The Times to Come: Signs of the Times
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Franklin knew that planning and preparation are key principles that will help you win in this life. What exactly, though, are we to plan for? Well, there are a number of times to come in the future that we should be aware of and prepare for. The first one I want to focus on is “moeds.”
Moeds are appointed times on God’s calendar that will affect us. Whether or not moeds have an ill effect or a positive effect on us depends on our plans and what we know about these appointed times to come.
Probably the first thought that comes to the minds of many Christians when they think about “an appointed time to come” is the return of the Lord—His Second Coming. This is the biggest moed of all on the calendar of God and something that is coming very quickly. Few things will have an effect on your life more than this truth: Jesus could truly come back any moment. If that truly was a revelation to you, it would change how you walk before God, your pursuit of Him, your intensity about getting your family, friends, and coworkers to know God, and how often you bring people to church.
Most of us don’t live with any significant degree of urgency as far as our pursuit of God and His Word are concerned. That reflects the fact the Lord’s imminent return is not real to us. We know it is coming, but we don’t recognize how imminent it truly is.
When I focus on the day in which I live, my sense of urgency grows. It’s not just urgency, but an excited anticipation. It makes me overlook the less significant challenges of daily life about who offended me yesterday or what didn’t work out like I wanted the day before. I forget about the small stuff and focus on the fact of who I am and the day in which I live.
This type of mentality changes our approach to life.
Is It Really Going to Happen?
Peter says that in the last days, scoffers will come who will complain they’ve been hearing about this since they were kids and nothing has happened yet, so they go about their daily affairs. (2 Peter 3:3–4)
No self-respecting Christian would be a scoffer in public, but many scoff secretly in their hearts. It’s dangerous to privately think: I don’t have too much to be concerned about. This has been going on for a long time. Two thousand years ago, they started talking about the return of the Lord and we’re still here.
Let’s take a look at this, so we can see how close we truly are to His return.
Peter continues in 2 Peter chapter 3 to say you can figure out about when it’s going to be: a day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day (2 Peter 3:8). This formula can be used in determining matters of end time theology and the return of the Lord, but please don’t apply it to anything else or you’ll be hopelessly confused.
We are given indication that the length of the church age (from the time Jesus was here to the time He’ll come again) is two thousand years. That is approximate for a couple reasons. First and most importantly, the Bible says that no man can know the day or the hour. Second, other factors make it difficult for us to know when that 2,000 years began and when it will end. We live by the Gregorian calendar, which is different from the lunar calendar, the timetable that God’s end time prophecies are based upon. Also, much controversy exists among theologians as to when we should start the timing of the 2,000 years—the birth of Jesus, the death of Jesus, His resurrection, or the day of Pentecost.
The Bible says we won’t know the day or the hour of His coming, but it does tells us we are to know the times and the seasons in which we live. Around two thousand years have passed, and most commentators and Bible scholars agree that there’s about a 50-year window of time within which that 2,000 years will end. It could have been as early as 1980. The other edge of possibility would be about 50 years after that, 2030. Somewhere within this 50-year window is about as close as we can get to the return of our Lord.
One of the greatest signs of all, the re-gathering of Israel, happened in 1948. The Lord said that this generation will not pass away till all these things come to pass. The way I look at this is that anybody born a day before Israel became a nation in 1948 all the way up to the present day are the ones who will see the return of the Lord. (Certainly, there will be people that die prematurely.) What is the average lifespan right now? Eighty years. That means those born in 1948 right before Israel became a nation would be the last ones that met that scriptural qualification. Add 80 years to that and you get 2028; that’s getting pretty close to that fifty-year window mentioned earlier.
Even though we are right in the middle of that season of time, it doesn’t seem to be enough for most Christians to stay stirred about the day in which we live. It’s too easy to do things that everybody else in the world does—going about your business, living mostly in the world. We need more of an imminent sense of the Lord’s return in the day that we live in because it could literally happen any day.
Well, I think there is a way to stir ourselves up, as the Word says, about the imminence of Christ’s return, and that’s what I will address in my article, The Times to Come: Blood Moons, which will be posted here next week.
To read the previous article in this series, click here for The Times to Come: Planning.