Signs of the Last Days, Part 2
In Part 1, we looked at four signs of the last days mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:4-31. These included:
- claims of false Messiahs
- wars and rumors of wars
- famine, and
- natural disasters
We also noted many of these signs can be discerned in our world today. Yet Jesus continued with additional signs of the last days. In this article, we’ll note four additional signs Jesus mentioned regarding the last days.
Sign 5: Christian Persecution
Matthew 24:9 shares the world’s attitude toward believers in the last days: “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
This verse highlights three ways believers will be treated:
- persecuted: “persecuted”
- martyred: “put to death”
- despised: “hated by all nations”
Christian persecution is already noted as being at concerning levels. More than 50 nations restrict or prohibit missionary activity. That’s more than one-fourth of the nations in the world! This will only continue to increase as we near the end.
Sign 6: People Turning Against the Faith
Matthew 24:10 adds, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.” Even people who claim to be Christians will turn against biblical beliefs.
Further, these deceivers will both betray and hate one another. In today’s churches, we often note the increase of unbiblical beliefs and attitudes. However, such activities will become more common in the last days. This deception will also take place at the hands of “false prophets” (Matthew 24:11).
Sign 7: Increased Wickedness
The seventh sign Jesus mentions includes “the increase of wickedness” (Matthew 24:12). In contrast, Jesus encourages “the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
The distinctions between those who truly love God and those who oppose Him will stand increasingly clear. There will no longer be room for the “lukewarm” faith mentioned among the people of the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3 that is often found in churches today. People will be forced to either take a bold stand for Christ or to stand against those who live for Jesus.
Sign 8: Global Witness
During these negative signs, Jesus mentions an incredibly positive accomplishment—global evangelism. Matthew 24:14 shares, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
This “end” refers to Jesus returning at the end of the seven-year Tribulation period. This is clarified in the following verses that refer to “the abomination that causes desolation” that will take place at the midpoint of the Tribulation. During the Tribulation, the whole world will hear the gospel, though many will reject the message.
On the positive side, this also indicates some people will come to faith in Jesus after the Rapture. Though persecution will be much greater, God will redeem people during these difficult days who will call on His name. This will include many Jews, such as those mentioned in Revelation 7.
These dark future days carry hope as well. However, when we see such signs already taking place among us today, it should cause us to live prepared for Christ’s return. We are called to live every moment for God’s glory, sharing His grace with everyone we can until He comes.
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