Who's going to lead us to the end?

There are many things in scripture. Huge things and small things. A few examples regarding the state of man and society: Scripture says we’ll be going to and fro, knowledge will increase, people will be proud, boasters, lovers of themselves, lovers of money, without natural affection, scoffers…

It’s true these things have always been around, but it seems to me technology and our changing morals has allowed them to worsen exponentially.

For example, going to and fro. With the 20th century advances in travel, the automobile, modern highway system and of course the airplane, trips that used to take months can be made in hours.

Knowledge will increase. Not only have we made schools available to most everyone, but with the creation of the internet, a world ok knowledge is available to anyone with a computer.

As for pride, boasting, lovers of self and money, yup, they’ve always been around. But, as with the other things, making money seems to be an obsession in society. There are more millionaires and billionaires now than ever and people are making that kind of money in endeavors undreamed of until fairly recently. Sports, entertainment, music, and again the internet has facilitated money making.

Without natural affection… This is one I think has especially come to fruition in some notable ways. What is natural affection? The love of mother to her child? The love of a man to his wife and vice versa? As I look at society I observe a noticable difference and s shift of focus in both. Abortion, child neglect and abuse, broken homes, out of wedlock births and the rise of militant homosexuality and the fairly recent trans and multi gender movement. None of these is natural, meaning according to God’s will and plan.

These things are the tip of the iceberg in end times prophecies…

Seems there has been a great increase in the “to and fro” over the last 100 years with autos and then planes. Likely will see more improvements.

Agreed that the Internet has enabled info to be more widely disseminated. But there is a side to the Internet this that contradicts this.

The Internet has also made us incapable of discerning truth, and hence less knowledgeable. We are inundated with information with no way of discerning what is valuable information and what is not. One could argue we are stepping back.

True. I would say society has become more obsessed with money. Look no further than our millionaire preachers and the avid support they get. They symbolize perfectly this love of money over Christianity.

From a high level, let me just echo others in noting that generation after generation of Christian has said they live in the end times starting from the death of Christ up until today.

There is a bit of arrogance in thinking the end times will occur in our chosen generation. We all yearn to be special.

Looking for signs devolves into finding what might fit the prophecies and declaring it a match when it remains debatable.

You have some good points. People have been predicting the return of Christ for centuries. Sure, most Christians want to be that generation, and at some point they will be. A big difference now us that Israel had to come back into existence.

I read a book on prophecy awhile back by H. A. Ironside published in about 1919 or 1920. He was clear that Christ could not return until after the Jews were returned to their homeland, which was 28 years in the future of his book. My point is that though Jesus said no man knows exactly when he will return, he did say when you see these things come to pass, start looking. Those things are coming to pass, and the statehood of Israel was a huge fulfillment of prophecy.

I agree too, there have been, and still are false prophets and preachers making a lot of money using Jesus’ name. Jesus also said " They have their reward." They will not escape judgement.

As for the follies of the internet, yeah, not everything on the internet is true, but there absolutely us a lot of good valuable knowledge to be gained from the internet. It is our responsibility to discern truth from error on the internet, likewise discerning true doctrine from false doctrine in the Bible is our responsibility. It’s the ability to spread knowledge around the world with the internet that I believe is the possible fulfillment of that prophecy, not necessarily what people do with it. Like the saying goes " you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink."

Thanks for the thoughtful response. As to the Internet, another point is we are drowning in information. Even if we say it is true info, how do we process and are we any better off in knowing? What value is it for someone in Philadelphia to know about some heinous carjacking murder in Los Angeles? Or that there was a tornado in Oklahoma. Is it important news for America?

These ideas came to me from the books, Technopoly and Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman. Good reads.

The discussion reminded me of something else out of my mother’s SBC - they taught that the Antichrist couldn’t come to power until the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem was destroyed and the Temple of Solomon rebuilt (which the Antichrist would then subsequently defile by establishing his throne there). Not sure if that jives with what you’ve been taught/read.

I especially like the part when people asked Jesus about End Times. Jesus never presented this new idea, it was an extremely old idea. People had been talking about it for at least a thousand years–which means thousands upon thousands of generations have been convinced end days were in their own foreseeable future.

Who came up with this idea? It was not God. It was not Jesus. It was man. And the reason it came up is that either a cynic or realist looked at human history and decided that man could not build and maintain a good government. Only God could. And, because man was basically so evil, that if we were ever to be delivered from this evil, God would have to come down and take over.

The “problem” is that mankind is also made up of enough goodness that total evil hasn’t been able to maintain a proper foothold–something that did not seem to occur to our ancient ancestors. They were too pessimistic. An optimistic ancestor would have opted for, “Mankind is so good that there will come a day when the goodness here will be great enough to receive the goodness of God.”

We would all be working to build and maintain a good world, looking forward to the coming of the Lord–not dreading the Day of the Lord.

