We have all seen eccentric men standing on street corners holding up signs that say THE END IS NEAR. I am not a big fan of that kind of methodology. However, one might legitimately ask, Is the end really near, or not? Is there any truth to that message? Read on.
Time to Review
We have been attempting to answer the question: "How do we know for sure we are living in the last days?" Christians have believed for centuries that the coming of the Lord was imminent, so what is different about the 21st century that makes Bible prophecy more relevant than ever before? So far, I have given you two reasons why I believe Christ's coming is just around the corner:
1. The REGATHERING of the nation of Israel.
2. The RISE in apostasy, or departure from Bible doctrines.
Reason # 3: The RAPID increase in Technology
There is a very interesting verse found in Daniel 12:4, which says: "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". Notice here that God is telling Daniel that what he is writing is for the far distant future, it applies to the "time of the end". And then God goes on to give a description of those days.
Two Insightful Prophecies
Specifically, the last days (according to Dan. 12:4) will be characterized by a rapid increase in transportation, and a rapid increase in technology. Now, if you were living in the era of the Babylonian captivity, 606-586 BC, as Daniel was, how could you possibly understand what the future would look like? This is a real "back to the future" scenario here! What words would God use to describe the last days in terms Daniel might understand? God wouldn't use terms like supersonic jet aircraft, or internet technology. God would simply say: "many will run to and fro, and knowledge will increase".
Living in the Information Age
In our lifetime we have seen the amazing phenomenon of computer technology, so that anything you want to know can be researched on the internet at the click of a button. These media inventions can be a blessing, or can be used for evil ends (read next week's blog for more on that!). This sudden and dramatic increase in knowledge, however, has not resulted in an improvement in morality. Quite the contrary. This unfortunate development ties in with II Tim. 3:7, "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH". Our world may be smarter but it is not wiser.
Three Great Examples
Let me give you 3 specific examples of future events that only make sense in an age of instant news reporting, and the instant transmission of video footage from around the world by way of internet satellites.
1. First, the live televised pictures of the coming of Christ. According to Rev. 1:7, "Behold, He comes in the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him". If I was trying to teach prophecy a hundred years ago, I don't know what I would have done with that verse. How could "every eye" see the coming of the Lord? Well, now you know.
2. Second, the live televised pictures of the killing of the two witnesses. According to Rev. 11:9, the Anti-Christ will kill God's two witnesses, and allow their dead bodies to lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three days. But here is the astounding part: "Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days". Global TV news reporting makes this entire event plausible.
3. Third, the live televised pictures of the recovery of the Anti-Christ from his deadly wound. According to Rev. 13:3-4, "I saw one of his heads as it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. All all the world marveled and followed the beast". Bible scholars have debated what this "deadly wound" is (physical, political?), but whatever it is, his recovery appears to the world like it is a miracle, and they "follow" him from that point on.
Once again, there are things happening in our world today that cast a whole new light on Bible prophecy, and help us understand passages which were heretofore difficult to explain. That is why prophecy is so exciting! Yes, dear friends, I believe Christ is coming soon. If you are not ready to face Him, I strongly suggest you acknowledge that you have sinned, believe that Jesus died for your sins, and open up your heart to receive Him as your personal Savior today. Because tomorrow may be too late.