When the disciples asked Jesus, “what will be the sign of Your coming and the end of age?” Jesus told them things would get worse before they got better. He then added these words, “see to it that you are not alarmed…” (Matthew 24:6). The only time Jesus uses the word alarmed is in this text. At this moment, he was telling His disciples, and us not to fall apart when bad things happen.
Jesus warns us that there will be signs of deception during the end times. False prophets and false Christs will appear and deceive many. There will be many people who will claim to be the Messiah and also claim to have the answers for a troubled world. In Matthew 24, Jesus gave a warning specifically for our generation. In this passage, Jesus, speaking to us, warns us that false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even elect. These false prophets are not working with sleight of hand illusions. We should be on guard and ask ourselves who these sinister false prophets are. In the end times, people will be crying desperately for leaders to deliver them, and they will seek mystics and religious leaders who claim to have more in-depth knowledge.
There will also be disputes among nations. A significant sign of the end times and Christ’s ultimate return is war and dissension among groups of people, which we see happening right now. The Book of Revelation tells us that the Tribulation Period is filled with a war that will escalate until the world is involved. This war will be terrible, ceaseless, and constant. The Bible says that as we move toward end times, there will be many talks of conflicts, border skirmishes, race wars, and national battles. World military spending has now reached one trillion dollars. The arms trade is big business.
Revelation 12:1 points out our call to share our testimony: “And they [believers on earth] overcome him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” This is the same Lamb pointed out in John 1:29, who takes away the world’s sin. Prince says, “Testifying is the personal action that makes this truth operative. If we do not testify, nothing goes into operation. Our testimony is the action that triggers the whole process and brings Satan’s defeat.” When we begin to testify God’s Word, we experience a special kind of opposition and begin to do the devil harm. The devil is fine with us believing whatever we like to believe until we begin to share our testimony. That’s when he really gets rattled. When you do this, the enemy will do everything he can to frighten and discourage you because He wants to keep you from declaring the Word of God. Yet, your testimony has greater power.
As we get closer and closer to the end times, there will be devastation, including hunger and famine. If you look around the world right now, there are millions of people you will see who are going hungry, despite God blessing us with a fertile, abundant planet. There will also be earthquakes that science has projected will happen and the spread of new diseases. We have noticed an epidemic of new diseases that broke out that we have not been able to control the spread of diseases. Many wonder what all the world’s current devastation is telling us?
It is important to note is that we can’t calculate the date. We should avoid determining a date and time for the end times. Despite many attempts throughout the years to calculate the period, the truth is we cannot calculate the day Christ will return because God specifically chose not to reveal this to us. When Jesus was asked about the apocalyptic time by the apostles, He replied. “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:7-8). Only God knows the date, the time and the hour, and only God knows when the time will run out.
During the end times, Christians will come before the Judgment Seat of Christ. The purpose of this seat is to examine a Christian’s life. The Bible tells us, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). The term used here refers to a summing up and estimation of the total pattern of a believer’s life. The overall focus of this should keep us from worrying about every small thing we’ve ever done, or thoughtless sin we have committed. It’s a time of reward, not punishment. Though we won’t be condemned for our sins, our present lives affect what will happen at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The apostle Paul taught, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). This promise is life-changing, meaning the difference us between victory and defeat during the coming days. As the world gets darker and darker around us, and we face more significant spiritual battles than ever before, we have hope through Jesus Christ. Put on the full armor of God, trust in His Word, and remember these prophetic words that will prepare you for the end times.