It is said that everything that has a beginning has an end. And as sure as this world began so shall it end. The end time is the period just before the end of the world. The end of the world itself will see a number of things come to pass, some of which are described by Daniel in Dan 12:1-3 - the resurrection of the dead - judgment and rewards
The Essence of Knowing the Signs of Times
Knowing or understanding the times in which one lives is very important. This is because it has a direct correlation with how one behaves in the midst of the times. So the Bible says of the sons of Issachar that they wean re men which had understanding of the times and knew what Israel ought to do. 1 Chr 12:32. And if you look at the various messages that Jesus preached about the end times, one thing that can be observed is a lack of understanding of the times on the part of the people who lived or will live in the time of God’s judgement: In the Noah story for example, Jesus indicated:
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And KNEW NOT until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
In subsequent verses of tMatt 24:37-39, he said:
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house HAD KNOWN in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
So there is always the element of being caught unawares; that’s why it’s important for us to know the signs of the end times and, like the sons of Issachar, know what to do.
From the text read for us, Jesus, in response to the disciples’ question about the signs of the times that would precede the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, an event that actually took place in AD70, also wove in signs of the end times. The signs he mentioned included, in order of appearance in the text:
• Wars and rumours of wars
• Earthquakes, famines and troubles
• The spread of the Gospel
• The abomination of desolation
• False Christs and prophets
These signs, many of which are manifest in our generation, are indicative of the imminence of the end time. Of particular note are the many prophets who have sprung up around the world today; and we do not need to look far to see them – they are on our on radios and TV screens day and night teaching and doing all kinds of things in the name of Christ. If nothing tells informs us about the times in which we live, if wars, persecutions and the like seem far from us, at least, the abundance of false prophets in our nation should.
What should our attitude be in these times?; if the end is near what should we do? The author of the epistle to the Hebrews, highlighting the superiority of the sacrifice of Christ to sacrifices offered by the priests of the old covenant and the fact that by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we have been sanctified and perfected for ever and our sins and iniquities are no more remembered by God, encourages us to, on the basis of the finished work of Christ, do a number of things:
• draw near to God with a heart full of assurance of faith
• hold fast the profession of our faith
• provoke one another to love and good works
• not forsake the assembling of ourselves together
• exhort one another
It is only those who have trusted in Jesus and have been sanctified who can face the end with confidence.