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The Signs of Christ's Second Coming

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Samuel Smith
5

LESSON 2

THE SIGNS OF CHRIST'S SECOND COMING

You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

In this edition, we continue with our series on The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. The topic for this study is: The Signs of Christ's Second Coming. In this study we are going to consider from Scripture the signs that will precede the Second Coming of Christ.

1. Beloved, if you have ever wanted to know the exact period of time that Christ would come to redeem His children from this terrible world, then you are not alone. Right back in the time of ancient Israel, the Disciples of Christ also pondered a similar question, and were bold enough to ask their Master about it.

The story unfolds right inside the magnificent temple situated at the capital city of Judea. Christ had just finished teaching the people, and was actually departing from the temple when one of His disciples approached Him and drew His attention to the splendor of the buildings in the temple (Mark 13:1; Matthew 24:1). But instead of affirming the beauty of this Jewish temple, Christ rather made a prophecy in relation to the temple buildings which made this disciple to gasp with fear. For He told him that there shall not be left in the buildings of the temple, one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (Mark 13:2; Matthew 24:2). The disciples couldn't allow these serious words from their Master to just pass by without seeking further insights from Him. And so as Christ sat on the Mount of Olives, some of His disciples came unto Him privately and asked Him some questions that were supposed to elicit further light from their Master in relation to the prophecy He had made about the temple in Jerusalem.

Now from Matthew 24:3, we read about some serious questions the disciples asked Christ: "And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Friends, these two questions related to the time of Jerusalem's destruction and the signs that will precede the second advent of Christ; and subsequently, the end of the world. Unknown to these disciples, the response that Christ will give them in relation to these two questions was going to serve as a lighthouse to the people of God who will be living at the time of the end.

2. Beloved, from Luke's account of this passage in Matthew 24, we learn clearly about the sign that Christ gave the disciples concerning their first question on the destruction of Jerusalem. We read from Luke 21:20-24 the following words of Christ: "21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

(Luke 21:20-24)
Friends, after Christ had ascended to heaven, His disciples who were in Jerusalem continued to watch out for the sign that was to herald Jerusalem's destruction. Now, in A. D. 66 when Cestius Gallus laid a siege over Jerusalem, the Christians in the city saw in this event the sign from their Master in relation to Jerusalem's destruction. Now, when Gallus unexpectedly raised the siege, the Christians in the city took that opportunity and fled from the city. History records that many of the Christians fled from Jerusalem to a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella.

Beloved, just four years later after the Christians had fled the city, came the fall of Jerusalem. For in A. D. 70, Titus laid another siege around Jerusalem, and his battering rams broke down the great walls. According to Jewish historian, Josephus, terrible were the experiences that the Jews went through during the siege and the final overthrow of the city. According to this historian, 1,100,000 Jews perished and nearly 100,000 were taken captive during the destruction of Jerusalem. And as Christ prophesied concerning the temple, not one stone was left upon another that was not thrown down by the army of Titus. Remarkably however, no single Christian perished in this destruction because they heeded the words of their Master.

Friends, besides the sign which was to precede Jerusalem's destruction, Christ also gave the disciples some signs which will precede His second advent and ultimately, the end of the world. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the first event that Christ mentioned in Matthew 24 to precede His second coming was the tribulation. From Matthew 24:21-22, we read the words of Christ concerning this tribulation period: "24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
From Christ's words in this passage, this tribulation period was to affect the elect or saints of God. Many Bible scholars see this great tribulation to refer to the 1260 years of Papal persecution of God's faithful children. Friends, this period of 1260 year rule of the Papacy (which began from 538 A. D. to 1798) saw the persecution and massacre of several of God's faithful children who decided to make the Bible the rule of their faith. But as Christ prophesied, the days of this tribulation period were to be shortened for the elect's sake. And beloved, that was exactly what happened. You see, even though the Papal power ruled from 538 A. D. up to 1798, through the increasing influence of the Protestant reformation over Europe, her persecution of the elect ceased somewhere around 1776.

