Signs Of The Times: Part 1 – Are You Ready?

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Jesus in Luke 17:26-30 in describing the days just before His return, said this. “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.”

The days we are living in are filled with signs, the signs of what I believe are the end times just before the return of Christ. We don’t need to be like the people in Noah’s day or Lot’s day that were caught unaware. We may not know the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, but we can sure know the season.

Folks, it’s time to get our bags packed and our houses in order, because we’re getting ready to take a trip that will last an eternity.

The Bible gives us some clear indicators to watch for to warn us that His coming is at the door. We’ve not been left to guess. We can know!

Let’s look at the first 4 signs of the times in which we’re living and see how they point to the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

First, there’s been an increase in mobility & knowledge.

Daniel 12:4 describes the ends times by saying, “But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Up until just the last 150 years or so the main source of transportation has been a horse. Since then we’ve seen trains, cars, airplanes, & space ships take us places, “to and fro”, unknown to generations before. For 6000 years man has been on the earth, but only in this past century and a half have we seen an explosion of transportation that has us scurrying about. We can be on the other side of the world in less than a day if we so choose. What once took months to accomplished, a trip across America in a stagecoach, now takes a few hours in an airplane.

And knowledge has equally exploded. The advancements in the medical fields, computers, and other sciences have grown exponentially over the last 100 years. Just even look in our lifetimes, even in the last 10-15 years, as the Internet has come to the forefront of the world’s culture and provided any information and knowledge to anyone who would need it, in just a few strokes of the keyboard.

Ironically, we are the most educated but least wise generation mankind has ever known.

And that knowledge isn’t just limited to these things. God’s Word is also available to us as never before. Keep in mind that up until about the 1500’s the Bible wasn’t allowed to be read by commoners. Only priests could own and read the Bible, and everything was written in Latin. When Martin Luther challenged that it opened up the Bible for everyone to read and know. We have the opportunity to be the most Biblically knowledgable people that have ever existed.

And that knowledge isn’t just for us to know, but to share. That’s another part of the end times prophecy we will look at later on. We are called to not keep this good news and this urgent information to ourselves, but to tell others that Jesus is coming back and He alone can save.

Knowledge has truly increased exponentially in all areas in these last days as we are busily running to and fro in our ever increasingly frantic lives. This is a definite sign of the end times as prophesied in the Bible.

Second, technology has given us the ability to enforce the Mark.

The book of Revelation, chapter 13:16-17, says this, “All people were forced, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark.”

There’s an old saying that says “Money makes the world go around.” If you don’t have money it’s tough to survive in this world. You need it to pay for food, utilities, shelter, transportation, clothing, etc. It just takes money to live. Take it away and most of us wouldn’t know what to do. Control money and control the people.

Some societies and governments over the centuries have attempted to implement this to a certain degree, but never in history has there been a means to control the entire world’s financial systems and bring them into one, centralized controlling entity as we have today.

There are many countries wanting to move towards a one world monetary system. Many others are moving towards a cashless society with debit and credit cards being the norm. With all of the recent hacking that has cost corporations billions and billions of dollars as certain nefarious groups of people have found weaknesses and have been able to breach the security systems in large, Fortune 500 companies & people are rethinking their financial systems and structures options.

I think these things are only a test, by the way, a few shots across the bow, to help these hackers refine their tactics. In fact, I don’t think the next attack on our country will be anything like planes crashing into buildings. I predict instead a large scale, orchestrated, coordinated cyber attack on the financial systems of ours and other nations’s companies and government financial & security systems, creating a havoc that will make 9/11 pail in comparison.

I predict this grand scale attack will expedite a push for a cashless, one world monetary system with the added security of some sort of mark, chip, tattoo, whatever you want to call it, that will be applied to each person under the guise of security. The promise will be made that, “No one will ever be able to steal your money again because of that mark.”

Have you noticed how common tattoos are these days? Very excepted, very normal. Could it be preparing our world for the mark, if indeed its some sort of tattoo? “Hey, no big deal, just add it to the rest of them on me!”

Microchips are all the rage in pets these days. Even people have had them implanted for medical purposes. It’s a very small step to have something like the size of a grain of rice inserted under our skin that would have our unique information on it that we simply need to swipe under a scanner and go about our day.

Can you see how it’s being set up with all of the events that have taken place that have involved hacking and such? I certainly do.

The technology exists to make this happen. Could it be maybe the Rapture is the catalyst that brings this about? Out of fear people will do whatever it takes to be secure once more. Out of hunger, people will take the mark so they can eat.

But giving up your financial sovereignty by taking the mark will be a person’s eternal nail in their coffin. Control the money, control the people, and that’s exactly what the Antichrist has in mind.

