Hi. I’m Wes White and welcome to another Bible Q&A on cgi.org. We get this question a lot, “Are we living in the end times?”
Let’s not mince words. Let’s cut to the chase. Yes! We are living in the end times!
Now, before you get too excited, I want to give you a warning. If some minister ever tells you that we are living in the end times, you should challenge him. You need to ask him for specifics. You should ask him things like this:
Are you saying that the return of Jesus is right around the corner?
Are you saying that the Kingdom of God being set up on this earth is imminent?
Are you saying that the end of the world (or the end of this age) is going to happen within the lifetimes of some who are alive today?
Be wary of any minister who gives you an answer like this—Absolutely. Jesus has to return in the next 10 or 15 or 20 years. When he says this, he’s either setting a date or implying a date.
And if some minister tells you this, run. Get away from that person because Jesus makes it clear that no one knows the hour or the day.
Or, a minister may take the more subtle approach to your questions by saying something like this—“When I look at how bad things are in the world, I don’t see how it could get any worse.” This is flawed, human logic. You cannot calculate the timing of Jesus’ return based on what you read in Time magazine or what you see on the television news.
The real truth is—world conditions can get worse than they already are. And they will get worse before Jesus returns. Contrary to what people want to believe in their wishful thinking, our society has not bottomed out. It’s gonna get a lot worse.
As Christians, we need to be humble and recognize that the return of Jesus does not necessarily have to happen in our lifetimes.
You’re probably asking now—Well then, why are you saying all this? Didn’t you just say we are living in the end times?
Yes I did… because we are. Let me explain.
We read in Matthew 24 as well as the parallel accounts in Mark and Luke about Jesus’ discussion with his disciples. These three Gospel accounts all tell how it’s going to be just before Jesus’ return. And in all three of these synoptic Gospel accounts, we find no formula from Jesus about how to calculate the closeness of the return of Jesus. There’s simply no information about timing in the Gospels. Yet, for hundreds of years, preachers have been disappointing their followers by setting dates or implying dates.
Look. When we say that we are living in the end times, we mean that all Christians have been living in the end times ever since Jesus qualified to be King of kings and Lord of Lords.
Once Jesus qualified to be the Messiah and save the world, the clock started ticking down to the end of Satan’s age. II Corinthians 4:4 tells us that Satan is the god of this world at this time. This is his world and it will be his world until Jesus returns. Again, beginning with the earthly ministry of Jesus, time started running out for Satan’s kingdom. These are the end times for the evil system we’re all living in.
Yes, we are absolutely living in the end times. But that doesn’t mean we have even a hint of a time table for Jesus’ return. We just don’t know. No one knows.
So, the next time someone tells you we’re living in the end times, ask him for specifics on how close he believes the return of Jesus is. Pin him down so you can determine whether he’s preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God… or he’s trying to make you one of his converts. Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.
In the meantime, I’d like to recommend you watch a sermon by Vance Stinson. It’s called Why Prophecy? It’s free. It’s on our website at cgi.org. If you have questions about prophecy, you need to watch this video.