Is the End Near?

You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky.
How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?”

~LUKE  12:56 (NIV)

IN LIGHT OF THE POLITICAL AND CULTURAL CHAOS of our day, I have heard many people ask the question:  “What do you think—is this the end of time?  Is Jesus about to return?”


Good question!  It is certainly one that is worth serious consideration.


On one occasion Jesus gave a scathing rebuke to the crowd that was following Him (Luke 12:54-56) as He taught them about the Kingdom, coming epochs and the end of time.  They knew what a foreboding cloud in the west meant; they knew what a south wind meant, but they didn’t have a clue what the political—social—religious upheaval of the day meant.


You and I know what a red sky at night means.  We know what a red sky in the morning means.  Much like the crowd Jesus rebuked, we struggle to know what the signs of this present time mean.   Some think they mean absolutely nothing.  They reason that Jesus’ words were intentionally obtuse pointing to human events and behavior that have always plagued the history of civilization.  There have always been wars and natural disasters.  Christians in every age since the time of Christ have thought they were witnessing the fulfillment of the ages and the rise of the Anti-Christ.  Some of the past and present world leaders who have been given this most despicable of monikers include Roman Emperor Nero, Stalin, Hitler, Pope Benedict XVI, Reagan, Obama and the current Pope Francis.  Of course, there have been others.  Every false prognostication tends to fuel the belief that Jesus was speaking in intentionally vague terms to drive the point that it is not for us to know.  We are simply to be ready.


There are others who think they see clearly in our day—here and now—the dawn of the end.  Things once thought entirely fanciful, without any possibility of a literal fulfillment, are now not only possible but are on the horizon as a near-future reality.  Though some may seem farfetched, here are a few of the things that are clearly staring us in the face as we prepare to enter year two of what has begun as a most  tumultuous decade (by the way, this is from a non-Christian source, Dr. Joseph Mercola: ( citing the World Economic Forum public relations’ 8 Predictions for the World in 2030—so there is no bent toward a particular eschatology):


  1. You will own nothing—you will rent everything
  2. The U.S. won’t be the world’s leading power
  3. You won’t die waiting for an organ donor—organs will be 3-D printed
  4. Meat will disappear (for the most part) from your diet
  5. A billion people will be displaced by climate change—brace for a flood of refugees in your neighborhood
  6. Polluters will pay to emit carbon dioxide
  7. Travel to and possible colonization of Mars may be a reality
  8. Western values will be at a breaking point


However bizarre this may seem to you, far more ominous and threatening, Mercola warns, are:


  1. The implementation of pandemics as a tool of social control
  2. Health passports to control travel and place violators in isolation or under house arrest
  3. A digital currency system, linked to digital IDs, replacing the currencies of the world. It is already  in the works


Along with these measures, I suggest we can expect more aggressive moves against the Church, including the removal of tax exemption privilege and the imposition of rigid restrictions or cancelation of worship gatherings.


Though I am not one to say definitively that this or that is a prophetic fulfillment of A, B or C, to say they mean nothing seems blind and foolhardy.  Never before have these kinds of storms be so global in nature.  Intensity and frequency appear to be intensifying.  Of course, some storm clouds dissipate before unleashing their potential fury.  I pray that, by God’s grace, this is true of what some say they see now.


But this I can say with confidence.  Jesus is coming back!  We are closer now than we have ever been before.  Jesus warned us that we should be ready at all times.  How is it we know how to read the sky for predicting weather patterns, but we cannot read the signs of our time?


Let’s get our house in order and let the Church be the faithful Church come what may.