3. Now, as we journey through Matthew 24, we encounter several other signs that will precede the second advent of Christ. Among these signs are a set of peculiar heavenly signs which were to immediately follow the tribulation period. From Matthew 24:29, we read Christ's words in relation to the signs that are to follow the great tribulation: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Matthew 24:29).

Friends, as we consider this same account of heavenly signs which precede Christ's second coming in other portions of Scripture, we learn from Revelation 16:12-13 that before the darkening of the sun and the falling stars is a mighty earthquake. Thus, considering the timeline of these three prophetic events, this earthquake could refer to none other quake than the great Lisbon earthquake which occurred on the 1st of November, 1755. This earthquake was without doubt the most terrible earthquake ever recorded at the time.

From the chronology of Christ's prophecy, a dark day was to follow the great Lisbon earthquake. And friends, on the 19th day of May, 1780, the sun was darkened. In fact, there was a spectacular darkening of the sun in the eastern part of continental America. This phenomenon which began around 10 am lasted several hours; and that night as Christ prophesied, the moon appeared as red as blood.

Fifty - three years later, on November 13, 1833, the final sign Christ gave in respect to these heavenly wonders showed up across the United States. Falling stars, in the form of huge meteor showers, rained down for several hours from Maine to Mexico. And many feared the end of the world had come.

4. But friends, more signs were to follow these heavenly wonders before the second coming of Christ. In fact, after Christ had narrated the peculiar heavenly signs which were to immediately follow the great tribulation, He then unraveled unto the disciples a plethora of events that were to mark or characterize the very last days of this earth's history. Beloved, by doing a synoptic study of this topic in the gospels (that is, by considering the various accounts of this story in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21), we gather various signs that are to usher in the kingdom of the Son of God. Now, as we read from these three passages of Scripture in the gospels; as well as other key end time passages of Scripture, we glean the following signs that serve as immediate precursors to the second coming of Christ:

A. DECEPTION WILL ABOUND THROUGH FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS

Key Texts:

i) "4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Matthew 24:4-5).

ii) "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matthew 24:11).

iii) "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24).

(Supporting texts: Mark 13:5-6; 21-23, Luke 21:8)

FULFILLMENT: False prophets and false Christ’s abound on every side today. Nevertheless, we should give thanks to God that Christ Himself gave us one particular sign that can enable us to tell these false prophets from the good ones. For Christ said in Matthew 7:16 and 20 that by their fruits, we shall know them. That is, they may profess to be shepherds of the Lord, but through their character we will know that they are not messengers of the Living God but rather agents of the devil. These false prophets will also teach contrary to the clear message of Scripture (Isaiah 8:20), and their prophecies may sometimes also fail to come to pass (Deuteronomy 18:22).

But friends, despite these clear signs from the Bible which unmasks these false prophets, they are still able to hold many people bound to their deceptions because of the miracles that they are able to perform through the power of Satan (Revelation 16:13-14; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Beloved, don't just follow prophets basically because they perform miracles. The Bible says we should "... believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). Check them out whether their character and message are consistent with the Bible. From Matthew 7:15-23, Christ gave us further warnings in regard to false prophets. The account in this passage reads: "7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

(Matthew 7:15-23)

B) CIVIL AND INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS WILL ABOUND

Key Text:

i) "6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: ..." (Matthew 24:6-7)

(Supporting texts: Mark 13: 7-8; Luke 21:9-10)

FULFILLMENT: The twenty - first century has witnessed the horrors of several civil wars and international conflicts. Some of these wars are listed below:

World War 2 (1939-1945)Fatalities: 50,000,000

Vietnam War (1965-1975)Fatalities: 2,048,050

Iran-Iraq War (1985-1988) Fatalities: 644,500

First Gulf War (1990-1991)Fatalities: 22,848

Rwanda Civil War (Hutus vs Tutsis: 1990-1994)Fatalities: 520,718

Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-2001)Fatalities: 18,119

Liberia Civil War (1989-2003)Fatalities: 15,970

Iraq vs US led coalition (2003-2003)Fatalities: 8,202

Civil War in Cote d’Ivoire (2002-2004)Fatalities: 1,370

Libyan Civil War (2011-2011)Fatalities: 2,082

Ugandan Civil War (1980-2013)Fatalities: 127,529

Israel vs Palestine (1949-2014)Fatalities: 15,216

Somalia Civil War (1982-2014)Fatalities: 39,549

Afghanistan War (2001-2014)Fatalities: 53,925

Iraqi Insurgency (2004-2014)Fatalities: 28,863

Nigerian Government vs Boko Haram (2009-2014)Fatalities: 4,627

Syrian Civil War (2011-2014)Fatalities: 43,195

South Sudan Civil War (2011-2014)Fatalities: 1,755

Libyan Government vs Insurgents (2014-2014)Fatalities: 2,500

Friends, as Christ prophesied, the time has come when we hear of wars and rumours of wars. For civil wars and international conflicts are so widespread and commonplace today, that now we often take them for granted.

C) FAMINE WILL ABOUND IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD

Key Text:

i) "...and there shall be famines,..." (Matthew 24:7)

(Supporting texts: Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11)

FULFILLMENT: As Christ prophesied, there are many in our world today who are literally starving to death because they cannot meet the basic necessities of life such as food. In fact, from the United Nations statistics on hunger and world poverty, we find that about 21,000 people die every day due to hunger or hunger-related causes. "This is one person every four seconds, ... Sadly it is children who die most often."

Moreover, from the World Hunger Education Service, we read the following: "The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 805 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2012-2014. Almost all the hungry people, 791 million, live in developing countries." Friends, in a world where there could be enough food to feed everyone, we are experiencing these negative hunger statistics as a result of human greed and selfishness. Oh! How the Saviour beckons each one of us to be His representatives, and work to alleviate the suffering of some poor hungry souls in some part of the world (Matthew 25:34-40).

D) EARTHQUAKES, TSUNAMIS AND HURRICANES WILL ABOUND IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD

Key Texts:

i) "...and there shall be... earthquakes, in divers places." (Matthew 24:7)

ii) "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, ... and fearful sights..." (Luke 21:11)

iii) "... the sea and the waves roaring" (Luke 21:25)

(Supporting text: Mark 13:8)

FULFILLMENT: According to the Sydney morning herald; December 30, 2003, we read the following: From 1923 to 1988, there were only nine major earthquakes. That is 9 major earthquakes in 65 years. However, from 1990 to 2003, there were 14 major earthquakes in 13 years. Beloved, one of the deadliest earthquakes recorded in recent history was the Nepal earthquake which occurred on the 25th of April 2015. This earthquake killed about 9,000 people and injured about 23,000. It is sobering to learn that "In 2016, a total of 1696 earthquakes, with magnitude of 5 or more, were recorded worldwide" (https://www.statista.com).Friends, tsunamis and hurricanes are also commonplace now. The tsunami which occurred in Haiti on the 12th of January, 2010 is still fresh in the minds of many. For great was the loss which this catastrophe left in its wake. We are living at a time in the history of our world when several fierce storms and hurricanes are being witnessed in several places. And these catastrophes are occurring at a rate that our resources are just not enough to manage the utter destruction that these convulsions of nature leave behind. Friends, Christ's words in relation to this prophecy have been terribly fulfilled in our day.

E) PESTILENCES WILL ABOUND IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD

Key Text:

i) "... and there shall be ... pestilences, ..." (Matthew 24:7)

(Supporting text: Luke 21:11)

FULFILLMENT: A pestilence is "a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating;" (Merriam-Webster) Beloved, examples of pestilences that have hit our world in this 21st century are tuberculosis, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, anthrax, malaria, cancer, hepatitis, Ebola, hantavirus, E. coli, salmonella, HIV, West Nile, swine flu etc. Today, many people live in constant dread of contaminating one dangerous disease or the other. For pestilences that were unknown only a few years ago have taken our world by storm.