I’m not sure what this mark will be, but it’ll be directly connected to people buying and selling. No mark, no buying and selling.

The technology is in place. This is a powerful sign of the times we’re in as prophesied in God’s Word.

Third, there’s been an increase in violence & sexual immorality.

We read earlier that the last days would be like the days of Noah & Lot. How were they?

Genesis 6:11-12 says, “Now the earth (in the days of Noah) was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.”

And in Lot’s day Jude 1:7 describes it this way. “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

Violence causes more than 1.6 million deaths worldwide every year. Violence is one of the leading causes of death in all parts of the world for persons ages 15 to 44.

To put this in perspective, 1.6 million people are the combined populations of Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, & Pittsburgh. It’s liking killing off everyone in those 4 cities….every year.

Murders, rapes, thefts, & riots, fueled by hatred, lust, greed, & frustration are increasing at alarming rates. We live in a violent world where radicals are beheading others in the name of their god, people are blowing up others in public venues for various evil reasons, others are flying airplanes into mountains filled with passengers, and riots & looting are breaking out because a particular ruling from a judge didn’t go their way.

Abortion is a form of violence against the unborn children of our world. There are about 1 million abortions in the U.S. alone every year, and nearly 58 million since it was legalized in 1973. To put that in perspective, that’s like wiping out the entire population of Canada and Australia combined!

In the time we go through a typical Sunday morning church service of 90 minutes there will be 5400 abortions worldwide, or one every second. That’s a total of 31,536,000 abortions every year worldwide!

It’s crazy out there and it’s world wide and only getting worse. The end times sign of violence is definitely happening today in an unprecedented way.

Add to this the sexual immorality running rampant not only in the US, but worldwide. Homosexuality is at the forefront of this perverted movement, opening the floodgates for transgenders and bisexuals and any other form of sexual perversion to come boldly and proudly out of their perspective closets.

As recently as 2010, 40 states banned gay marriage. As of today in just a few short years we now have 37 that have legalized it, with legal challenges to the bans in the other 13 states pending. By the way, of those 37 states, only 3 were approved by popular vote. The other 34 were either by court order (a whooping 26) or state legislature (8).

In 5 years we’ve seen a sweeping change across our country. But it’s not just here in America. Since 2001, 14 countries have legalized gay marriage, including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, & France, with more being added all the time.

Gay marriage is the norm, and anyone who speaks out against it is labeled as intolerant, bigoted haters. But my Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

And it’s not just homosexuality that is running rampant. It seems that all the stops have been pulled out in the area of sexual perversion. It’s anything goes anymore. It’s not just pockets here and there anymore – sexual predators, rapists, orgies, pornography, you name it!The national morality of previous generations that used to keep it at bay and contained doesn’t exist anymore.

The floodgates have opened. Hollywood and Madison Avenue and every seedy underground back alley publication and perverted Internet site is jumping on the bandwagon. Sexting has become the norm with our young people and their cell phones. Bars and strip joints line the streets. Playboy has gone mainstream!

There is no shame. There is no decency. There is no restraint. The world is becoming one great big Sodom & Gomorrah, just as in the days of Lot, just before they were consumed with the fire and brimstone of God’s judgment on an unrepentant world.

The increased violence and rampant sexual perversion of our day is an obvious sign of the end times we are in, just as in the days of Noah & Lot.

And finally, there is a rise in Spiritualism.

1 Timothy 4:1 says, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

There’s a prominence in spiritualism as never before, and this is another sign of the end times.

What is spiritualism? It’s a practice that relies heavily on communication with the after life. Mediums through seances communicate with spirits who have died (loved ones for example) and others who can help them with their wisdom and guide them in their decisions. These are tools of satan as demons pose themselves as these supposed wise people and lead them away from God and into all sorts of trouble and deception.

The Bible clearly states we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spirits and principalities and forces of darkness in high places. Satan is spiritual. His demons are spiritual. Satan knows how to present himself as an angel of light. He’s very convincing. Very cunning.

The world today has wholeheartedly embraced spiritualism and the occult and it doesn’t even know it.

Ouija boards are just a fun board game for most. Fortune Tellers and Palm Readers are made out to be our friends here to help bring us guidance. Even horoscopes depend on the readings of the aligning of the stars and planets and such to prophesy over us what will happen in our lives. It’s called Astrology, and many, many people make very important decisions based on these things.

The New Age movement has spiritualism at its core. Such folks as Oprah Winfrey present a compelling and convincing array of beliefs that have at its core a self awareness that promotes us as little gods not needing God Almighty. Take a little of God’s Word and mix it with this and you get the New Age movement, a form of spiritualism.

On TV there’s Long Island Medium, Witches of East End, Sleepy Hollow, & Charmed, and in the theaters there’s the Harry Potter & Twilight movies, just to name a few.

