End Times

Charlie lay on the beach. Out cold after a binge drinking episode. Charlie was married, father of children, a chronic alcoholic. But Charlie had heard the Gospel. He had learned that Jesus is returning. Unless he had repented, confessed his sin, put his faith in Jesus he'd be left behind to experience God' judgement both now and for all eternity. As the tide came in, lapping just under his nose, Charlie suddenly came awake. Terrified that if he'd drowned he would have been damned to hell, Charlie repented and asked Jesus to be his saviour.

Walter is a 'second coming' fanatic. He talks about 'signs' that suggest the Second Coming of Jesus can only be days a way. Recently as I listened to Walter I felt sad. You see, Walter is into conspiracies, interpreting the coat of arms of Royal Family members, claims immunization injections are in fact a tool of the devil/anti-Christ, but never once does Walter refer to the Bible.

Shortly after I became a Christian, Bill would have a Bible related question for me. He asked: "Keith, what is Matthew chapter 24 and 25 about?" I responded: "I wouldn't have any idea!" "Well go home and read them and we'll talk about it next week." And we did. So the next week Bill asks: "Well Keith, what is Matthew chapter 24 and 25 about?" In response to my answer he says: "You'd better go home and read them again." I did.

Matthew chapter 24 and 25 are about 'End Times' The disciples ask Jesus: “Tell us, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” It was clear to me these chapters are about the Second Coming of Jesus. But what I got wrong was how to understand the expressions 'taken away' 'taken' [Matthew 24:39, 40, 41]. I imagined that those taken away had been taken up to heaven, when in fact, if you read the text carefully, those taken, are taken away in judgement. It is not talking about the rapture of Christians to heaven!

So what are the signs of the Second Coming of Jesus? The Bible says: "You can be certain that in the last days there will be some very hard times. People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud, stuck-up, rude, and disobedient to their parents. They will also be ungrateful, godless, heartless, and hateful. Their words will be cruel, and they will have no self-control or pity. These people will hate everything that is good. They will be sneaky, reckless, and puffed up with pride. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure. Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won’t be real" [2 Timothy 3:1-5]. "When you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom will soon be here" [Luke 21:31].

Dr Keith Graham

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