Setting the Stage for Christ's Return, Part 2
We noted in yesterday's Daily Encounter that only God knows the day and hour of Jesus Christ’s return to earth. At the same time God’s Word assures us that we can know the nearness or proximity of his return by certain signs that are stated in God’s Word, the Bible. Yesterday we looked at four of these signs: 1). Troubled Times; 2). Israel’s Homecoming; 3). Jerusalem: The End of Gentile Control; and 4). The planned new Jewish Temple. Today we will consider four more significant signs of the possible nearness of Christ’s second coming. They are as follows:
5. Knowledge Explosion
God's Word also says, "But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase."8
Pastor John Jordan explained how, if we made a graph to indicate the increase of man's knowledge from the beginning of time to 1845 it would measure 1 inch (25mm). From 1845 to 1945—just 100 years—it would measure three inches (76mm). From 1945 to the present day it would be as tall as the Washington Monument, which is 555 feet (169m) high! According to one of my college professors, the world's knowledge was then doubling every five years. I don't know if this is accurate or not, but what we do know is that in the computer age, knowledge is increasing at an ever-accelerating, mind-boggling rate.
Daniel said another sign of the nearness of the end of this world age as we know it would be that of mankind rushing here and there (or to and fro as another translation puts it). Some Bible translators indicate that this means rushing here and there for knowledge. Whether it means this or just people rushing here and there all over the world makes little difference as both are happening as never before in the history of mankind. Just go to any major airport in the world and you will see worldwide people rushing to and fro all around the world.
In his book, Seven Signs of the End Times, Mark Hitchcock wrote, "According to God's Word, the end of the age will be characterized by a global government, economy, and religion ruled over by one man, the Antichrist. This end-time world order is described most clearly in Revelation 13."9 Here we see the following:
Global Government: Authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.10
Global Religion: All who dwell on earth will worship him.11
Global Economy: "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."12
Have you noticed how the present U.S. leadership, along with the United Nations, is promoting a one-world economy and a one-world government, and how the former Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair, is now promoting a one-world religion.
Indeed, the setting of the stage, not only for the coming of Jesus Christ, but also for the entry of the Antichrist is also being set up right now in our time. It appears that our current world leaders are helping to prepare the way for the Antichrist who will be, for a short time, the ruler of the one-world government, the one-world economy, and the one-world religion.13 The good news, however, is that the Antichrist and his worldwide military might will be totally defeated by Jesus Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation time here on earth. This final battle is known at the Battle of Armageddon which will be centered in the Valley of Megiddo in Israel—a valley that is some 14 miles wide and 20 miles deep.
8. Worldwide Gospel Proclamation
Another profound end time sign is found in the words of Jesus who said, "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."14 Because of modern means of communication, including high speed printing presses, radio, television, audio and video devices, and the electronic media (the Internet, e-Mail, social networks, and mobile phone applications) which have ushered in a communications revolution the like of which the world has never before seen—the gospel today is speeding to the ends of the earth as never before in all of human history. Even in the ministry of ACTS International we are having visitors to our websites from 194 countries and territories every month, and receiving salvation and re-commitment to Jesus Christ decision/responses every day of the year from people worldwide!
If you picture the above signs as an "End Times" jigsaw puzzle, you can see how each piece is already coming together and fitting into God’s prophetic picture and plan for the end of time as we know it and the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The important issue is this: Jesus Christ's second coming is just as certain as was his first coming to earth! He is coming again. What if it were today? Would you be ready? Whatever you do make sure you have your passport for Heaven. Don't leave earth without it. You can get yours (there's no charge) by going to "Passport for Heaven" online at: www.actsweb.org/passport.php.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for Christ’s promise that he is coming again to take all his true believers to be with him and you for all eternity. Please help me to make absolutely sure that I am ready for this dramatic world-changing event. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen."
To know for certain that you are ready for Christ's return and won't be left behind when he comes, read "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" on line at www.actsweb.org/christian. Or if you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross to pay the penalty for all your sins, and would like to accept Jesus as your personal Savior and God's forgiveness, see God's invitation at: www.actsweb.org/invitation.php.
8. Daniel 12:4 (NLT).
9. Hitchcock, Mark, Seven Signs of the End Times,
pp. 72-73. Multnomah Books, Colorado Springs,
CO 80921. © by Mark Hitchcock, 2002.
10. Revelation 13:7b.
11. Revelation 13:8a.
12. Revelation 13:17.
13. See “The Antichrist Is Coming” online at: http://tinyurl.com/coming-antichrist
14. Matthew 24:14 (NIV).