The Signs Of The Last Days
There are clear signs, which indicate that we are living in the last days, just prior to Christ’s return. It is with this sober apocalyptic mind that we observe contemporary events unfolding before our eyes.
1. Many Will Come In His Name
One of the signs occurring prior to Jesus’ return is that “many will come in my name, saying, I am your redeemer, as they will lead many astray” (Matthew 24:5). It seems there are more false teachers and preachers today than ever before who proclaim a different gospel than that of Orthodoxy. The masses no longer take spiritual guidance but instead those of secular or political mindsets, which are often ephemeral, fashionable fads, unholy or even demagogic. – How often do we hear of repentance and faith in these days? (Mark 1:15)? Jesus said “many” and not “a few” would be led astray. This means, false teachers usually have large audiences and a great following.
2. Lovers Of Self
One of the signs the apostle Paul gave about the end times is that it is going to be harder and harder to be a true Christian. He writes, “In the last days there will come times of difficulty; for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4). Doesn’t this describe the society in which we live?
St. Paul emphasizes that in the last generation, it will be all about me, i.e. people will be “lovers of self” (2 Tim. 3:2). God will resist those who idolize their own lives (James 4:6) and the lovers of money (2 Tim. 3:2).
3. Increased Martyrdom
Jesus prophesized, “They will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). Researchers have discovered that the number of Christians who were martyred between the year 2000 and 2010 was about one million. That works out to be about 100,000 martyred every year. A single decade had more martyrs than in the previous 2,000 years!
4. Increasing Lawlessness
One of the largest U.S. cities recently recorded 500 homicides only halfway through the year. Jesus warned that “lawlessness will increase” (Matthew 24:12) and “many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another” (Matthew 24:10). This describes what we see and hear in the daily news.
5. Lovers Of Money
We need money to survive; but when money becomes the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10) and, as St. James wrote, deprives some of their fair day’s wages, that is evil in the sight of God. When more and more men and women become lovers of money, we can see one of the signs of the end: that “people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud” (2 Timothy 3:2). St. James rebukes the rich in writing, “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts” (James 5:4).
6. Man-Made And Natural Calamities
A sure sign, which is to occur prior to Jesus’ return, is both man-made and natural: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7). Even though these are only the beginning (Matthew 24:8), there certainly is an increase in hurricanes, floods, droughts, fires, earthquakes, famines and disease.
7. Loving Evil
The apostle Paul was describing the last days, “In the last days there will come times of difficulty” (2 Tim. 3:1). In these “last days” men and women will be “heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving what is good” (2 Tim. 3:3) and will actually be “lovers of evil”. If we see our society today, especially reflected in movies, on the Internet and on TV, evil and immoral behavior is seen as acceptable or even glorified.
God speaking through the prophet Isaiah said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). How very well this describes our society today! To fight for what is right is seen as an evil now. God says, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 17:15).
8. Without Natural Affection
St. Paul says that people in the last days would be “proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy” (2 Tim. 3:2). It seems modern youth is rebelling against parents and authority more and more. The consequences are much more serious nowadays. Even the natural parental love that typically exists seems to be evaporating in our families, though to a lesser extent in Christian homes.
As we see these signs begin to intensify, it confirms that we are indeed living in the last days. Hence, we seek the lost and call them home, foremost to be saved from themselves, while it is still time (2 Corinthians 6:2).