Hot Topics—Part 6: The End Times

September 10, 2023

Can you share about the end times and the events we are witnessing today and the second coming of Christ?

Technological developments are possibly moving us closer to some things the Bible says will happen in the end times (Rev. 13:14-17; Matt. 24: Artificial Intelligence - is this how the image of the beast comes alive? Microchip implants and digital currency - precursor to the mark? Elon Musk’s Starlink - how the gospel is taken to every nation?

We need to be careful about looking at current events and saying, “this is that,” or placing a time frame on when Christ comes back. No one knows that - Matthew 24:36. Doing so has two negative effects:

  1. The world thinks Christians are .
  2. It numbs people to the that Jesus is truly coming back.

“There are surprises ahead that are as much a part of His [God’s] plan as the things He has revealed. Actually, as we go through the Bible we see God is more interested in telling us about His will for the present life than He is in giving us all the details of the future.”
-Stanley Horton, Our Destiny: Bible Teachings on the Last Things, p.32

  1. How is the church preparing? How are we as a church preparing? You never know when is up so you always need to be prepared to meet Jesus. We need to “prepare” the by sharing Christ. Jesus is waiting to come back so that more people can be saved (2 Peter 3:9).

  2. Why is biblical prophecy, the end times, so difficult to understand?

  1. Prophetic - there may be gaps of years or even centuries in-between events that the prophets didn’t see.
  1. The book of Joel The Day of the Lord is not a literal day, it’s a period of time when God sends judgment on people. Joel 1:1-12 - The immediate Day of the Lord - prophet’s own time Joel 1:13-2:27 - The imminent Day of the Lord - Babylonian captivity and restoration back to Israel Joel 2:28-29 - The Spirit’s outpouring - on Pentecost in the NT Joel 2:3-3:21 - The ultimate Day of the Lord - in the end times

  2. Isaiah 9:6-7 - the gap between the two comings of Christ

  3. Zechariah 9:9-10 - the gap between three different events: v.9 - Jesus’ triumphal entry riding the foal of a donkey v.10a - Rome destroys Jerusalem in 70 A.D. v.10b - Christ’s millennial reign, “his dominion from sea to sea”

  4. Isaiah 61 - the gap between the two comings of Christ Luke 4:18-21 fulfills Isaiah 61:1-2a of Christ’s first coming Isaiah 61:2b-3 - “the Day of vengeance of our God” is the second

  1. Fulfillment - one imminently and a future, ultimate one Isaiah 7:14 - the virgin shall conceive, bear a son called Immanuel was in the prophet’s own time and Christ’s birth (Matthew 1:20-23)

  2. Revelation - not everything was recorded Revelation 10:4; Daniel 12:4,8-9

End Times Terms

The Last Days - the period of time from the book of Acts until now and into the future (Acts 2:16-17).

Rapture of the Church - when Jesus gathers together all Christians, both dead and living and He takes them up to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Tribulation - a period of time when God pours out His wrath upon the earth (Revelation 6:16-17). This is when the antichrist comes on the scene.

Antichrist - one who will declare himself to be the Messiah, not Jesus. Rules a one world government (Daniel 7:19-23; Revelation 13:1). Will die and come back to life (Revelation 13:3). Will be possessed by Satan and demand worship as God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4,9).

First Coming of Christ - the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Second Coming of Christ - not a single event, but a series of events like the first coming that includes the rapture, tribulation, return of Christ, the millennium.

Return/Revelation of Christ - when Jesus physically returns with the church, sets His foot on planet earth at the end of the tribulation and fights/defeats the antichrist. Different from the rapture where Christ only appears in the clouds to take up his saints who are waiting for Him.

Millennium - a thousand year period when Jesus sets up a physical kingdom and reigns as king on the earth while Satan is bound. Christ ushers in world peace, fulfills His prophecies to Israel as an international power, and it appears things return to a partial pre-fall state (Isaiah 11:6-8). At the end of the millennium, Satan is released and leads a rebellion against Christ. Surprisingly, some will follow the devil even though they have physically seen Jesus.

Four Considerations

The time Jesus returns is not a factor for our salvation.

Be ready to meet Jesus at any moment. Witness while we have the chance Be willing to for Christ at any time - persecution may be coming