1 Thessalonians 5:2,3 “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”
With the advent of a new year, it’s worth considering all that is unfolding in preparation for the return of the King.
What is occurring right now that might be setting the table for what is to come?
1. The Deception is being Formed
The most powerful space telescope ever built has officially left Earth. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope blasted off on Dec. 25 at 7:20 a.m. Eastern from a European spaceport in French Guiana, unleashing a rumble that could be felt in the control center.
“Go Webb!” range operations manager Jean-Luc Voyer called out after the spacecraft completed a crucial maneuver soon after liftoff. Cheers erupted in the control room. Mission members in face masks donned bright red Santa hats in celebration of the successful Christmas Day launch.
Why is this event significant?
It is the events surrounding this launch that make it noteworthy.
There are those who have hopes that alien life will be found with this new technology. NASA has recruited 24 theologians to help with questions that will arise when they discover alien life and throw the Creation model into turmoil. The scientists believe these questions that NASA hopes theologians at the Center for Theological Inquiry (CTI) in Princeton, New Jersey, can answer, will bring to light a recent effort to, “understand how humans will react to news that intelligent life exists on other planets.”
The insatiable drive of the world to prove the existence of life on other planets is the drive to reinforce the evolutionary theory.
A biblical approach to Creation does not allow for alternate forms of intelligent life to exist anywhere in the Universe.
Romans 8:19-21 “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”
If alien civilizations were actually real, then their world would have been subjected to the futility of sin from mankind on Earth. The very notion is ridiculous, so from a biblical standpoint, no alien civilization could be possible.
Scripture likewise warns us these deceptions will increase in the last days.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
The deception of Satan will be in accordance with all that the world has hoped for, intelligence beyond our world and a confirmation that mankind is not alone in the Universe. The deception of Satan will most likely include placing himself or demonic entities into positions that are outside the bounds of our world. The false teachers of the Catholic church have been preparing years for the arrival of extraterrestrials, the priests hired by NASA will only serve to perpetuate the deception of Satan.
The History channel has had a continuous airing of alien life episodes for quite some time. Teams of archaeologists have lent an air of doubt by artifacts they think point to previous alien contact, reports from pilots talk of spacecraft seen from the air, farmers claim crop circles were made in fields indicating an alien landing mark, and the speculation goes on.
The groundwork has been set for a worldwide deception by Satan in the last days.
2. Creation Groans
For serious students of the Bible the reminder of what to look for in the last days gives those who hopefully await for Christ’s return a reason to rejoice.
Matthew 16:1-4 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came and tested Jesus by asking Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied,
“When evening comes, you say, ‘The weather will be fair, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but not the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Then He left them and went away.
Jesus gives us a clue for how to read the season of His return. The signs of the coming of the Son of Man will be visible upon the earth, both in natural patterns and in the patterns of people.
The disciples of Christ wondered when the last day events would happen and Jesus began to describe to them the events that will be occurring.
Matthew 24:4-8 “Jesus answered, “See to it that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
According to the USGS, in the past 40-50 years, records show that we have exceeded the long-term average number of major earthquakes about a dozen times. The year with the largest total was 2010, with 23 major earthquakes (greater than or equal to magnitude 7.0). … 1989 only had 6 major earthquakes and 1988 only had 7.
According to the World Food Program, at least 155 million people in 55 countries faced acute hunger in 2020 — 20 million more than 2019, according to figures from the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises, released today.
This marks a five-year high for people facing life-threatening food security, accompanied by a breakdown in livelihoods. It comes after aid organizations issued a joint warning about the very real prospect of famine this year.
Published by the Global Network Against Food Crises — an alliance of government agencies and NGOs, including the World Food Programme (WFP), gave a report that highlights the lethal combined impact of conflict, extreme weather and economic shocks, exacerbated, last year, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the International Crisis Group, standoffs involving major powers look increasingly dangerous. Putin may gamble on another incursion into Ukraine. A China-U.S. clash over Taiwan is unlikely in 2022, but the Chinese and U.S. militaries increasingly bump up against each other around the island and in the South China Sea, with all the peril of entanglement that entails. If the Iran nuclear deal collapses, which now seems probable, the United States or Israel may attempt—possibly even early in 2022—to knock out Iranian nuclear facilities, likely prompting Tehran to sprint toward weaponization while lashing out across the region. One mishap or miscalculation, in other words, and interstate war could make a comeback.
The patterns of end time events are not localized to small areas of the globe, they are world patterns that continue to manifest into a display characterizing Jesus’ warning given 2000 years ago.
With all that is going on in the world, with persecution becoming exceedingly prevalent, the reality of the times is at hand.
According to the group For the Martyrs, the top 10 countries where it’s hardest to follow Christ are:
1. North Korea 2. Afghanistan 3. Somalia 4. Libya 5. Pakistan 6.Eritrea 7. Sudan 8. Yemen 9. Iran 10. India
- In the top 50 World Watch List countries alone, 260 million Christians in the world experience high levels of persecution for their choice to follow Christ.
- 1 in 9: Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution.
- 6%: The rise in the number of Christians in the top 50 countries on the 2020 World Watch List (WWL) who experience high levels of persecution. (from the 2019 reporting period to 2020’s)
- 2,983 Christians killed for faith-related reasons in the top 50 WWL countries.
- 3,711 Christians detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned in the top 50 WWL countries.
- 9,488 churches or Christian buildings attacked in the top 50 WWL countries.
- 6 out of 7: In seven of the countries in the World Watch List’s top 10, the primary cause of persecution is Islamic oppression.
- 11 countries scoring in the “extreme” level for their persecution of Christians. Six years ago, North Korea was the only one.
- 19 Consecutive years North Korea has ranked No. 1 as the world’s most dangerous place for Christians.
What should we do?
Do we hide in fear? Should we conceal our faith even if it means we will suffer?
Jesus said it best:
Matthew 24:12 “Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.”
The call to the saints is to persevere. Perseverance is to press on with what the Lord has called you to do. If we are told not to fear, or run, or hide, then the Lord will guide us through the trouble until He calls us home. Perseverance is to preach the gospel in the midst of a world that increasingly opposes the Word of God.
3. The Gospel will be Preached
Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
We are the testimony of God’s judgement and grace to a world that is going mad. We must come out of the world and be separate, choosing the righteousness of God over the tactics of a satanically controlled world. The Lord will take His people up as He promised, He will bring judgement upon the world, and then the end will come.
Be of good cheer, looks up, the redeemer is coming like a thief in the night, continue to persevere and let the joy of the Lord be your strength.
We have nothing to fear.