The temple will be rebuilt and it will be defiled by the Anti- Christ, but not before the rapture. There are already preparations underway. Items in the temple have already been recreated, and I have heard there is a new San Hedrin and I’ve heard, though I remain skeptical, that the ark of the covenant was never really lost and that it’s location is known. Yeah, some speculation here. Of course there are different beliefs about the rapture. Some believe it will occur before, some during and some after the tribulation.

But do you believe it has to be rebuilt at the same spot, aka at the current location of the mosque?

Meri, the Apostles watched Jesus ascend into heaven. He himself said that he would return in the same manner he ascended. He also promised that he was going to prepare a place for his bride (the church), and that he would return and take his bride away. You often speak of customs of the time being cited in scripture. This was the custom of the time. Scripture also says we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and meet the Lord in the air. How do you interpret these things? And there are many other things that say and imply a literal return of Jesus, a tribulation and then Jesus establishing a literal thousand year reign on Earth…

As for government, It was God’s intent that he reign over his people. How much more perfect a government could be established? Unfortunately, his people looked and turned to the very world they were supposed to turn from, that they looked to and envied. They demanded of Samuel that they be given a king, so they could be like the other nations. God told Samuel to grant that request but to give them a warning of what they would get. The rest, as they say, is history.

Do you have an example throughout human history, of a government that has lived up to the ideas of goodness the optimist would have said is ready to receive the goodness of God? Do you foresee any leaders rising today heralding in this era of goodness?

I don’t see it Meri. I see no secular ideaology or religion that is going to unite the world, or even a single nation in a state of goodness. in our own country, we are being more and more divided, not United at all.

Actually, I do. But to be honest I never have considered the possibility of it being rebuilt anywhere else. I suspect at one time in my study that I learned the significance of the location, and why prophetically it must be rebuilt on the original site, but right now I can’t recall. I will have to do some digging on that.

They do sound interesting, I will look for those. I absolutely believe we are amusing ourselves to death. The very word A-muse means without thought. I definitely believe people have been robbed of their ability to think.

Again, their is definitely a downside to the internet, but a good side too. But an increase in knowledge is only one specific thing given in prophecy. It is many other things. For example, China and Russia have been more antagonistic of each other than friends. They had a long dispute over borders and land that near brought them to war in 1969. Now they are both considered to be the two biggest threats to the US, and then Israel by extension. They both are more in Iran’s side than Israel’s and Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map. We are seeing nations coming together in cooperation and alliances that were not conceivable until recently.

Before his death, Stephen saw him, he saw the heavens open and Jesus standing there.

The angels told the apostles that Jesus would return in the same way they saw him going up to heaven.

This can be viewed in two very different ways. One, is that all the people currently on earth will see Jesus’ return. Or, it can be viewed that at our death we will see Jesus returning for us as individuals.

Certainly upon death there is a change that occurs in a twinkling of an eye.

And, it can be said that each individual decides whether or not s/he allows God to reign over his/her life. Who governs us, who do we follow?

Donald J. Teeeeerump

I absolutely agree that we accept Jesus as our ruler on an individual basis. And, I think you would agree that if everyone in society allowed Jesus to reign in their individual lives ( or at least if most allowed), then society would be immeasurably better off. If the pool of people we elect our leaders from were Christians, then we wouldn’t have the rampant dishonesty and corruption that we have in Washington.

Gods’ command to us is to obey him first, however, he also commands us to obey those appointed over us right up to the point they contradict God’s commands. I just don’t foresee a state of goodness coming about by the deeds of fallen man that will be able to receive a holy God.

Who also will be judged by God…

Christians are electing Christians…yet governments, as ever, remain incompetent in many matters and often corrupt. This is not to say there is no goodness present, only that government by its very nature attracts the greedy–those greedy for money and those greedy for power.

Meanwhile, much like ivy, we can chop off government tendrils at the borders of our own lives to the extent possible. (Think drugs, abortion, divorce and other things government allows.) We have control over our own life, and whose rule under which rule we choose to live. We can live in another kingdom.

No, we are not commanded to obey government, not when government encroaches on us. Federal governments are to take care of national matters–i.e., trade, transportation, national security. Once federal government reaches into personal lives (divorce, abortion, drugs, etc.) it is trespassing and encroaching outside its jurisdiction.

Jesus said " Render unto Caesar" not rebel against high taxes or laws we don’t like. We are commanded to obey the magistrates and governor’s and the laws of our land UNTIL they reach a point of contradicting God. You say “encroaching on us”, but we can only determine where the lines of encroachment are if they are constant and immovable. The colonists used this understanding to rebel against their lawful king.

Scripture doesn’t mention “end times.” It does mention “the time of the end.” The “time of the end” was near according to the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor and Phil. Paul affirmed that the “time of the end was near, and the goal of the previous ages had arrived.”

John said “it is the last hour.” The “last days” were present when he wrote, and were rapidly coming to a close.

The last days had a “last day,” and a “last hour.” Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 about “those days” that would lead up to the final day of the end of the age.

God can tell time and He didn’t leave us in the dark about “the time of the end.”