Posts Tagged ‘End Times’

Wars, earthquakes, famines, and plagues. . . Oh, my

September 28, 2014

Luke-21 28

Those with eyes to see clearly recognize that we are living in the last days, as 2 Timothy 3:1 makes known:

This know also: that in the last days perilous times shall come.

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

During such intense times, many Christians continue to look heavenward, in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ. Bible scholars and others look at world events and interpret them in light of words spoken by Jesus Christ. When asked about the signs of his return, he spoke of signs and wonders appearing in the sun, moon and stars . . . in the heavens above and in the earth beneath.

The following passage from Luke 2:7-11 continues to generate much discussion:

And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?

And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

In light of intensifying world events any observers of the times and seasons continue to wonder if Christ’s return is at hand. The nightly news reports escalating conflict among nations, along with increasing earthquakes and other natural disasters. Famine continues to be a global issue of great concern, not to mention deadly diseases that threaten civilization. The culmination of what some call “signs of the times” appear to indicate the return of Christ draws closer and closer day by day.

Taken from Matthew 24, known as the Mount Olive Discourse, and from Luke 2, the list spotlights five of the signs said to occur before Christ returns:

11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven

Wars and rumors of wars

Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

At the heart of the phrase “nation against nation” is the Greek word ethnos, from which the English word “ethnic” is derived. With increased globalization, come increased ethnic conflicts which now ravage the world.

Never has there been a more revealing picture of kingdoms in conflict than with the recent focus on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its threat to the Middle East and beyond. The Islamist militant group with its determination to establish a Caliphate that will dominate the world with its ideology is a demonstration of “Kingdom against kingdom.” Caliphate is another name for “kingdom.”

Earthquakes in various places

On Thursday, September 25, 2014 a magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit south-central Alaska. Although tremors were felt throughout the region in Anchorage, there was no major damage or injuries.

In an article “Are earthquakes signs of the end times?” Steven A. Austin and Mark L. Strauss discuss the controversy generated by such Christian writers and Bible teachers who maintain that Jesus predicted that an increase in frequency and intensity of earthquakes would occur prior to his return.

Famine

According to the United Nations World Food Programs, hunger continues to be a worldwide crisis. About 842 million people in the world do not eat enough to be healthy.  That means that one in every eight people on Earth goes to bed hungry each night.

Pestilences

The global health crisis with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has captured the attention of  the world. Other infectious diseases, such MRSA, (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection), along with flesh-eating diseases and sexually transmitted diseases fall into the category of “pestilences” that some would say that Jesus Christ spoke about.

Cosmic phenomena

There has been a noticeable increase in meteors and other phenomena provide ample opportunities to consider the meaning of such celestial occurrences. In February 2013, a massive meteor hit Russia, causing considerable alarm. Recently Perseid meteor shower, an annual occurrence, was upstaged by a “super-moon” the fourth such occurrence with the past year, including a “blood moon” which some believe refers to the prophet Joel’s statement, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2:31)

The increasing frequency of “great balls of fire” and other cosmic phenomena cause many to wonder about these so-called “signs and wonders” which some see as more signs of the end times and point to Luke 21:25-28:

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.

With such signs and wonders appearing in the sun, moon and stars, many observers of the times and seasons believe that Christ’s return is at hand; indeed, our redemption appears to be drawing closer and closer, closer than it has ever been.

Derrick Drover sums it all up in music with “Signs of the Times.”

What time is it? Time ain’t long

April 17, 2011

As the events of the world rapidly unfold, we ask, "What time is it?"

As I awoke this morning, something that I read in the news yesterday came to mind, as I was preparing to pray and meditate to begin the new day. Normally I would be preparing to meet with our Intercessory Prayer team, known as “Issachar.” We take our name from the Old Testament passage which makes reference to the descendents of on the 12 Tribes of Israel:

I Chronicles 12:32

 32And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.

Certainly we have all been trying to understand more fully the critical times in which we live. One of the news headlines that came up as I turned on my laptop one of the news headlines caught my attention: World’s oldest man dies in Montana at 114. While Walter Breuning didn’t live to be as old as Methuselah, he was labeled as the “world’s oldest man,” nonetheless. Genesis 5:27 reveals that

And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

Controversy continues to arise regarding the timing of Methuselah’s death which some scholars believe occurred before the flood of Noah. In fact, according to Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, it is believed that the 7-day period before the actual flood was a time of mourning for Methuselah.

Genesis 7:4

“For yet seven days, and I shall cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights…”

In a similar manner, the death of the world’s oldest man, a type of Methuselah, could be seen as a sign that we are living in “the last and evil days.”

Believers are of course mindful of the passage related to the Return of Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:37-39:

37But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

When you couple the death of the world’s oldest man with the impending Royal Wedding, it brings to mind a saying heard as a child when members of the older generation would remark: “Time ain’t as long as it use to be.” That expression is the found its way into one of my vernacular poems, this blues piece:                          

Time Ain’t Long   

 (One Mo Blues Sonnet)

Say, Brother, “What in the world is going on?”

Say, Sister, “What in the world is going on?”

Seem like the love of God has long since up and gone.

Folks betraying ones they love, committing all sorts of crimes.

Folks betraying ones they love, committing all sorts of crimes.

The Bible says there show shall come perilous times.

Rather than receive a blessing, some folk take a curse.

Rather than receive a blessing, some folk take a curse.

Men and women show is waxing worse and worse.

Seem like folk enjoy flaunting they downright ugly ways.

Seem like folk enjoy flaunting they downright ugly ways.

These just gotta be the last and evil days.

So, I been thinking hard and it seems to me,

No, time ain’t nearly long as it use to be.

From Stone upon Stone: Psalms of Remembrance

While there is foreboding feeling of darkness and heaviness, a sense of “impending doom” that is trying to engulf the world, there is also a striking, contrasting feeling of anticipation, a sense of “impending good”, which I describe in another vernacular poem that sums up the essence of what is transpiring in the world:

Sump’n’ bout to Happen

 

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth

in pain together until now.

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits     

of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,

waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Romans 8:22-23

 

 

My stomach is a growlin; there’s a rumblin in my soul.

Good things keep on happenin, and now I’m on a roll,

Like I been workin in the mines and nearly bout to strike some gold;

I been pressin toward the mark, and I’m bout to reach my goal.

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n,

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

My heart is beatin fast, and my palms is startin to itch.

Watch out good people, I’m bout to strike it rich.

With bases loaded, all I need is one good pitch.

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n.

I’m lookin like a winner—aint no way I can fail

Cause I pulled two lucky cards: “Collect $200” and “Don’t go to jail.”

And I just can’t wait to run right on home and check the mail.

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

I can’t figure it out, but somehow I just know

That God is good and I’m movin and groovin in the flow.

Some folks want me to hang aroun, but I just got to go.

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n.

Everything is comin together just like someday I knowed it would.

I got this funny kinda feelin and it show nuff feels good.

I’m tryin to make you feel it too—Oh, how I wish I could.

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen! 

It’s more than a woozy kinda feelin I’m trying to convey.

Yall may think I’m crazy, but I don’t care what yall say.

I’m like a little boy who can’t wait to greet each new day:

I can’t rightly describe it, but somethin great is on the way.

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n,

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

Years ago  I recall from watching Oral Roberts whose television show opened with the Oral Roberts University Singers who reminded viewers that something “Something Good is Going to Happen.”

The Bill Gaither Trio sings “Something Good,” expressing the same sentiment, as we reflect upon the times and seasons in which we live.