F) FEAR WILL GRIP MANY IN THE WORLD

Key Texts:

i) "... and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; ..." (Luke 21:25)

ii) "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:" (Luke 21:26)

FULFILLMENT: At the moment, many people are living in constant fear of the future. The destruction of the World Trade Centre in the United States on September 11, 2001 coupled with terrorist activities in various parts of the world today have brought great fear into the hearts of many. Besides world terrorism, the possession of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction by several nations in our world today, make many people to shudder when they think about the future. Moreover friends, negative world conditions such as extreme population growth in the world, the greenhouse effect, the diminishing ozone layer, the economic difficulties in various countries, as well as the political instability across the world, are among the few of the issues that have put great fear into the hearts of many in our world today. But friends, amidst all these negative issues that are affecting our world in our time, Christ's assurance to His children is this: "Let not your hearts be troubled" (John 14:1). "Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20).

G) THE WORLD WILL BE A GLOBAL VILLAGE. PEOPLE WILL TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH EASE.

Key Text:

i) "... , even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, ..." (Daniel 12:4)

FULFILLMENT: I believe many of us are witnesses to the fact that it is now easy to travel across the globe than it was some few years ago. Friends, some few decades from now, travelling was quite a tedious undertaking. However, today with super-fast trains, planes and ships, people are able to move from one part of the globe to the other within a matter of a few hours. The world has basically become a global village.

H) THERE WILL BE INCREASE IN GENERAL AND SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE. MOREOVER, THE CLOSED BOOKS OF BIBLE PROPHECY WILL BE OPENED TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF GOD'S PEOPLE.

Key Text:

i) "... , and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4)

FULFILLMENT: When we cast our eyes around us, we see the fulfillment of this prophecy in a very significant manner. Knowledge has really increased in all spheres of life. At the moment, it looks as if there are inventions to make all arduous tasks quite easy. And friends, a large percentage of the people behind these great inventions are still living.

Moreover, the closed prophecies of the book of Daniel have also been opened up to the understanding of God's people. Before 1798, God's people couldn't really get a clearer understanding of end time prophecies. But friends, these prophecies are now open to the understanding of the children of God across the globe. In fact, this capacity to understand clearly the prophecies in relation to the end time has accelerated the preaching of the everlasting gospel and the three angels' messages as recorded in Revelation 14:6 -12.

I) HOMOSEXUALS WILL ABOUND

Key Text:

i) "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; ... Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:28, 30)

FULFILLMENT: Friends, the Sodom sign is not something new in our world today. From Scripture, we come across this practice in various time periods of the world (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). However, from the prophecy of Christ in Luke 17:28 and 30, we learn that this evil practice will abound just prior to the second advent of our Lord. At the moment, there are about 20 countries in our world, whose parliaments have passed laws encouraging homosexuality among their citizens nationwide. Just recently, on the 26th of June, 2015, the United States of America joined the ranks of nations who through legislation have encouraged this evil practice on their land.

Beloved, besides the secular world, the practice of homosexuality has permeated even into various religious denominations. For instance, from the Sydney Morning Herald, August 18, 2001, we read that "In Australia from 23% to 58% of priests ... are gay. Friends, as the world rushes to an end, we are going to see great numbers of the human race engaging in this demonic practice. And as the wrath of God was poured out on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19-1-28; Jude 1:7), so will the Lord pour out His wrath on the wicked inhabitants of this world.

J) PEOPLE WILL SEEK AFTER PLEASURE

Key Text:

i) "This know also, that in the last days... men shall be lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

FULFILLMENT: We are living at a time in the history of our world when people have become lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Satan has blinded many with pleasurable activities so they wouldn't perceive the seriousness of the times in which we live. Many in our world today will rather indulge in pleasurable activities such as: secular TV, soaps and movies; competitive sports of various kinds; the internet, social media, and their associated pornographic content, secular shows and contexts; and night clubs, loose parties and the like instead of spending time with God. Thus it is that in the lives of many, the God of creation is absent, and the god of pleasure reigns.

K) THERE WILL BE A DISOBEDIENT YOUTH

Key Text:

i) "This know also, that in the last days ... disobedient to parents,.." (2 Timothy 3:1-2)

FULFILLMENT: Beloved, I hope you will agree with me that we are living at a time that children are extremely disobedient to their parents.

