by Pete Garcia
I bet everyone reading this has asked God that very same question at least once or twice. How much longer will this current world-gone-mad continue? It feels like we are at the end, but then days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and months into years. But why then does last week, feel like last year? Why does last year, feel like last century? Everything seems to be speeding up, but at the same time, it never seems to culminate into anything tangible? What if 2018 comes and goes and we are still here? All the while, the world continues in its never-ending crush to grind down everything good and decent. It feels like the insane were given the keys to the bus and are hell-bent on driving us off a cliff.
If you have ever had any of the above thoughts, you are not alone. The answer to all of these questions are summed up in two key thoughts:
Can we trust God?
Can we trust the Bible?
If the answer is yes to both, then we must understand that God does not do anything unintentionally. Although we may not know the future, it is not hidden from God (Isaiah 46:9-10). However, I know how you are feeling. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty and omniscience is not the same thing as understanding when He is going to exercise that authority and take us home. It certainly does not make anyone feel any better about being here longer than we expected.
That is why God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us hope. Hope in the form of His Son and His prophetic word. At the cross, Christ conquered both death and hell and holds the keys, since neither could stop Him (Revelation 1:18). For believers, this translates into us not fearing what comes after death. As for the living, we also have hope in the Scriptures.
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 1:19-21
With the Son conquering death and hell, which covers our life after this one, our existence here still requires hope. Which is why God gave us hope in the form of His word. For our hope is not a “blind hope.” Our hope is rooted in truth. It is grounded in the historical, geological, geographical, theological, and ethical reality. Furthermore, our hope is outlined by God’s prophetic word. The same word He places even above His own name (Psalm 138:2).
However, the reality of God’s word does not appear to ring true in the world today. Why is God’s word under assault from every direction? Why can every belief, faith, and religious system in the world get a free pass no matter how egregious, but if you dare mention the biblical Jesus in a public forum, everyone becomes unhinged? For all these questions, we have the signs as mentioned by both Jesus and Scripture. These are the signs that serve as assurances that we were told to look for concerning the time surrounding His coming.
Sign #1: The world would be given-over to deception
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
The Bible is clear that once Adam and Eve fell, man surrendered the title deed of the earth over to the fallen angel Lucifer (albeit temporarily). This is how Lucifer (titled Satan the Accuser) could legitimately offer Christ all the kingdoms of the world, because (according to Satan) this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish (Luke 4:5-7). Jesus did not dispute this point when being offered the world. Instead, He rebuked Satan using Scripture…Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ (vs. 8)
Jesus acknowledges at present, the ruler of this world is coming. Paul calls him the ‘god of this age,’ who deceives and blinds the whole world. Peter calls him the “roaring lion” who walks about seeking whom he can destroy. John calls him the Antichrist but also acknowledges that ‘many’ antichrists have and will come as well. This is acknowledging not only confirms the physical manifestation of the coming Antichrist but also the power behind him (Satan), who leads the fallen armies of angelic principalities and powers in this world. [John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2, 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 2:18, 22,; 2 Jn 1:7]
What we are witnessing now in these final moments, is the hardening and quickening of this deception. It is being cemented into the minds of the unbelievers that anything and everything but the truth, is believable (Romans 1:18-32). While it is increasingly uncomfortable living in a world that is becoming more and more hostile to the truth of the Gospel, Jesus forewarned His disciples (and by extension us) that the world would come to view killing us as doing God’s work (John 16:2). Jesus later explains that the final three churches addressed in the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches (Revelation 3), come to three different situations based on this demonic deception.
