Are you saddened and disturbed by all that’s happening around the world these days? Jesus personally spoke about the signs of the end times and explained that such things were the “birth pangs” of the end of this world. Because He loves us, God has provided repeated warnings in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible on what to expect, so that we do not panic but stand firm in our faith.
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1 John 5:19 ESV We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
In Mark 13 and Matthew 24, the Bible says that in the last days before Jesus returns, we will see:
- Hatred and violence will increase. Brother turns against brother, nation against nation. Today, we see political powers intimidate other ones, fight and even hack each others’ systems. Racism, discrimination and terrorism continue to spread. Social media proliferates rumours and extremism.
- Theft and lawlessness will be widespread. The digital age has made our identities, privacy and money easy to steal. The darknet has made illicit activities, such as the selling of drugs, weapons, assassinations and human beings, practically untraceable.
- Sexual perversion will be prolific. This can be seen in the growth in porn, child trafficking, online sexual predatory behaviour and overt sexual overtones in mainstream media and even in politics. People are determining their own genders and sexual orientations.
- Witchcraft will increase. Halloween is now “celebrated” as widely as Christmas. Magic, tattoos, witchcraft, fortune telling, yoga, martial arts, mythicism and many activities with pagan origins are now accepted as mainstream.
Sadly, the apostle Paul warned in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that many in the church will be no different from those who live lawless lives.
We cannot run away from the devastation that Jesus has warned us about. The signs have, in fact, been accelerating dramatically in the past few years. Hopefully, we are not be so caught up with the details of our lives that we completely miss the big picture of what’s really happening around us and “miss the boat” like the people in Noah’s time.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. (Matthew 24:37-39,44 NLT)
From Mark 13 and Matthew 24, we can gather from Jesus’ warnings that we should pray that:
- The tribulation does not happen “during winter or the Sabbath”.
- Believers do not get deceived and will stay alert.
- Our love does not “grow cold”.
- We are not alarmed but prepare for Jesus’ return by staying faithful and doing His will.
- We endure the hard times and persecution.
- We welcome the Holy Spirit’s work to convict people to turn their hearts to God.
A prayer for the believers in the end times
“Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for showing us the things to expect as the great tribulation of the end times approaches. This world is indeed getting more chaotic and alarming.
We pray for all who call Jesus their saviour – that all of us will not be swayed by all the temptations, peer pressure, rhetoric and misleading information all around us. I pray for myself, that I am not one who will fall away from being faithful to You. I commit to learning self-control and gaining the wisdom I need to discern the truth for myself.
1 Timothy 4:1 ESV Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
Father, You have warned us that false teachings and deception will increase in the church. I will study your Word and pay attention to the Holy Spirit, so that I am not easily misled. Please help me to discern when people preach a false image of who You are and try to sell me man-made myths.
2 Corinthians 11:13-14 ESV For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
I humbly ask that the trials and tribulations during the end times do not happen when our resources already run out, when we can be caught off-guard or easily targetted. Please show me how I need to be prepared spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
Luke 21:36 ESV But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Holy Spirit, please continue Your good work to convict people to turn their hearts to God. I offer myself to You; please lead me to those whom I can testify to. I also pray for more of God’s labourers to be sent out to proclaim Your good news, especially to those who are harassed and helpless.
Matthew 9:36-38 ESV When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
I pray for my loved ones, that their eyes will be opened to see the truth and that they will be with me in heaven one day. Thank you for Your compassion on all of us. I pray that all our hearts will be softened and that we will come to a knowledge of who You are and of Your great love, holiness and authority. Father, we need Your guidance and strength in our lives more than ever before.
In Jesus name I pray, amen.”
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