Get Your Soul Right with God: the Second Coming is Much Closer
In St. Matthew chapter 24, the disciples sought to show Jesus the buildings of the temple and Jesus told them that there will come a time that not one stone of the temples will be left standing. Afterward, the disciples asked him, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (St. Mat. 24:3). Then Jesus proceeded to answer the three-part question for the remaining of the chapter.
He talked about a time of wars and rumors of wars; famine and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places; saying, "All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Verse 8). Then he goes on to talk about persecution of believers, betrayal and offenses; the rise of false prophets and how iniquity will abound in the world and the love of many will wax cold. "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." (Verse 13).
The world has entered into the last phase of the end time: a time when the powers of evil will intensify to bring about an incident that will require all souls the need for salvation and deliverance. The many prophecies in the Bible about the last days are not only being fulfilled, but are starting to cast shadows of the coming tribulation period.
To be more precise, there are two parts to the question Jesus answered that we must be concerned about right now. The first is, "the sign of his coming," and the second is, "the end of the world;" in that order. The Second Coming of Christ the Messiah must happen before the end of the world, which is considered the Tribulation Period. The Second Coming will gather together the believers of Christ and take them away from the earth before the great Tribulation.
Those who are born again (currently) will be taken and those who are not born again will be left behind until the end of the world. During that time, the Beast and the False Prophet will reign and rule the world and it is during this time that the Beast will require all people to take a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads.
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." (Revelation 13:16, 17).
The book of Joel chapter 2:2, prophesied of this time; the book of Daniel chapter 12:1, and also Jesus foretold of this time in Matthew 24:21. All prophesy points to a time period when iniquity is at its strongest in the world and Satan has complete rule because the Spirit of God's grace has departed from the earth. Society today is ever closer to that time. Iniquity is abounding and the love of many is waxing colder.
Looking at the atmosphere of today, sin is rampant and people have become literally unwilling to practice goodness but would rather inflict evil and pain on their fellow human beings. Murder by reason of international war; murder and hatred for different cultures and races of people; indifference toward the hungry, the homeless, the sick and the poor; the exploitation of children sexually and economically; unbridled and blatant injustice in the courts; the corruption of government leadership and the greed and lust of the wealthy are all signs of a world society becoming alienated from God.
If we narrow down the prophesies of the Second Coming and of the end of the world to select nations of the world, to get a clearer picture of exactly where we all stand, let us look closely at Israel, the Middle East and northern Africa (all in the cradle of civilization); the northern nations such as Europe and Russia, and the far east as in China and India. Each of these nations have a part in the end time prophesies. (Despite popular belief and historical theory, there is no mention of "The West" in the Bible; i.e. Europe and America. Those nations are considered nations of the north as in Grecia, or commonly known today as Greece and its timely descendents such as Rome, Europe, Russia and currently America).
As pertaining to the Second Coming, God will gather his people from all corners of the earth and from every nation where the gospel has been preached and believed. The question is what will bring about his coming? And what nations will be involved? Now we look at the current relations among nations of the world today.
The ultimate goal for the nations today is economic strength and power accompanied by military strength and power. Thus we have the prophesy of Jesus about wars and rumors of wars and nations rising against nations. Nations have formed alliances with one another to garner strength and leverage against other nations and powers. Trading resources and wealth is a game played through world markets, and strategic military moves seek to secure and stabilize each nation's wealth.
Only a few, namely America, Europe, China, Russia, some Middle Eastern countries and Israel claim the most economic power and military strength in the world. All to be known as the developed world; and then there are countries known as second and third world. At current, America claims to be a "Super Power" and reign as supreme to all other nations. However, other countries lay that same claim to their people, such as China and Russia. Nations with such economic and military strengths are the ones who will lay the foundation for the Second Coming.
In order for Jesus to return and gather his people from the destruction of the world, there has to be an event that will bring destruction. This event, as prophesied in the Bible, will erupt from a most destructive world war among the nations using their most powerful weapons of mass destruction, which is nuclear power.
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10).
Other scriptures throughout the Bible point to this event as the beginning of the end. After the taking of his people, the earth and the inhabitants therein will be left to survive without God or his grace any longer. The devil will have complete control, which is when the Beast and the False Prophet will rise.
Many preachers and end-time prophets teach of the antichrist, who they say is a man who rules the world during the Tribulation Period. But this is not true, the Bible never says the antichrist is a literal person, it says the antichrist is a spirit, and it speaks of the spirit of the antichrist.
"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:3).
The Beast is a literal person and he will convince the world to build an image liken to him. He will possess lying powers and delusions to deceive the world. He will have complete control over the world markets and trade and over all military power. He will promise peace to the world by bringing many nations together as one and he will then claim that he is God and the world will worship him as God. However Jesus said:
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" (St. Matt. 24:15).
The above events are important to understand for born again believers and for those who are not born again. Born again believers will be saved from the Tribulation Period yet unbelievers will suffer through the period. Yet if they refuse the mark of the Beast and proclaim Christ as Lord, they will be killed but their souls will return to the Lord. Now is the time for salvation and to receive the gift of God's Holy Spirit.
"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38).
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (St. John 3:5).
If the current American political administration pursues an agenda of hate and persecution, domestically and internationally, the country and world will revolt and there will be a world war. Men who deem money and military strength as the ultimate rule over the lives of others will surely ignore or destroy anything that gets in the way. And when faith in God and humanity is lost, the world as we know will surely change for the worse.