This is the 2nd of a series on Signs of the Lord’s Soon Return and will begin with Sign #8.
8. Men will substitute fantasy in place of Christian truth (2 Timothy 4:4). This is so evident at Christmas when the birth of the Savior is lost behind the myth of Santa Claus or the Easter bunny instead of the Lord’s resurrection. These used to be minor distractions while Christmas and Easter pageants celebrating the Savior, Jesus Christ dominated homes, schools, and society. Today, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny dominate and schools and businesses dare not mention Jesus for fear of law suits!
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, [because] they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn [their] ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” – 2 Timothy 4:4.
As Isaiah prophesied “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” (Isaiah 59:14). Men of economics and business were willing to sacrifice truth for the sake of a buck. The people accepted the changes for the sake of entertainment and leaders of the Church accepted it because pleasing the people was more important than pleasing God. What no one realized was any weakening of God’s truth also diminishes justice.
9. Deadly diseases would be prevalent (Matthew 24:7). The worldwide increase in AIDS deaths is almost inestimable. Over 160,000 Americans die of cancer each year. Everyone is now aware of the danger of Ebola that is sweeping through many parts of Africa, and may spread to other parts of the world as well. New deadly viruses seem to appear yearly, such as the mysterious fever that is now paralyzing and killing American children.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. – Matthew 24:7
11. The institution of marriage would be forsaken by many (1 Timothy 4:3). Many will think of the hot-button current issue of homosexual and lesbian marriage sweeping the land. However, the problem is much greater than this! Teacher friends tell me that the typical class room is filled with 50%, or more, children living in broken homes or with unmarried parents. Some have no idea who their real father is or where he is!
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry,” – 1 Timothy 4:1-3
All of society is based on the family. Without it there is no stability. King David understood this when he wrote, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). The answer is NOT MUCH! The prophet Malachi states the purpose of marriage –
“Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.” – Malachi 2:14,15
Marriage involves a covenant with God therefore broken marriage relations equals broken relationship with God. God’s purpose in marriage is to produce ‘godly seed’, in other words, well adjusted children that understand what life is all about. Is this failure the reason behind the rise in violent youth culture, such as gangs, crime raves, ‘knock out’ games, yes even our youth willing to become terrorists?
These trends were predicted and are signs of the soon coming of the Lord. Have they happened before? Perhaps some of them, but not in the combination and severity of today’s culture. But, I don’t want to leave you on such a negative note. The same Bible that did not hide the problems that accompany the end times also encouraged us that when we see these things, “LOOK UP! FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWS NEAR!”