For the past couple of months I have been teaching through Revelation during our church’s Wednesday night bible study. It’s about the third time I have taught through John’s extraordinary vision. In no do I consider myself an expert on end time prophecies. I have a tendency to teach Revelation with an eye toward it’s historical meaning first and its prophetic meaning secondly. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe it to be prophetic, I do. It simply means I try to first understand what the original audience would have understood. I know that sounds confusing, but that has been my approach.
I blame it on my family history.
My great-grandfather Riggs wrote a book about Revelation from an amillennial perspective. My grandfather Riggs had detailed teaching notes from a premillennial perspective. It is in my DNA to be confused. I think the important thing is a belief in a real, literal return of Jesus. The rest is details.
With that said, I am more convinced then ever that the return of Jesus is soon.
While Jesus told us not to be consumed with predicting times and dates, He also told us to look for signs of His return, and I see those signs everywhere.
- The moral decline in our own society, as well as the broader world.
- The stagnation and apathy of so many people claiming to be Christians.
- The number of false teachers and false religions springing up.
- The turmoil all across the Middle-East.
- The increase in natural disasters around the globe.
- The continual threat of world wars.
- The increasing number of famine and disease around the world.
It just seems to me that the world is spinning faster and faster out of control. It seems things are quickly coming to an end.
With the Bible in one hand, and a newspaper in the other, read these words of Jesus from Matthew 24:3-14:
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Do you think the end is near?
If so, why?
If not, why?