans may only have 100 years left on earth before facing extinction. This secular view of the end is based on his assumption that the earth’s resources will soon be depleted, and as natural events culminate, they will lead to the demise of humankind. (read more here.)
Hawking’s warning about the end of the world is nothing new under the sun. The Bible warned long ago that the “end of all things is near” (1 Peter 4:7). The demise of earth won’t transpire because of its waning ability to sustain life; instead, the end will come with the long-awaited return of Jesus Christ.
“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens” (Mark 13:26-27).
We are, indeed, living in the last days. Here are 3 biblical descriptions that communicate why:
1. Deception, Wars, and Natural Disasters
“Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 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. All these are the beginning of sorrows’”(Matthew 24:4-8).
In this century alone, more than half-a-dozen men have claimed to be the Christ. Deceiving the weak and vulnerable, they are fulfilling what Jesus warned about in Matthew 24. Christians must be on guard against false teachings and deception.
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).
Along with false prophets, wars and rumors of wars will continue to permeate news headlines. Nations will proceed to war against each other for dominance and power. And natural disasters will only rise in frequency. However, instead of being fearful of what is to come, believers can look forward to the culmination of their hope—eternity with Christ.
2. A Decline in Character
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Today’s culture has fulfilled every description in 2 Timothy 3. Daily, we hear about greed, deceit, and horrific crimes being committed by people who are unloving and unholy. Despising what is good, people have decided to live their lives based on the inclinations of their own hearts. Unfortunately, the Bible warns that our hearts are deceptive and full of wickedness (Jeremiah 17:9).
A definite sign of the end times, moral decline will continue until the day Jesus returns.
3. Doubt That Jesus Will Return
“…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4).
“Scoffers” is an old fashioned term for skeptics. From the very beginning, Satan has cast doubt in people’s minds by saying, “Did God really say?”
Especially as we near the second coming, people will doubt and question God’s promise of Christ’s return. Even Christians will be tempted to grow complacent, forgetting that Jesus might return at any moment. Let us not become lazy, thinking that the end is far off; instead, let us take to heart the parable of the ten virgins, who, when the Bridegroom was delayed, “slumbered and slept” (Matthew 25:1-13).
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13).
Stephen Hawking’s solution for mankind is to find a new home on another planet—namely Mars. His lofty ideas, however, sadly ignore the ultimate purpose of man—to glorify God and believe in Jesus Christ unto salvation.
As we live in these last days, let’s not forget the reason for our hope. Let’s be spurred by the Holy Spirit to reach out to a lost and dying world with the truth about who Jesus is, what He has done, and what He will do.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock
Jennifer Waddle is best known for offering Biblical encouragement for women in the trenches of life. She is the author of several books, including Prayer Worrier: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer. She is also a contributor for WomensMinistryTools.com and crosswalk.com. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth. You can connect with her at www.jenniferwaddleonline.com or find her books here.