In 1993, the former Secretary of Education, William Bennett, made the following statement in connection with the moral decadence in America's public schools: "Over the years teachers have been asked to identify the top problems in America's public schools. In 1940 teachers identified talking out of turn; chewing gum; making noise; running in halls; cutting in line; dress code infractions; and littering. When teachers were asked the same question in 1990, it was a completely different assessment, they identified drug abuse; alcohol abuse; suicide; rape; pregnancy; robbery; and assault." -William Bennett "Index Of Leading Cultural Indicators," p. ii (www.goodfight.org)Friends, according to the Sunday Herald Sun, November 13, 2005, we read the following: "More than half of Australian parents admit they can't control their children. A report on 4500 parents in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney found 56 percent feel they are failing to deal with bad behavior. About 52 percent reported suffering high levels of stress when trying to discipline their kids. And one-third admitted needing professional help."Beloved, I believe the results of this study do not apply to Australia alone, but will also be found true in other parts of the world. For the signs of a disobedient youth are among other signs that do herald our Saviour's soon return.

L) INIQUITY (SIN) WILL ABOUND

Key Texts:

i) "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:12).

ii) "1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

FULFILLMENT: Currently, the world is being filled with so much sin that the love of most men and women are growing cold. Among the growing signs of iniquity in our world today is the breakdown of the family system through divorce. Beloved, the extent at which the divorce rate is rising in various countries of the world is alarming. For instance, from the National Center for Health Statistics in America, we gather the following detail about the annual number of divorces and annulments in the United States:

1900 - 55,751 divorces and annulments1920 - 170,506 divorces and annulments1950 - 385,000 divorces and annulments1975 - 1,036,000 divorces and annulments1990 - 1,182,000 divorces and annulments2000 - 1,100,000 divorces and annulments

Friends, besides the high collapse of marriages today, our world is currently also witnessing the growing tide of every other imaginable form of sin. Beloved, what happened in the days of Noah and Lot is being repeatedly in our world today. The thoughts of both men and women are becoming evil continually. Our world is on the verge of reaching a point of iniquity where God's people will literally feel uncomfortable in staying on this planet any longer. Yet, it is in the midst of this negative world situation that Christ expects you and I to live a godly life; and shine as lights even unto the end of the world (Matthew 24:13; Matthew 5:14-16).

M) THE ENVIRONMENT WILL BE DESTROYED

Key Texts:

i) "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, ... and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18).

FULFILLMENT: Friends, it is a clear fact that a large percentage of human activity today is fast destroying our planet. The effects of these human activities such as global warming have become a hot topic in various forums of the world today. In fact, way back in 2002, this came out: "Scientists agree world faces mass extinction", August 23, 2002 CNN.com/ SCI-TECHFrom Corey S. Powell (Former NASA scientist and editor of Scientific America) we learn that: "At least 30,000 species vanish every year from human activity, which means we are living in the midst of one of the greatest mass extinctions in Earth's history."

N) SPIRITUALISM WILL ABOUND

Key Text:

i) "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, ..." (Revelation 16:14).FULFILLMENT: We are living at a time in the history of our world when many people are getting attracted to various forms of spirits and mediums. Friends, despite God's clear words against the practice of spiritualism (Isaiah 8:19; Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:9-13), many in our world today do seek after spirits through their association with the occult, and other modern forms of spiritualism such as channeling and astra mediums. One popular agency that the devil is using today to draw many, particularly the youth into spiritualism is the occult movies and books such as the Harry Potter series.

From the high priest Egan, First Church of Satan, Salem Massachusetts, we read the following: "Harry is an absolutely Godsend to our cause, an organization like ours thrives on new blood."Moreover, we also read from the Shepherds Call, p. 4 the following: "In England the Pagan Federation has reported that they have had to hire a youth official for the first time in history! The spokesperson said when questioned as to why the increased curiosity, she replied "we always ask the new interests why they came to call and she said they were led there by a book like Harry Potter."Friends, I believe the quotes above are straightforward warning messages to anyone who watches or reads occult - content materials such as Harry Potter. Moreover, the fact that many are seeking after spirits today is a clear sign that the second advent of our Lord is eminent; and thus we must prepare to meet Him in peace.

