Why We May Not Be Living In The End Times
If you’re just joining – we’ve been taking a look at the question: Are we in The End Times? Please scroll around and click on my blogs for May and early June to get caught up if you’ve missed one. I wanted to take a close look at the reasons why these possibly aren’t The End Times that we are experiencing now.
- Only God knows the specific time in history when The End Times will occur. One day Jesus was sitting, thinking, and probably reflecting while he was on the Mount of Olives overlooking the city of Jerusalem. His followers came up to him and boldly asked, “What will signal your return and the end of the world?” (Matthew 24: 3) Please read his entire response in Matthew chapter 24 to get the full picture. Towards the end of his discourse – he slips in this famous line: “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” (Matthew 24: 36)
- All throughout recorded history – people have thought they were in The End Times. Around A.D. 54 the Apostle Paul wrote: Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now then when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here (Romans 13:12). One of Jesus’s closest friends was The Apostle John – he wrote five books of The New Testament. Near the time of A.D. 90 he wrote: Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come (1 John 2: 18). Many evil rulers or historical figures were viewed as the Antichrist such as Herod, Nero, Antiochus Epiphanes (look him up – bad dude), Hitler, Genghis Khan Mussolini, Mao, and Stalin. More recently Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, and even Putin. Catastrophic events also led many to believe they were in The End Times like the Black Plague, The Great Depression, World Wars I and II, The Cuban Missile Crisis, and most currently, the global COVID pandemic. However, in spite of these devastating challenges – the human race keeps pushing forward with God’s protection and intervention.
- The Bible shows that God postpones judgement and punishment. The prophet Jonah was told to go to the city of Nineveh and warn them of coming judgment. He didn’t do it (please read the full story – especially the whale part). Fast forward – after some life altering events, Jonah gets a second chance. He obeys God and proclaims that Nineveh will be destroyed in 40 days. His message worked: When God saw what they (the people of Nineveh) had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened (Jonah 3:10). Another example comes from the life of King David. After David committed a sin of great pride (1 Chronicles 21), here is what happened to his kingdom: So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 people died as a result. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But just as the angel was preparing to destroy it, the Lord relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” (1 Chronicles 21:14,15)
- The heart of God is that all would repent and come to Him. The apostle Peter was part of Jesus’s inner circle. He has two New Testament books that he is credited for writing. Around A.D. 65 he gives us this insight: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent (2 Peter 3: 8,9). A few verses later he reemphasizes his point: And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved (2 Peter 3:15). John also explored this topic with two of the most known verses of The Bible: For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but save the world through him (John 3: 16-17). This is my favorite reason of all why we may have more time until The End Times occur.
Conclusion: Pastor Jimmy Evans has written a book called Tipping Point: The End is Here. He also has a prophecy podcast and has studied the subject for over 40 years. He tells the story of a young man approaching him after a message asking for advice if he should invest in his 401(k) since Jesus might be returning soon. Jimmy’s response I feel is for all of us: Plan as though Jesus is not returning for 100 years and live as though Jesus is returning today. Plan your life. Go to school. Get married. Have children. Give generously. Spend wisely. Save responsibly. Plan for your retirement. God wants you to live your life for His honor and glory but also with a constant awareness that Jesus may return at any moment. (pg. 193)
Next post we’ll take the opposite perspective: Why We May Be Living In The End Times