As you know, I have been working on a series of article entitled the “End Times”. This series on last days or End Times is about the “signs” that are leading up the the return of the Lord Jesus Christ: an increase in lawlessness, a great “falling away” from the faith, global pestilences on the rise, the emergence of a “new world order”, with a world leader (the bible calls this person the “amti-christ”) who will be welcomed on the world stage to address the deluge of problems the world i s facing.
Jesus described all of these as “birth pangs”, such as a woman has just prior to birth – so these signs will tend to occur more often, and in increasing intensity, “as the Day approaches” and the anti-christ, the false messiah, comes on the scene.
All people will have to choose, just as in the days of the early church – will you pay homage to, and worship “the emperor” (or anti-christ)? or will you side with the Lord Jesus Christ, hold fast to your faith, and not deny the Lord who died and rose again to save you. There will be increasing persecution for those that hold fast to their Lord, and do not deny Him – just as in the early church. But remember what Jesus said: “If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20)
The Day is approaching. You can bet your life on it.
Jesus Promised He Would Return for Those Who Believe
Prior to His sacrificial death and resurrection, Jesus promised to return for His saints:
2 In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you
that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and welcome you into My presence,
so that you also may be where I am. (John 4:2-3)
The Bible Says He is NOT Slack Concerning His Coming
Peter reminds us that the Lord is “not slack” concerning His returning for us:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness;
(2 Peter 3:9)
Please remember that our God does not exist in time. A “day” to the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Creator is outside of our time and space dimension. The past, present and future as all the same to Him. We may think its been a long time since Jesus ascended into Heaven, but to Him He just left. And He is just waiting for the “right time” to return and take away His “bride” before the great and terrible Day of the Lord which is to come upon the earth.
Why then Does He Delay?
He wants the very last person to come to know Him. He is waiting for the very last person, wherever they are, to choose Him.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward,
not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (KJV 2 Peter 3:9)
God the Father continues to draw to His Son Jesus all those that would believe in Him. At some point, there will be that very last one that He knows will choose Him.
Once that happens, there will be reason for the Lord to delay His 2nd coming.
What Two Factors Remain?
In his second epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul assured the church that they were not yet living in the Day of the Lord, that is, the end times’ judgment had not yet begun. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 he says,
“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come
until the rebellion [or “falling away”] occurs and
the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”
According to God’s timetable, the Day of the Lord and the accompanying judgment will not start until two things happen:
- A global “falling away” from the faith occurs and
- The “man of lawlessness”, the Antichrist, is revealed.
In other articles on this website, especially under the End Times heading, I have tried to point out that a great “falling away” is already occurring. See https://evidencetobelieve.com/end-times-sign-a-falling-away-from-the-faith/
So we are left with the second indicator – the revealing of the anti-Christ, that “man of sin“. The great imposter. 2 Thess Verses 6-7 talk about something which is “restraining” Satan from bringing in the “man of lawlessness”, something which is holding him back:
6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.
Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. (2 Thess 2:6-7)
Paul implies that the saints he is writing to “know” what is doing the restraining. There are a number of possibilities which have been suggested here, but the most likely identity of “the restrainer” is the Holy Spirit, or we could say the Holy Spirit working through the church.
Supporting the idea that the Holy Spirit within the church is the restrainer is the fact that the restrainer is referenced both as a thing (neuter gender, verse 6) and as a person (masculine gender, verse 7). Also, the power delaying Satan’s masterplan to unveil his false messiah must be of God. It makes much more sense to say that the Holy Spirit is curbing the devil than a political entity or even an angel. The Holy Spirit of God is the only Person with sufficient (supernatural) power to do this restraining.” (from Got Questions.org)
Once the Holy Spirit ceases its restraining power, either directly and/or through the church, the body of Christ in the world, then the curtain will come crashing down.
The way will be clear for the “Rapture” to take place. The Rapture of the church, or the “catching up” of Christ’s body of believers, could happen before the Tribulation, during the middle of the Tribulations, or toward the end of that terrible 7 year period. Although the argument for a pre-Tribulation rapture appears the strongest, no one really knows for sure when the Lord will appear and “catch away” His church. That is why Christ said “watch”, and always be ready.
Once the anti-Christ comes on the world stage, the Day of the Lord will have begun – the 7 year period called the Tribulation. Christ could come for His His saints now, when the “man of sin” is revealed, or during the Tribulation. We simply can be sure when. But we do know that the Lord Jesus Christ will come, and “catch up” His saints to meet Him in the air. The church, all those who have believed and have received Jesus into their hearts, will be taken out of the world. And judgement will fall on all those who have sided with the world, the New World Order, and its leader – the anti-Christ.
Are You Ready for the Return of the Lord Jesus?
Are you ready for the Lord’s return? Jesus said no one will know the day or the hour, only the Father, but God’s children will be able to discern the “signs of the end times”. THe Lord is coming soon for his bride, the church! Be sure that you know Him, and are ready! If you don’t have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, you can! Give Jesus a chance! He loves you so much that He died for you, so you could have a way back to Him and eternal life. Don’t put it off. Allow Him to come into your life and make you “a new creation”! You have nothing to loose everything to gain. Here is a link to Billy Graham’s web site that can show you how you can invite Jesus into your life and be the creation He has always intended you to be …
Take Me to Steps to Peace With God ==> http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp
The Bible: https://www.blueletterbible.org/