I can still remember the first time I heard about end time events. I was a middle-schooler at a Christian campground. One evening we sat around a bonfire, and an adult volunteer began to speak of the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation. I heard stories of seven-headed dragons, secret barcodes on foreheads, helicopters and explosions. I was terrified! Since that time, I have discovered that there are a plethora of competing views on the subject. I don’t claim to have authoritative answers for all the questions related to the end of the earth. However, there do seem to be some events which are clearly articulated in Scripture. Let’s consider three.
I find it interesting when many end time gurus begin their timeline without mention of the spiritual backsliding that will occur at the culmination of all things. Why do they overlook this event? The New Testament clearly states that the dawn of the new age will be predicated by a falling away from the faith. In his letter to Timothy, Paul said, “Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). The demand for false teachers will expand in the last days (2 Timothy 4:4-5). Though there will be preaching and teaching which gives a nod to Jesus, it will be a cheap counterfeit of the gospel truth which brings salvation. It will contain a veneer of righteousness and wisdom, but it will be rotten at the core. Believers should be on the lookout. A time is coming in which the truth will be compromised for error. May we “contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all” (Jude 3).
Man of Lawlessness
Along with the apostasy of the apocalypse, an ominous man will appear. Paul said, “For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Who is this individual? We may never know his exact identity until after he appears, but we know that he will lead the world to spiritual and political ruin (Revelation 13:1-18). He will assert an antichrist agenda (1 John 2:18 and 4:3). Possessed and motivated by Lucifer of old, he will seek to distract people from the glory of God (Isaiah 14:12-14). May we be sober and vigilant, realizing that we have an archenemy who wants to sway our hearts from the Lord (2 Corinthians 4:4 and 2 Peter 5:8)!
Revival amongst Israel
God has a plan to do a special work amongst the sons and daughters of Abraham in the last days. When the end of all things draws near, He will send a supernaturally induced spiritual awakening among the Jews. A great number will recognize Jesus as Messiah and be born again. Paul said, “And in this way all Israel will be saved” (Romans 10:25-26). Though God’s Spirit primarily works amongst the Gentiles during the church age, there is a coming day in which God will bring a select number of Jews to the faith (Revelation 7:1-8 and 14:1-5). All of this will be a fulfillment of Jeremiah 33:16. “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew” (Romans 11:2). The soul-saving power of the gospel will prove potent all the way up until the end of time. May this truth encourage us to be witnesses for Christ!
Dr. Patrick Latham