Foreshadow Now, ‘Season of the End Times’ or ‘End of the Age of Grace’:
Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period
And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences;
and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor.
Season of the End Times or the End of the Age of Grace: BEFORE the Seven (7) Year Tribulation.
03-27-2020 Benjamin Gill CBN
The term “apocalypse” is being tossed around these days in connection with the coronavirus pandemic as people seek the right words to express the trauma we’re feeling on a global scale. There’s a ton of fear in our world right now for obvious reasons since this COVID-19 virus is quite contagious, leading to concerns that it could overwhelm our medical system with deadly force. So this question seems to be floating in the air: Is the coronavirus some sort of sign that the end is getting closer? The Bible has quite a bit to say about all this.
Just to start with a little historical perspective, I have a hunch that people enduring the Bubonic Plagues or Hitler’s Nazi death machine were facing some intense evidence that the end of the world might be getting near. Yet, we’re all still here centuries after those plagues and many decades after WWII. To be clear, I’m not belittling our current predicament or what it tells us about the End Times. In fact, when the entire world is literally facing a lockdown, people are dying around the globe, and economies are being undermined, I think that’s some serious evidence that God wants us to pay close attention to His Word.
In Luke 21:9-11, Jesus explains that before the end of time, we will see escalations in all types of calamities in our world, including plagues:
“When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.” Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.”
Our world has certainly experienced all of those things in some measure, and they seem to be escalating, from tsunamis to massive earthquakes, from wars to global Islamic terrorism, from plagues of locusts and disease to blood moons and other signs in the heavens, it’s all been happening around us in recent history.
But several excerpts from that passage caught my eye. Consider the phrase “the end does not follow immediately”. I’m not an expert on eschatology, but to me, that phrase means the traumatic events unfolding in our world – including the coronavirus pandemic – indicate that a conclusion is on the horizon, but we can’t read these specific signs to mean that the conclusion will be immediate.
The other phrase that caught my eye was “do not be terrified.” Throughout scripture, God tells us “do not be afraid.” You can find much more about that HERE.
Jesus continues in Luke 21:25-28:
“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Jesus offers true hope by stating, “Your redemption is drawing near.” While plagues are prophesied throughout Scripture and were a part of the traumatic events Jesus predicted would precede His return, mercy is also clearly the heart of our heavenly Father. His desire as a protective Father is to shield His children.
Author Joel Rosenberg explains that there are multiple passages throughout the Bible where God explains that in His mercy, “He will shake individuals and nations in a desire to get our attention and draw us to Him.”
In Amos 9:9, the Lord God says, “I will shake the house of Israel among all nations,” and in Haggai 2:7 He says, “I will shake all the nations.”
Also, Hebrews 12:26 said, “And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”
His people Israel understood that concept quite well. In this passage from 2 Chronicles 20:9, the Israelites place their faith in God to protect them from plagues:
“They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.'”
Another often-cited passage from Chronicles deals with the issue of God’s protection and power to deliver. Most people cite verse 14 of 2 Chronicles 7, but they don’t always mention the portion in verse 13 that talks about plagues.
“(13) If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, (14) and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
God calls us to humility and repentance in order to receive His healing, and now is the perfect time in history for all people to cry out to Him for salvation. If we ask for His forgiveness through Jesus Christ, He will grant it. If we ask for His shelter, He will provide it. Psalm 91 also makes that clear.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday…
If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.”
Obviously, no one knows when the end will come or how close we are to Christ’s return, but Jesus made it clear that we can read the signs of the times to know when it’s getting closer. The Word of God ensures us that we can find refuge in Him and freedom from the fear and anxiety that plagues our world in the age of coronavirus and beyond.
Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:
The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)
A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.
. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).
B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.
. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.
. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).
. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).
. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).
. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).
. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).
. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).
. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).
True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:
Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.