Sardis Church: called the ‘dead’ church for their dead faith. They are rebuked for this and exhorted to “watch,” or they will be caught unaware of His coming. Revelation 3:1-6
Philadelphian Church: refuses to give into the world, and as a result, has little strength. They have not denied His name and remain true to God’s word. For this, they receive no condemnation and will be delivered before the global hour of testing. Revelation 3:7-13
Laodicean Church: given over to the world, acquires abundant luxuries, and claim they need nothing. In reality, they are poor, blind, and naked. They neither confirm nor deny anything that would cause them discomfort. Their lukewarmness makes Jesus nauseous. Revelation 3:14-22
Because the Laodicean church seemingly becomes the final, dominant face of Christendom on the earth, their refusal to stand up for the truth (i.e., lukewarmness) results in an explosion of apostasy. Countless false teachers, false prophets, and false messiahs arise due to the churches inability or unwillingness to stand for the truth, and millions are led astray. [Matthew 7:13, 24:4-5, 11, 24; 2 Peter 2:1, Jude 1:4]
Sign #2: The days of Noah and Lot
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30
Because the world is given over to this grand deception and currently lies under a veil of blindness, it (the world) is unable to accept the reality that our day is almost identical to the conditions of Noah and Lot’s day. Think about it this way: if God and the Bible are true, (they are), then why else is it so hard for people to accept Creationism as our point of origin? Instead they believe in preposterous and completely unprovable theories like Darwinian Evolution or “the Big Bang.” The truth is that if the world acknowledged biblical creation, then they would also have to acknowledge Noah and Lot’s day.
Imagine for a moment, that we lived in a world where there was no spiritual blindness, and all the government and academic institutions actively sought to understand what the world was like before the Noahic flood. How much could we know? A lot more than we do now! Then we would come to understand that the conditions today (population, technology, intelligence, spirituality, etc.) are almost identical to what it was then.
Yet, the world we currently live in mocks and scoffs at the idea of biblical creation. They mock and scoff at the idea of a global flood. They mock and scoff at the idea of a place like Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed for sexual perversity. The world is given over to an intentional, demonic spiritual blindness that refuses to accept the truth. Because of this, like righteous Lot, we too are oppressed and tormented by the unrighteousness that currently surrounds us.
…and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment 2 Peter 2: 7-9
Sign #3: Faith fading
Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:6-8
Christ asked this rhetorical question at the end of the parable of the unjust judge while He was physically on the earth. So He was not addressing the day He was in then, nor of the time surrounding His Second Coming. We already know that Christ will not return at the Second Coming until the Jewish people cry out “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:39). The Jewish people will not do this until this veil of blindness is lifted from their eyes and they realize that Jesus of Nazareth, was, in fact, their Messiah whom they pierced (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:25). As for the rest of the majority of the world, they are already committed to destruction who are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 13:8).
He was speaking about the conditions of the world when He returns for His Church. Will He find faith on the earth when He returns for His bride the Church? Yes. However, the conditions in the world at that time marries up with the last three churches from those out of the Seven Letters.
Church In Name Only: The dead church
The Post Christian Church: The nauseating, lukewarm church
Remnant Believers: The true church with little strength in a world satanically rigged to oppose them.
Therefore, it would seem that Christ’s question then rings true. The overwhelming majority in the world have rejected Him and His word. Only a small remnant is true to His name. These have little strength and influence in the world at the time of the Rapture.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
The fact that we can also see the clear distinctions in the church today (dead, faithful, apostate) should motivate the believing remnant because these are the stages Jesus told us we would go through. The United States is following Europe’s lead in becoming post-Christian very rapidly. As we see more frequently, supposed priests, priestesses, pastors, and other “clergy” are now openly endorsing homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion, pedophilia, open-borders, anti-Semitism, etc. and other anti-Biblical positions with no reprisal. They can only do so because they think they are now in the majority. Meanwhile, their ecumenical lukewarmness has opened the floodgates of other apostate teachings and doctrines of demons.
In reality, the only weapon the devil has at his disposal is deception. The world, the universe, are all constructs that God created. For Satan to convince people to reject their Creator, he has to construct false narratives about who we are, where we came from, and where we are going after we die. If you think about it, the devil has to work far harder to keep the truth from bleeding through; then we do exposing it. However, this does not seem very easy at present.
Thus, we groan under the oppressive and antagonistic system we are under currently. The fact that we see deception (spiritual, intellectual, technological, etc.) so ramped us as much as we see today, leads to one inescapable conclusion; we are in the final moments of this current age. So while we cannot say conclusively that we have X number of months or years left, we can easily see the light at the end of the tunnel.
However, the question will not go away. How much longer?
It nags at us.
It hounds us.
For those who are watching and waiting for His return, it consumes us.
As it should.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:20-23
Even So, Maranatha!