There are two extreme attitudes towards end time prophecies.
One is sensationalism, which is highly speculative.
The other is scepticism, which is down right scoffing.
2 Peter 3:3-4 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."
We need to take a scriptural and spiritual attitude.
Jesus is indeed coming back, and His Second Coming is very soon, sudden and surprising.
We don't know the exact date of Jesus' Second Coming, but signs of His return are everywhere.
Today I want to share with you 7 great signs that point to the imminent return of King Jesus.
7 Great Signs of His Return:
1. Rebirth of the State of Israel
Matthew 24:32-34 Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
Fig tree is a prophetic symbolism of the nation of Israel. The blossoming of the fig tree is a prophecy of Israel becoming an independent nation again.
There are multiple OT prophecies about the Jews returning to their homeland, such as : Ezekiel 36:8-12; 37:21; Jeremiah 16:14-15.
When Jesus spoke these words, Israel was still under the Roman Empire. Not only that, in the year AD 70, the Roman army came marching in to crush the Jewish revolt for independence.
As a result, Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple burnt, the nation scattered for nearly 2,000 years!
During World War II, Hitler began a satanic campaign to systematically eradicate the Jewish race.
Millions of Jews were killed, but out of that tragedy came the fulfilment of Ezekiel 37, where the valley of dry bones came back to life and became a mighty army of the Lord.
On 14 May 1948, Israel declared independence and the State of Israel was formed.
This is the greatest of modern day miracles!
A nation that has been destroyed for nearly 2000 years, a people who has been scattered around the world, a race that was fiercely hated and on the brink of genocide, yet they survived, thrived, and rose up to rebuild their nation!
Prophecy was fulfilled, because God is faithful, and God keeps His promises.
The miracle continues, because the Arab nations went to war immediately to wipe out the newly formed Israeli state.
Israel was out-numbered and out-gunned, nobody expected them to make it, but they did.
From a military point of view, you cannot explain how Israel could survive the attack of the Arabian forces.
But from a Biblical and prophetic point of view, you can see that the God of the Old Testament is still on the throne. He is the One who kept and protected His people.
Furthermore, in 1967 war broke out again. Arab nations led by Jordan came attacking Israel. This was known as Six Day War.
In six days, Israel defeated the enemy and took back more of their own land, including the Eastern half of Jerusalem. Since then, Jerusalem was a undivided city under Israel.
What is the significance of all these events?
Israel is God's prophetic time clock. Whatever happens in Israel affects the world.
Matthew 24:34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
How long is a generation? 40 years, 70 years, 100 years? Does the prophetic time clock starts on 1948 or 1967?
The rebirth of the Israeli State is a clear sign that Jesus is coming back very, very soon!
2. Re-Emergence of the Ancient Roman Empire
Revelation 17:9-10 Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.
"Five have fallen" refers to five great world powers: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece.
"one is" refers to the current power when John wrote the book of Revelations, which was the Roman Empire.
Unlike the previous five world powers, Rome was never really conquered, but internal decline led to disintegration into the East and West empires.
According to Bible prophecy, Rome would rise again as a world empire, which is fulfilled in our lifetime, in the formation of the European Union.
In Daniel 2:36-45, Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of a giant statue. Daniel provided the interpretation:
Babylon - head of gold
Persia - silver chest & arms
Greece - bronze belly & thighs
Rome - iron legs
European Union - two feet & ten toes of iron and clay
Bible preachers have been predicting the rise of the European nations as one super power, and it came to pass in the 1950s, again during our lifetime.
Initially formed out of economic and commercial needs, the European Union today has its own parliment, currency, even its own language.
Out of the EU will rise the Anti-Christ, who will form a one world government during the 7 years tribulation period.
3. Globalization of the World
a) World Travel
Daniel 12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.
Many years ago people began talking about the world as a global village.
Modern technology has allowed the world to travel to and fro and communicate almost instantaneously.
To put things in perspective, keep in mind that over a hundred years ago, people were still depending on wind and human power to sail across oceans, taking months and years to do so.
Today, we are running to and fro across continents within hours or at most within a day.
b) Knowledge Explosion
Many years ago people also began talking about knowledge explosion, and that was before the internet era!
Up until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, it is doubling every 13 months. Scientists predict that soon it will be doubled every 12 hours!
c) Worldwide Communication
Revelation 11:9-10 Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
The Bible predicted many events in the last day that mankind can see and hear globally. Today it has come to pass in the form satellite broadcast and internet live telecast.
d) Global Positioning & Tracking
Revelation 13:16-17 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
The technology is available today through microchip implants. Mostly used to keep track of pets, but in places people are using it to replace membership cards.
2 Peter 3:11-12 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
The Second Coming of Christ is the consistent theme of the Bible.
In the New Testament, 1 out of 25 verses deals with the Lord's return, that is 318 times.
It is mentioned in every NT books except Galatians and the very short books such as 2 & 3 John and Philemon.
It occupies a prominent place in the Old Testament as well. Most of the OT prophecies are about the Second Coming of Christ to rule as King of kings.
Jesus Himself spoke a lot about His return. That's why the early disciples were fully convinced and waited eagerly for His return.
Titus 2:13 "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesu"
It is a blessed hope, i.e. a happy hope!
1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
It is a purifying hope, i.e. a hope that motivates us to live a holy and obedient life for heaven's and eternity's sake.
