Read: Mark 13
“Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.” (Mark 13:8, NLT)
A lot of people are wondering these days if we are in the end times—which is okay by me, especially if it leads them to put their faith in Christ as both Savior and Lord. World conditions and human events are causing a lot of shaking and sifting, and with good reason: This present world is heading inexorably toward a predicted finish.
As Jesus speaks of the signs that will precede his return in Mark 13, you realize that we may very well be at the beginning of the end of time. He said at the end of verse 8, “these are the beginning of birth pains.” The “beginning of birth pains” — that means they are only going to get more frequent and increasingly painful before the birthing of God’s prophetic plan. Then Jesus provides us with exacting accuracy end-time conditions that read like the headlines we wake up to every morning:
The New York Times may report on the increase of international conflict, but Jesus first predicted it in Mark 13:6-7.
CNN may run story after story on catastrophic environmental upheaval caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and wild, destructive weather, but Jesus first prophesied a chaotic cosmos in Mark 13:8.
Fox News anchors may ring their hands over global deprivation of basic needs brought on my rising fuel costs, food shortages and the unstable dollar, but Jesus first said it would happen in Mark 13:8.
CBN, TBN and The Voice of the Martyrs may tell heart-wrenching stories of the proliferation of persecution, but they are only retelling what Jesus told in Mark 13:9.
Yeah, things are going to get pretty ugly at the end—Jesus said so—and it looks like the ugliness has already started. But that’s okay—it only means better things are on the way. So don’t get upset, depressed or worried sick, your redemption is drawing close. And if you’ve gotten too comfy with this present world, consider what C.S. Lewis said,
“Has this world been so kind to you that you would leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
And for certain, don’t get caught up in the explosion of spiritual deception that Jesus said would be the very first sign that we’re heading into the end times. (Mark 13:5-6) Stay alert, because there will be an exponential increase of teachers, preachers and spiritual leaders who will not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Among the many doctrinal heresies they will promote, my guess is that one of their most convincing doctrines will be that everything is ok, that you should just go about your business, that God wants to make you healthy, wealthy and wise, and give you your best life now. When you think about it, that is the same message, since the days of Noah right up to the present moment, that false messengers have always promoted right before Divine judgment.
So don’t buy into it. Your best life is yet to come—and it is just around the corner!
“A time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear.” (II Timothy 4:2-3)
What If God Took Over?
Bible scholar Arthur Pink wrote, “Neither the nearness nor the remoteness of Christ’s return is a rule to regulate us in the ordering of our temporal affairs. Spiritual preparedness is the great matter.” Where are you on the preparedness scale?