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Is the end really near?

Ruffin_Mike

Mike Ruffin

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Mike Ruffin
Religion Columnist

Friday, February 2, 2018

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

My wife is convinced that many of the biblical signs are in place for Jesus to return. In fact, she believes that Jesus will come before the end of her days.

I can remember joking with her about it over years, particularly when I was a newly saved Christian. I didn’t want Jesus to return. I had too much “living” left to do and too many things on my bucket list. “I sure hope not,” I told her years ago. “I’m living too large for Jesus to come back right now.”

However, I don’t feel that way anymore. But for the fact that I still have some family and friends who I do not believe know Jesus, I am ready for his return. The world is simply getting unbearable. There is too much sin, too much hate, and way too much despair. Moreover, fewer seem to care very much about it. Jesus told us this would happen. “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

Although we can be sure the end is nearing, we don’t know when that day will come, and we will never know until the moment it happens. But we can look to Scripture for signs to remind us that the end which is promised is indeed coming. Here are just a few examples.

■ False Prophets: “For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:5) All you have to do is watch Christian programming on television. A lot of what you hear is not Scriptural. Wealth is not promised any more than perfect health and happiness. And being good is not what gets you into heaven.

■ Wars and Rumors of Wars: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” There are so many wars going on in this world. Iraq, Afghanistan – the one that really worries me is the war in Syria. What started as a civil war seems very global to me, particularly with Russia, Iran, and the U.S., all directly involved.

■ Strife, Famine and Natural Disasters Everywhere: “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” Famine has been all too familiar around the world, but we’re beginning to see famine in our own country – California is drying up!

■ Gospel Preached Throughout the World: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) The Bible has been published in 2,018 languages, and the Internet has certainly brought the world closer together. Global communications now enable us to spread the Gospel into every nation in the world.

■ Godlessness: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Do I really need to say more?

■ Apostasy: I saved the one for last that really bothers me the most. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3) All you need to do is look in your own community and perhaps in your own church. Churches are becoming more ecumenical, embracing New Age philosophy, and denying that Christ is the only way. It has become more important to be politically correct rather than scripturally correct.

My wife is right. The end is coming, and the signs are everywhere. Read your Bible to learn more about it.

Write to Mike Ruffin at mike.ruffin@devotions.com. His website is devotions.com.

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