The biblical topic of the end-times has been wrongly relegated to scholars, called fanatical or completely neglected for many centuries because of ignorance or unbelief. The Holy Spirit is going to bring much clarity to the topic in this generation. There are two clear signs that we are living in the generation of the Lord’s return. One, mission leaders agree statistically that every tribe, language and tongue will have the Gospel presented to them (including a Church plant) within the next 10 years. Two, the majority of end-time prophecy can only happen if there is a nation of Israel. Israel did not exist for 1,900 years. It only became a nation again after World War II.
The study of the 2nd coming of Jesus was very foreign to me (Jeff) in college. I assumed there were 7 years of Great Tribulation but that I would be gone in heaven. A speaker at a conference my senior year briefly mentioned that the Church was going to be around during the Great Tribulation. I was shocked at this statement because I had never even heard the idea mentioned. A few months later I went to a conference focused on the end-times. At this point I was still against studying the topic of the end-times. I thought we should study less and evangelize more. I went to the conference and it completely changed my heart and the way I view life. My heart was burning with purpose, clarity, urgency, confidence in the bible and confidence that I could and should know the OT prophets and Revelation. The topic made life make sense for me and I know by the Bible that it will do the same for every believer. Every sincere believer can understand the topic of the end-times
1. The 2nd coming of Jesus is the hope and consummation of the Gospel. 1 Peter 1 says to rest all of our hope on the 2nd coming of the Lord. The first promise about Jesus came in Genesis 3 and it said that He would crush the head of the Devil. Jesus triumphed over the Devil on the Cross but He will manifest His victory at His coming. The resurrection of the dead takes place at His coming. Every demon, Satan Himself and every oppressive person will be removed from the earth at that time. We will see God face to face and we will no longer have sin in our lives. Almost every reference to hope in the New Testament refers to Jesus’ coming. We partially experience the benefits of the Cross now but we will fully experience them at His coming. At His coming, Jesus will reward believers for the way they lived after salvation. This brings hope to our hearts that He sees and cares about the small mundane things of our lives or even the sacrifices and injustices that we’ve endured. He will end every injustice after His coming, big and small. Hope is clarity and confidence in the future. This can be cultivated through prayer and study.
2. Jesus commands us to know the season of His return. Jesus rebuked His generation for not knowing the signs of His 1st coming. He then told us in Matthew 24 that we should know the signs of His 2nd coming. He told us to watch and pray so we would not be caught off guard. Watching speaks of attentiveness in the spirit. Paul corrected the Thessalonians for not knowing the signs that would precede Jesus’ coming. There are over 150 chapters in the Bible that describe the events surrounding Jesus’ 2nd coming. There are only 89 chapters in the Gospels altogether. The 2nd coming of Jesus is the primary theme of the entire Bible.
3. People cast off restraint without a vision. Proverbs 28:19 says people cast off restraint when there is no vision. We must know where God’s plan is going long-term so that we can live in a focused manner now. Every good leader sets a vision before the people so they know where they are going and how to get there. We must know where the Lord is taking the earth otherwise we will live without focus and we will be confused and lost. You can only travel from Point A to Point B on a map if you know where Point B is. You can only endure to Point B if you know how much food, water, energy, time and gas it would take to get there. We need to understand where we are going in History and when we understand where we are going we can begin to rightly prepare for the things to come. The study of the end-times releases godly urgency to our hearts that enables us to live focused lives.
4. Christians need to know the plans of the Lord in order to partner with Him. The book of Revelation reveals Jesus’ end-times leadership plan. The book reveals His wisdom, love, longsuffering and justice. The Church is Jesus’ partner and co-heir. We must know His plans because He is going to use us to fulfill His plans. We cannot partner with Him if we don’t know what He is doing. The book of Revelation reveals a Praying Church that releases God’s judgments on the antichrist empire through prayer and releases a great harvest of souls through prayer.
5. The Lord wants to have clear and anointed messengers in the years just before His coming but that preparation process is long and difficult.
The Lord will have powerful messengers across the earth the last months and years of history to prepare the nations for His coming. John the Baptist was a powerful messenger that God raised up to prepare the people for what God was about to do so that they could respond rightly. This will happen again. There will be many messengers that prepare the nations for the Great Tribulation and Great Revival that is coming just before Jesus’ return. John was only able to live a consecrated life for decades because He understood what was coming and what would be needed of Him in those days. The Church will go through the Great Tribulation. She will be a great light to unbelievers in those days. We must understand the severity of tribulation that is coming to the earth to rightly respond for the decades of preparation ahead of us. We must study the end-time scriptures and ask the Lord what His message is to the last generation.