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First, today, let’s look at some Signs of His Coming in the news.
The disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 24:3, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus Christ then went on to give them (and us) clear signs that show us when we can begin to expect to see the coming of the Lord and the end of the world. Those signs include:
1. the appearance of false Christs and false prophets
2. wars and rumors of wars
4. pestilences (fatal epidemic diseases)
5. earthquakes in divers (various) places
6. increased persecution of believers
7. the Gospel being preached in all the world
8. signs and great wonders in the heavens (involving the sun, moon, stars, and planetary movements)
9. distress and perplexity among people
10. increased violence “as in the days of Noah”
11. increased homosexuality and sexual immorality “as it was in the days of Lot”
12. the rise of “Gog and Magog” (which many Bible scholars believe refers to Russia)
13. the rise of the “kings of the east” (which many Bible scholars believe refers to China)
14. increase in knowledge (science and technology)
15. apostasy in the church
16. interest in a unified world government to bring about global peace
17. interest in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem
The Bible also speaks of other signs which will be evident in “perilous times” in Second Timothy 3. Those signs are people being:
23. disobedient to parents
26. without natural affection
28. false accusers
31. despisers of those that are good
35. lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God
36. having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
Other signs of the times which have been gleaned from Scripture include:
37. scoffers who mock of Christ’s return
38. movement toward a one-world religion
39. outpouring of the Holy Spirit
40. outbreak of demonic and occultic activity
41. re-establishment of Israel
42. Arab hostility toward Israel
43. re-unification of Europe
44. movement toward a one-world economy
Looking at world events through the lens of the Word of God, let’s look at some headlines from today’s news that point to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to the Daily Mail, a report has revealed that forces from Russia and other NATO member states have been linked to more than 40 dangerous incidents over the past eight months. They include three incidents during the past year which could have sparked open conflict between Russia and the West, according to the findings by the European Leadership Network. The report said, “We believe [the incidents] are a very serious development, not necessarily because they indicate a desire on the part of Russia to start a war but because they show a dangerous game of brinkmanship is being played, with the potential for unintended escalation in what is now the most serious security crisis in Europe since the cold war.”
Second, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to Reuters, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that Great Britain should not be willing to stay in the European Union “come what may.”
In a bid to quell dissent among his own lawmakers and win back voters who have defected to the anti-EU UK Independence Party, Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s EU ties before offering a membership referendum in 2017 if he is re-elected next year. Cameron has in recent months battled other EU countries over the leadership of the EU executive, the Commission, and the EU budget, and has provoked warnings from other EU leaders about trying to leave the European Union.
Third, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to The Times of Israel, amid a wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel, the Israeli military deployed an Iron Dome missile defense battery in northern Israel as a precaution against possible rocket fire from Lebanon or Syria. Iron Dome units were positioned near the northern city of Haifa, home to Israel’s largest port and home base for its navy. The army said that the missile defense battery was being deployed based on security assessments, but gave no specific information regarding the development.
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to the Associated Press, Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Monday that the U.N. envoy’s proposal to implement a cease-fire in the embattled northern city of Aleppo was “worth studying.” The envoy first raised the idea of small-scale, localized, and negotiated truces in Syria at the United Nations in New York late last month. The proposal would involve freezing the fighting in certain areas to allow for humanitarian aid and local steps as part of a push toward a wider peace in Syria’s 3 1/2-year civil war that has killed more than 200,000 people.
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to The Times of Israel, Israeli officials vowed to step up efforts against an ongoing wave of violence, and the prime minister convened an emergency meeting of security heads on Monday night, after two stabbing attacks left two people dead and two more injured. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered officials to bolster security forces’ presence in the West Bank and called for terrorists’ homes to be torn down, in a bid to stem the wave of attacks.
The Bible says in Luke 21:36: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
You can read these stories in more detail and get more Second Coming-related news on our website at Second Coming Herald.com
Now, it’s time for Prophecy Bootcamp.
Prophecy Bootcamp is where we deal with the basics of prophecy, the Second Coming of Christ, and what will happen in the future according to the Bible. Our aim here is not to make predictions but to help you get prepared by understanding how things will unfold in the end times.
Our topic for today is titled “Where Are We Headed? (Part 6)” from Dr. Ed Hindson’s book “Revelation: Unlocking the Future”.
The final question to ask ourselves as we begin our study of the Apocalypse is, How do we interpret this great book with its highly symbolic language? Students of biblical prophecy have wrestled with this question for almost twenty centuries now. But several things are clear from the text of the Revelation itself.
1. John is looking into the future (“things which shall take place hereafter”).
2. He sees a succession of events taking place in heaven and on the earth (“what must take place after these things”).
3. These events involve a series of catastrophic judgments on the earth (trees, grass, nations, rivers, mountains, islands, etc., are destroyed).
4. These judgments result in the final triumph and return of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom on earth for one thousand years.
5. Beyond this is the eternal state of the new heaven and new earth, which remains for all eternity.
How are we to read this book? The early church was unanimous in its belief that it was speaking about future events. Only later did Christian authors begin to propose other ways of interpreting the Apocalypse. But each of these has failed to do justice to the obvious intention of the book itself.
Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic on our next broadcast/podcast.
In closing, let’s consider what God wants you and me to do in light of His Second Coming.
Jesus Christ said in Luke 19:13 to “Occupy till I come.” In light of that, we are continuing our Bible study series on the books of First & Second Thessalonians which Paul wrote to believers who had concerns about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and what they should do as they waited. This section is titled “The Fate of the Earth (Part 2)” from the book “Waiting on the Second Coming” by Ray C. Stedman.
The phrase “times and dates” (or “times and seasons”) indicates that the apostle is coming to grips with the question of the time of the Lord’s return. All of us seem to want to circle a date on the calendar, but Paul taught the Thessalonians that they did not need to know the precise date. “Now, brothers, about times and dates,” he said, “we do not need to write to you.” He knew they had already been reading in the Old Testament about the Day of the Lord; and the description and characteristics of that day were familiar to them.
Remember, the “day” of the Lord is not a twenty-four hour day; it is an extended length of time, covering a number of events over a period of probably seven years. The whole period is called the parousia or the “presence” of Christ. As I understand Scripture, when Christ returns He will remain on earth for this period. Thus, the “day of the Lord” covers a series of events, perhaps even extending into the millennium — the thousand-year reign of Christ that follows. Actually, the phrase “day of the Lord” refers to any period of time when God acts directly and unmistakably in human affairs. It may be in blessing, as in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, or it may be in judgment. Or it may be that the same event will be a judgment to some people and a blessing to others.
If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next broadcast/podcast.
Remember the words of the Lord in Matthew 24:42: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Matthew 24:44 says, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of thirty-four books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.