“Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences (epidemics of contagious diseases), and earthquakes in divers (various) places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:7-8) Matthew continues, telling us that in the last days iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold causing great offense and the betrayal of loved ones, thereby bringing a new level of evil into play. Those who follow Jesus’ teachings will be hated by just about everyone. Jesus is having a “heart to heart” with His disciples about these last days . They had asked Him what to watch for concerning His return and the end of the world as they knew it. I think it very fascinating that He answers them from our realm of reference. No wonder it was hard to wrap their brain around His story.
If we continue into Revelation, chapters 6-9, we read more alarming statements centering around the opening of seven “sealed” envelopes of information, the sounding of seven trumpets, and the pouring out of seven viles of “woes” handled by God’s angels. Each opening, sounding, and pouring brings unspeakable calamity to the land, sea, fresh water, atmosphere, and finally the people on earth. Indeed, it will be a very scarey time for many. Men’s hearts will fail them for fear. This is the reason for Jesus’ discussion with His group of followers. He warns them to avoid being deceived by anyone because many will claim to be Jesus, Himself. Jesus is preparing His disciples (for our benefit) before all the unnerving, last days’ events take place. He wants to alleviate the fear factor.
Maybe you are beginning to see some things mentioned above that you recognize as happening around the world at this very hour. Even listening to the evening news tells us that the previous serenity of our country is swiftly coming to an end. One thing I would like you to keep in mind is that Matthew 24:36 tells us that no man knows, not even the angels, that ONLY God knows the day and the hour when life as we know it will come to an end. The “last days” may be months or years down the road, but for each individual person, it could be the very next minute.
Are you ready for the coming of the Lord? If the last days for you would happen to be only today and tomorrow, have you acknowledged and believed Jesus to be the Son of God who came to earth as a man taking all humanity’s sins to the cross thereby building a bridge of love to God the Holy Father in heaven? Have you asked Jesus to forgive your sins and give you eternal life? Maybe you’re in the group that says, “Oh, they have said He’s coming back for years and it hasn’t happened yet?” Don’t be deceived. Romans 13:11 tells us that it is high time to wake up out of sleep for now is our salvation nearer than when we thought. Make sure to concern yourself with your relationship with Jesus more than with the day and hour of the coming last days. Jesus died on the cross so that you would have the option of eternal life and be able to smile and not be afraid as the day of His return approaches. Don’t let the last days – whenever they may be – catch you unprepared to meet Jesus face to face.