Listen, these are not just fun and games movies, TV shows, or activities. These are intentional and strategic tools of satan to lure even the very elect into a mixture of the pure and the soiled, of truth and lies, of the Godly and the satanic. We mix a little of God’s Word with what our horoscopes said. We open up our hearts to God’s Word and then take in the latest episode of our favorite spiritualist TV show. We take God’s Word and mix it with what a talk show host preaches.

I just heard on the news this week that Rock Hill is hosting the first ever Quidditch World Cup at Manchester Meadows. Some 200 teams exist in the US and the top 80 teams are here to compete for the championship.

What is Quidditch? It’s the game Harry Potter and the other witches and warlocks in training played against other teams in the Harry Potter movies. Part of their required gear to wear is a broom between their legs. And they heavily promote gender equality and inclusivity. They have a rule called “Title 9 3/4” that states – “USQ accepts those who don’t identify within the gender binary, and acknowledge that not all of our players identify as male or female. We welcome people of all identities and genders into our league.” And they are pushing heavily to promote this new “sport” to children.

All these things should be alarming to us, the Church. But are they?

We think we can compartmentalize our belief in God and our activities outside of that relationship and think it won’t harm us, but it will. It softens us. It compromises us. It places questions marks in our head of the authenticity of God’s Word and Jesus’ claims. It creates confusion and clutter and gray. God is not the author of any of that. It’s a subtle, patient tactic from a very cunning foe. And it’s something we must run from hard, and NOW!

Spiritualism has also crept into the church in the form of false doctrines that pander to the flesh and neglect the spirit man. Anything that has a spiritual label on it but doesn’t line up with God’s Word or bear witness with the Spirit of Christ in you is a form of spiritualism.

We must be very careful, Church. Stay on guard. Don’t be fooled by the devices of the enemy of your soul.

The Bible says that light and darkness cannot dwell in the same place. We must reject the offerings of this world to mix truth with lies, the holy with the profane, the pure with the tainted.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if what is being preached doesn’t line up with God’s Word, throw it out and run fast and hard away from it!

God brings His light to dispel the darkness. Jesus is the light of the world. And His Spirit can give us the discernment we need to reject the deceptive tactics of the enemy, his lies, & his lures.

Add this to the list of end time prophecies that is happening today at an ever increasing clip of speed and we see that, as we put everything together, we are moving very quickly towards the return of Christ to catch up His Bride, the Church.

You see, satan is pulling out all the stops because he knows his time is short.

So, what are we to do?

With the increase in mobility & knowledge we are to take the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News, to everyone everywhere as He commanded us.

With the ability of the world system to enforce the Mark, we are to not walk in fear but in peace, placing our trust in Christ alone for our provision, and not be deceived into taking the Mark no matter what or how it’s presented.

With the increase in violence & sexual immorality, we are to flee these things. Run, and run NOW! And instead embrace holiness, purity, and righteousness in our lifestyles and rely on God’s protection in our day to day lives.

And with the increase in Spiritualism we are to rely more heavily on the discerning power of the Holy Spirit to keep us from being deceived and not run towards or embrace doctrines of deceiving spirits and things taught by demons, but instead run into the arms of Christ and cling to the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit.

This is not a time for shrinking back. This is not a time for fear. This is not a time for defense. It’s not time to hole up in a mountain cave somewhere, hunker down, and wait for the trumpet to blast to get us out of here!

We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, and He hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of peace and of love and of a sound mind.

We must remain on the offense, moving forward with boldness and confidence, empowered by the Holy Spirit, knowing that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. We are to expand and increase God’s Kingdom, the Bible says, by force, that means aggressively, taking no prisoners, and reclaiming everything back for God’s Kingdom and God’s glory.

We take the flag of Jesus Christ and we plant it firmly on the highest hill of every territory we take back for Him for all to see!

It may be Friday. It may seem like the world is winning, like satan is winning, but Sunday is on the way!

Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

Some 2500 years ago King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a statue made of various materials: Gold, silver, bronze, iron, and iron mixed with clay. Daniel interpreted this dream as the various kingdoms that would exist before the return of Jesus, each inferior to the latter. Gold – Babylon, Silver – Persia, Bronze – Greece, Iron – Rome, Iron/Clay Mixture – the 10 kingdoms coming out of the the Roman Empire.

All of these kingdoms have indeed existed. We are (and have been for the last 1500 years) in the iron/clay era. The interpretation ends with describing what the “Rock not cut by man” was that came from the sky and obliterated the statue at its base. Daniel 2:44 says, “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”

That Rock is Jesus and He’s coming back to obliterate the kingdoms of this world and set up His kingdom that will endure forever!

Sunday’s a comin’!

Are you ready?

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