If our goal is to reach the world, why are we not killing ourselves to get all the promises of the coming world?
There are no conditions that we can or must meet to bring the coming world, but we do have responsibilities which God has asked us to perform. Ultimately, God is in control about the timing of the end of the world. During the last days of Jesus’ time on this earth, He gave us some signs to help us know when the end of the world would come. But even if the signs are fulfilled, that does not mean He is coming tomorrow. It only means the prerequisites have been fulfilled. We will look at several signs which Jesus gave us and a sign given to us in the book of Daniel.
Suffering and Salvation
Jesus told us of a number of signs in Matthew 24.
Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.
These signs include suffering for Jesus, people leaving the faith, false teachers, civil disobedience, a growing absence of love for one another, and the spread of the gospel throughout the world. None of these signs are promises that He will come immediately. All but two of the signs are negative. The first sign is “suffering for Jesus.” It is a reason for joy to a Christian because Jesus has promised a great reward to those who suffer.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (NASB) Matthew 5:10-12
The last sign is something we can help to bring about. It is the spread of the good news about Jesus throughout the world. That is something we can all do. That is a responsibility of every Christian.
. . . But these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. (NASB) 2 Timothy 2:2-6
Peace In Israel
Another sign of the coming of the end of the world is peace in the Middle East – peace between Israel and its neighbors. In Daniel 9:26-27 we are told that at the end of time, one will come who will make peace with the Jewish people.
And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week (NASB) Daniel 9:27
This person is the Antichrist. He will bring peace to the Middle East. The peace treaty between Israel and its neighbors, however, will only last for 3.5 years. That is a significant sign, but I would not want to be responsible for causing it to occur, since anyone who brings this peace will either be the Antichrist or one of his associates. It is possible that there could be many peace treaties in the Middle East before this important one occurs.
It is important to remember that Christians for two thousand years have believed that Jesus was coming soon. But God has delayed His coming. The signs of the times are marching toward the end – at least so it seems. God has called us to tell others about Jesus. That is the most important thing we can do. He calls us to pray for His coming and to eagerly wait for Him.
. . . so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (NASB) Hebrews 9:28
Yes, Lord come quickly.