We don't know when is the exact date of Jesus' return, but we do know that it is very soon, sudden and surprising.
Many Christians have taken things for granted, living life as if there is no heaven, no hell, and no eternity.
But there is heaven, there is hell, there is eternity, and Jesus is indeed coming back!
The question is, are you prepared for His soon coming? If He returns today, right now, are you ready to meet Him?
Not all Christians agree on the details of the end time events, especially in regards to the sequence and timing.
Don't be lost in these minor differences, instead focus on the major agreement and live by it.
7 Great Events of His Return:
1. Rapture of the Church
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Be watchful! Make sure there is nothing that will hold you down and miss the rapture.
2. Judgement Seat of Christ
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
This is the judgement of the believers' work, not about salvation but about service.
Be faithful! Your labour is not in vain in the Lord!
3. Great Tribulation
Matthew 24:15-22 Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place ( let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Be loyal! Fear not, love the Lord your God above all else.
4. Christ's Return on Earth
Revelation 1:7 Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.
Zechariah 14:4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
Be joyful! Christ is coming back in His kingly glory and awesome splendor.
5. Millennium Reign of Christ
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
Be prepared! Christ the King is training you to reign with Him.
6. Great White Throne
Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Be ready! Preach the gospel in season and out of season. By all means save some!
7. New Heaven and New Earth
Revelation 21:1-7 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." 5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." 6 Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost." 7 "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son."
Be hopeful! Looking forward to that day when there will be no more death and sorrow, no more tears and pains, the day of eternal blessing with Christ.
Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
"Pentecost" means "fifty" in Greek. It refers to the Jewish festival known as the Feast of Weeks, which takes place 50 days after the Passover.
Jesus was crucified on the day of Passover. Three days later He rose from the dead. After that He spent 40 days with the disciples before ascending to heaven.
Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
After the Ascension of Christ, the disciples waited for about 10 days. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon them as Jesus promised.
They were transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and they went out and transformed the world.
Pentecost is not just an event of the past, but an encounter for the present.
The power of Pentecost is for today, the help of the Holy Spirit is for your everyday life!
We desperately need the Holy Spirit because we are weak and helpless.
Without the Holy Spirit, we arespiritually dead, emotionally broken, physically weaken, morally bankrupt, and socially corrupt.
John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.”
"Helper" means "called alongside to help."
Do you need help? Do you want help? The Holy Spirit is your Divine Helper!
7 Ways the Holy Spirit Helps You:
1. He Saves You
The Holy Spirit saves you by convicting you of sins, regenerating you and living in you.
2. He Liberates You
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
3. He Sanctifies You
Romans 8:13-14 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
4. He Strengthens You
Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man
5. He Teaches You
John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
6. He Guides You
John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
7. He Empowers You
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit is a precious gift from the heavenly Father to His children.
Luke 11:11-13 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a
snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Come, let us receive the gift of the Father!
What happened to Jesus after He came back from the dead?
He spent forty days with the disciples, explaining to them about the kingdom of God.
After that He gathered them at Bethany and ascended to heaven before their very eyes.
Luke 24:50-53 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising God.
What is the importance of the ascension of Jesus? What assurance does the ascension bring us?
1. The Ascension Marks the Day of Completion for His Earthly Ministry
What began in a manger in Bethlehem ended with His return to heaven.
Jesus has successfully completed all that He came on earth to do.
He came to defeat sin, death and the devil in the person of a man.
He triumphed over every temptation of sin and lived a holy, sinless and perfect life on earth.
He preached the gospel, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, and brought the kingdom of God to earth.
On the cross He said, "It is finished!" Salvation sacrifice has been offered and completed.
He was dead for three days, but the grave could not keep Him and death could not hold Him back.
He rose from the dead and took back the keys of death and Hades from the devil.
Rev 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
He came from heaven to earth, and now He ascended and returned back to heaven.
The ascension is a completion, conclusion and climax to His earthly ministry.
Therefore our faith is firm and our hope is sure!
Our Saviour has completed His mission, He is victorious and He is alive forever. He has gone ahead to heaven to prepare mansions for us!
2. The Ascension Marks the Day of Coronation for His Heavenly Ministry
The victim has become the victor; the crown of thorns has become the crown of glory!
In the ancient world, when a king wished to honor someone, he offered them a seat at his right hand. It was the highest seat and the greatest honor a king could confer on anyone.
Seated at the right hand of the Father, Jesus is exalted, glorified and enthroned forever!
In His ascension, His earthly ministry was completed, but His heavenly ministry has just started!
What is Jesus doing now? He is interceding for us.
Heb 7:25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Don't be afraid, don't despair, Jesus is praying for you right now.
You have a Friend in high places. He is your Advocate, He is your great High Priest, He is your Mediator. His name is Jesus!
3. The Ascension Marks the Day of Commission for Our Supernatural Ministry
Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Jesus commissioned His church with promises of His power and His presence.
Mark 16:17-20 "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." 19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.
Jesus ascended to heaven and assumed His full divinity. He is no longer limited by His humanity. Therefore He can be with us always, even to the end of the age.
One day He would return to earth in the same manner as He ascended to heaven.
Acts 1:10-11 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."
Until that day of His second coming, let us be fully occupied here on earth to reach out in faith and compassion for a lost and dying world.
1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.