“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.” – Luke 21:25.
The past two years have been marked by storms of record ferocity, apocalyptic damage and thousands of deaths. The US has now been hit by five category 4 hurricanes of 130 mph plus – Harvey, Irma, Maria (Puerto Rico’s deadliest disaster) Florence and now Michael – in the past two storm seasons, the most in 150 years of records. This storms left billions of dollars in damage and ruined lives in their wake. And lest we forget, an 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico in 2017 and the Fiji islands in 2018. We have out-of-control wildfires raging in the west, and we recently experienced a rare solar eclipse. These storms and other events cause people to wonder whether all this is a sign of the end times. Is all this a sign that Christ will soon return?
There is a big difference between knowing that Jesus could return today and knowing that He will return today. While some areas of prophecy are unclear to us, the Bible is very clear on one thing: no one knows the specific time of Christ’s return. Jesus Himself stated, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.” (Acts 1:7) And when referring to his return Jesus said this in Matthew 24:36: “… no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” So how can we possibly know what the Son Of God does not know. And even if we knew we were living in the last days, we cannot know how long the last days will last.
The time of His coming is something God has not revealed to anyone, and so, until He calls us to Himself, we should continue serving Him. In Jesus’ parable of the ten talents, the departing king instructs his servants to “‘Invest this for me while I am gone.” (Luke 19:13 ) Even in the midst of the devastation of Hurricane Michael, we need to continue “investing” in the kingdom of God. We, too, should view every day as a gift and use it to glorify God.
- Why do you think the topic of the end times is so interesting to everybody?
- If we are in the end times, how would that change how you live your life?