The End Times Intrigue
For 2,000 years people have wondered about the events of the end times and when Jesus will return. Terms such as millennium, tribulation, 666, and antichrist are used in the media and the supermarket tabloids, but questions remain:
- Will Jesus return physically and reign on earth for 1,000 years?
- Will Christians go through a seven-year tribulation?
- Will the second coming of Christ occur at the same time that believers meet Christ in the air (the rapture)?
- Will Christians be raptured (removed from this earth) and other people “left behind”?
- What does the nation of Israel have to do with the end times?
There are four different views of end-times events, but all share some key points:
- Jesus will come again for those who love him.
- Jesus calls his followers to be ready all the time.
- No one knows the day or the hour.
What Jesus Taught about the End
Jesus promised his disciples that he would come again. Before his return there would be:
“Birth Pains” (Events before the “signs” of the end)
- Many will claim to be the Messiah.
- People will be deceived by these messiahs.
- Wars, famine, earthquakes, pestilence.
- Believers in Christ persecuted and killed.
- Believers will be witnesses of Jesus to kings.
- Many will turn away from the faith.
- Betrayals by parents, brothers, and friends.
- Increase in wickedness.
- Fearful events and signs from heaven.
The Signs of the End
- Jerusalem surrounded by armies.
- The “abomination of desolation.”
- Great tribulation like never before.
- Jerusalem will be trampled on by Gentiles.
- False prophets perform signs, miracles.
- Sun darkens, moon doesn’t shine, stars fall.
- Severe ocean activity disturbs the nations.
- People will faint with terror.
- Jesus will appear in the sky.
- The trumpet will sound.
- Angels will gather God’s elect.
(Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21)
What Paul Taught about the End
1] The Lord will descend.
2] The dead in Christ will rise first.
3] The living will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord and be with him forever.
4] Don’t believe those who say the Day of the Lord has already come.
5] The Day of the Lord will be preceded by:
• The revelation of the man of lawlessness who will:
• Oppose and exalt himself over God
• Set himself up in God’s temple
• Proclaim to be God
• Be revealed when the one holding him back is taken out of the way
• Be accompanied by satanic, counterfeit miracles
• Deceive those who do not love the truth
6] When Jesus comes, the man of lawlessness will be overthrown and destroyed.
(1 Thessalonians 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 2)