Awhile back I was getting a lot of robo calls, so I found a feature on my phone that can block them. Before long I was blocking a lot of numbers. Then someone told me, “I called you five times. Why didn’t you answer the phone?”
I was blocking people I actually wanted to hear from because I was getting messages from people I didn’t want to hear from.
In some ways that’s like a lot of people when they hear that events in our world and in our culture today are signs of the times: “Oh, give me a break! I’ve heard that before! They’ve been saying forever that Jesus is coming back, and nothing has really changed.”
Actually, a lot of things have changed. I believe we’re living in the last days.
Just look at the aggression of Russia on so many fronts recently and the provocative statements from President Vladimir Putin about their nuclear capabilities and a willingness to use them. Russia has developed a new intercontinental ballistic missile that can hit any target they choose. NATO calls it “Satan 2.”
There is the emergence of China, not only as an economic superpower but as a military superpower as well. China is becoming more aggressive, launching massive drills in the South China Sea. Then there is the weaponization of space. Many of China’s space capabilities are designed to counter U.S. military advantages. In a very technical sense, we’re literally headed to Star Wars.
Add to this rogue nations like Iran and North Korea, the constant threat of Islamic terrorism and ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
Not all the advances in technology today are being used for good things. Everything we do is recorded. We’re becoming more aware of this, especially in light of the fact Facebook reported that the data of 87 million people might have been improperly shared. We realize that our information can be hacked and that someone with sinister motives could use it for some very bad things. One day that person, known as the Antichrist, will come on the scene.
Maybe this is why the famous Doomsday Clock was moved forward in January of last year. It’s now two minutes to midnight, the closest it’s ever been. The keepers of this so-called clock, a group of atomic scientists, are saying that because of the threat level and recent developments, we’re that close to an all-out nuclear exchange. It isn’t a theologian who’s saying this; it’s atomic scientists.
We scratch our heads and say, “What in the world is going on?”
Are you ready for the answer? We’re racing toward Armageddon.
It’s as though everything has been sped up, moving rapidly toward what the Bible calls the end of days or the last days. Jesus compared it to labor pains: The closer to the moment of delivery, the closer together the labor pains will be. That is how it will be in the end times.
There will be warnings, things that remind us that it’s coming. And as we get closer to the actual unfolding of prophetic events, these “labor pains” will get closer and closer together. I think we’re seeing this happen before us now.
So what are we supposed to do? Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). This means we’re to look to Heaven and be reminded of the fact that God is in control.
We need to know what is happening in our world, and studying Bible prophecy helps us remember that God is in control of all events in the world today. It can be very scary. We wonder what will happen. God is in control. Things are going according to schedule.
Studying Bible prophecy also gives us a heavenly perspective. I think we often lose that. I remember going to visit a 30-year-old woman from our church who was in the hospital. They were running all kinds of tests, trying to figure out what was going on and what they could do for her.
As I talked with this woman and her husband, she ministered to me more than I ministered to them. She told me that God was with them, and they were trusting him. Then she said, “Pastor Greg, I’m very excited about what is happening. The Lord is at work.”
She could say something like that because when you’re a Christian in a time of difficulty, God is with you in a special way. Maybe you’re more aware of how God is with you, and you’re hanging on to him more tightly. God’s strength is made perfect in weakness, the Bible says. (See 2 Corinthians 12:9.)
I think we all need that in our lives, because we can go through an entire day without a single thought about Heaven. We can go through an entire week without even thinking about eternal things. But when you’re on your back in a hospital bed, the only way you can look is up.
We need a heavenly perspective, and we need to be reminded of this simple fact: Jesus Christ is coming back, and he’s coming back soon. Are you ready? If you really believe that Christ could return at any time, it will impact the way you live.
In a single moment in time, you can make a decision that affects your entire life. The most important decision of all is Jesus Christ – whether you accept him or reject him. The biggest decision of all is what you do with Jesus Christ.
Jesus makes radical claims. He claims to be the only way to the Father. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Jesus died for you on the cross and rose from the dead. He stands at the door of your life and knocks. If you’ll hear his voice and open the door, he will come in.
A lot is at stake. I really believe that Jesus is coming back. He could return today, tonight, or tomorrow. Will you be ready?
Get right with God. Get right … or get left.
Greg Laurie is an American author and pastor who serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, Harvest Church at Kumulani in Kapalua, Hawaii, and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, California. His newest book “Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today” about the last great spiritual awakening in America, is available now! You can find it here: http://a.co/d/015o082