There are Christians who do not believe that Jesus will return to earth. But His disciples did. They posed a question to Jesus, “What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Regardless of what you may have read elsewhere, they did believe that one day life as they knew it on planet earth would change, and that change would be precipitated by Jesus returning.
Jesus did not chide them, rather, he answered their question with a list of things that would be commonplace at the time of his return. Here they are:
- False messiahs and false prophets performing amazing, impossible feats and attracting followers.
- Wars breaking out and nations threatening to go to war.
- Famine across much of the world.
- Earthquakes in unexpected places.
- Jesus’ followers being hated, persecuted, arrested, and even killed.
- Some of Jesus’ followers renouncing their faith, hating and betraying other Christians.
- Rampant sin.
- Tenderhearted, loving people becoming callous.
Jesus left no doubt as to what these signs precede, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.”
Later, when Paul wrote to Timothy about the last days, he also had a list.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people…” 2 Timothy 3:2-5
As I said earlier, some Christians don’t believe this word. If the disciples did, if Paul and Timothy did, if Jesus himself did, so do I. The signs are showing me that it’s true.
My hope is found in Jesus’ promise, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13