A Powerful Indicator that Christ’s Return is Near

Posted on June 27, 2019

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By David Ettinger

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A Crucial Topic
As a Christian, you should never be surprised by the depths to which society sinks. Between parents murdering their children, unrestricted sinful content on TV, nonexistent sexual moral restraints, and the increasing hatred of all things pertaining to God, we must wonder just how much lower society can sink.

I suppose that while Christians still exist in large numbers and while there are still many unbelievers who are good and upright citizens, we have not quite reached the point of imminent doom. Though getting close, we do not seem to be at the point where God is ready to wash the whole lot of us away, as He did in the Noahic flood (Genesis Chapters 6-9).

Also remember that the Lord does not have a quick trigger finger. Far from wanting to destroy the earth’s inhabitants, He’d much prefer to see us repent. We read: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise [of final judgment], as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

With these things in mind, is there any way to gauge just how close we are to the return of Christ and the judgment He will bring with Him?

A Powerful Indicator
Though we can’t know exactly when Christ will return (Matthew 24:36), the apostle Paul gave us a powerful indicator of what to look for in determining how close His return could be:

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But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

When Paul says “the last days,” he is referring to the entire period between the first century and Christ’s return. Regarding that return, Paul gave us an indication of what the human race would be like during the run-up to that singular blessed event.

Looking at the Checklist
Viewing Paul’s description as a checklist, we can at least look at the various items on it and measure modern society against them.

Paul says there will be “terrible times” in the last days. Are times terrible? Yes, they are and have always been, but they are progressively getting worse. What about narcissism (“lovers of themselves”), money-lovers, boasters, widespread arrogance, blasphemers (the actual translation of “abusive”), and ill-treaters of parents? What about rampant sinful behavior, lovelessness, cold-heartedness, the decay of moral boundaries, the love and pursuit of evil and pleasure? What about the God haters and false religious figures?

I think it’s safe to put checkmarks next to all of these. Of course, these all existed for the past 2,000 years, but to what degree? Let’s stick to nations founded on Christian principles. Of course Paul’s checklist applies to them all, but has it ever been as pronounced as it is now?

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Would a show such as “Game of Thrones” have been able to receive such adulation in the West in the 1950s through 1980s? Would the blatant and audacious ridicule of God, the Bible, and Christianity have been allowed to fester just a few decades ago as it does today? Would the seething scorn toward those with a moral, biblical base be so readily acquiesced to and complied with as it is today? Would the celebration of homosexuality, transgenderism, and general perversion be as embraced a few decades back as it is now? Would such impudent arrogance as is prevalent in the entertainment and sports industries be as celebrated as they are today?

Of course not. Reread Paul’s checklist and decide for yourself. Yes, these things have always been around, but have they ever existed in such glaring abundance and fervor as they do now? It’s difficult to imagine they did, and it’s difficult to imagine just how things can get too much worse. If things can’t get too much worse, then perhaps Paul’s checklist truly is a powerful indicator that Christ’s return is indeed near, possibly in our lifetimes.

With this in mind, let us heed Paul’s words to another disciple: “… say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13).

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