Stephen Bennett considers the signs of the times
'The disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?" Matthew 24:3.
There is an end to come before Jesus returns to earth, and this world system and the way it operates will be no more. Jesus spoke of the end - because there is one to come! The Lord said, "He who endures to the end shall be saved" Matthew 24:13. The words of Jesus have echoed down the corridors of time for centuries. In many eras of crisis and devastation in human history men have thought 'the end was nigh'. Will the end truly come? Do we really believe it? Are we closer now more than ever? The answer is yes! "And the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come" Matthew 24:14.
Sitting on a beach with the breeze in your hair watching the sunset over the beautiful waves it's hard to believe that the end is true. We tap away on our computers and have instant access to the world. We look at our children and consider their blossoming future; we go to work or school, and do our daily activities - how could this life we know, with its promise and possibility, all end? If we truly believe in God and His words, He said it will, and unfortunately the end won't be all nice and rosy; watch TV and you can see this to be true all over the world.
Jesus Christ said, "He who endures to the end." Then endure we must. "Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will by no means pass away...therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him" Matthew 24:35-44.
We see echoes of the end through the prophetic nature of the arts, even in the movie, music, and other entertainment worlds. Movies of impending disasters, diseases, meteors, or giant waves that wipe out humanity. "It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine," sings REM in their radio song. An inevitable ending to the world is embedded in the spirit of the age we live in, but we don't really need the entertainment world to tell us the truth. Should we feel fine, just be successful and without concern? According to Bible scripture the end-times are not fine times at all, but a time of great darkness, stress and pressure, where we need to endure with strong faith, with the character of Christ, in a world in immense need of its Savior.
The symptoms of the signs of the end are thrust before us in every form of media, every minute of everyday. The current global financial meltdown, world housing mortgage crisis, gigantic stock market losses, increasing food costs, debt, family breakdowns, teenage suicide, binge drinking, false cults and religions with their abuses, diseases, poverty, earthquakes and wars and rumors of wars. Let alone all the other distractions and choices we have to deal with, all eating at our precious time, keeping many from knowing and pursuing God. All these things are bringing great pressures and stresses to our world and many people are not coping. The end, as spoken of in the word of God, is very possible - right now in our lifetime.
"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers" 1 Peter 4:7. According to Apostle Peter 2000 years ago, the end was already at hand. That hand of time has just about run out. So the question is - what is really important in your life? God wants the gospel preached to the whole world before the end comes, that is why He sent his only begotten Son Jesus to save it.
"...But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" Hebrews 9:26-28.
Jesus came to save the world and take away its sins at the end of the ages - two thousand years ago. Are we now eagerly awaiting his second appearance for our salvation, at the end of the end? Or are we so busy caught up in our lives with all its economic demands and pressures to even consider it? Gabriel, the Archangel himself, showed the Prophet Daniel that the end of the world would surely come at the appointed time. Whether you like it or not, there is an end - are you ready?
"Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be." Daniel 8:16-19
Extract article from the new book by Stephen Bennett - 'The End - He who endures shall be saved'The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
View all articles by Stephen Bennett