O) UNBELIEF WILL ABOUND

Key Texts:

i) "3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Peter 3:3-4).

ii) "37 But as the days of Noah 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" (Matthew 24:37-39).

FULFILLMENT: Beloved, just as the people in Noah's day made mockery of the coming flood, so are people going to scoff at the promise of the imminent return of Christ in these last days. Friends, not few in our world today have literally made mockery of the promise of Christ's soon return in public. Moreover, the large majority of people on the planet are also scoffing at the promise of Christ's second coming through their daily pursuits, and the lifestyle that they lead. Friends, few are the people who see through these signs we are going through today, that something dramatic is about to happen in the history of mankind. Few are the people who by their words and deeds show that they really believe in the soon coming of Christ.

Beloved, the majority in our world today have been caught up in "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" (Matthew 24:38). In other words, the focus of the majority in our world today is on the daily routines of their life (school, work, entertainment, marriage etc.) without making time to prepare spiritually for the eminent return of Christ. Sadly, many of these people proclaim loudly that they are Christians.

But friends, just as the people in Noah's day were unprepared when the floods came upon them, so is the second coming of Christ going to take these people by surprise. The event of Christ's second coming will come upon them as a thief in the night (2 Thessalonians 5:2). Such people will realise too late that they are unprepared for their Lord's return; and that by focusing all their energies on worldly pursuits, they have actually sacrificed their eternal salvation for a mess of pottage (Genesis 25:29-34).

P) THE GOSPEL WILL BE PREACHED TO THE WHOLE WORLD

Key Texts:

i) "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14).

ii) "6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" (Revelation 14:6-7).

FULFILLMENT: According to the words of Christ Himself, the last sign that will clearly tell us that His coming is very close or imminent is the preaching of the gospel throughout the world (Matthew 24:14).

Friends, there is no time in the history of our world when God has opened several doors to enable an effective preaching of the gospel than in the days in which we live. Some few decades ago, preachers had to sail several days across oceans, walk several miles on foot, and actually go through a lot of back - breaking activities in order to get the gospel across to other people. But today, through the miracle of technology such as high speed transport systems, satellites that literally reach the world, television and other forms of visual media, radio, the internet and even social media; the gospel is going clear across the world as never before. Beloved, the fact that you are reading this message on your phone today through social media should really draw your attention to the fact that this last prophecy in regard to Christ's return is being fulfilled very fast.

You see, how on earth could I have travelled to your part of the world and deliver these messages to you at such ease with very little cost? You might never know or meet me in person, but this platform might just be the way God is using to reach your heart and prepare you for His soon coming kingdom.

5. Beloved, all the end time signs that serve as precursors to the second coming of Christ are being fulfilled with a higher degree of intensity right before our eyes. Now, some heart - searching questions that I believe each one of us should find time to ask himself or herself at this point in our study are these:

A) Are these clear signs of the Saviour's return speaking to me in any way?

B) Are these signs impacting my life in any positive way or I've turned a blind eye to them?

C) Like the city dweller who has become accustomed to sleeping through blurring sirens, have I also become so accustomed to this world that I'm also sleeping through the blurring sirens that are signaling the return of Christ?

Beloved, after these heart searching questions, if you realise that the life you are leading now tell clearly that you are among those who are sleeping despite the blurring sirens (signs) that are trumpeting Christ's return, then it's my prayer that you will take some quality time to begin reflecting on your spiritual life; it's my prayer that you begin to seek after the Lord, and make the necessary lifestyle changes that will enable you to meet Christ in peace when He comes back for His faithful children.

6. Friends, in as much as Christ's prophecy in relation to the destruction of Jerusalem came to pass, so will the ultimate prophecy in relation to His second coming also come to pass. The signs that Christ gave the disciples to precede His second advent are clear on every side. Even though some of these signs may affect our lives in a negative way, the Saviour's assurance to us is this: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).

Exhortation: "11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light" (Romans 13:11-12).

In our next study, we will consider the topic: The Manner of Christ's Second Coming. The Bible Study reference for this study is Acts 1:9-11. Please do well to go through this study reference before the next study is released.

Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.

Maranatha!

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