Since the solar eclipse on August 21, a “sign” from heaven, the United States has experienced devastating hurricanes. One had the most powerful sustained winds for the longest period of time in our nation’s recorded history; one dumped the most rainfall with record breaking flooding, one was the fastest moving ever recorded. Horrific wildfires have engulfed much of Northern California, and the United States experienced yet another terrorist attack in Las Vegas, when 58 were killed and 527 were wounded. All the while, North Korea continues to threaten our beloved nation with nuclear war.
The Bible says, in the final days before the return of Jesus Christ, the world will be filled with difficulties, greater than in any previous generation. The Apostle Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “But know this, that in the last days, perilous times will come.”(2 Timothy 3:1) Here we are warned that harmful, dangerous, unpredictable, uncontrollable, high-risk events will come in the final days. It would seem that perilous times have arrived.
The Bible clearly teaches that in the last days, these happenings will increase in intensity and frequency. (1 Thess. 5:3) These traumatic events are compared to a woman’s birth pains. When a woman goes into labor, the pains are far apart and weak. But the closer the time for the baby to be born, the greater the intensity and frequency. That is why one should pay particular attention to the words, “strongest”, “longest”, “largest,” “fastest moving” in recorded history.
When Jesus warned of perilous times in the last days, he said that men will have heart attacks, caused by fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth. Jesus said in Luke 21:25,26: “And there will be signs in the sun, (like our solar eclipse on August 21), in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
Did God tell us this to fill us with fear? Or are we given these warnings so that we might be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically prepared? Are we going to constantly be anxious and troubled, so stressed we have difficulty functioning, or are we going to so trust in El Shaddai, our God who is more than enough? Are we going to constantly murmur and complain about all that is coming upon the earth, or are we going “to be ready to give answer to those around us the reason of the hope that lies within us?” (1 Peter 3:15) Will our conversation be focused on outward circumstances, or will we seize the opportunity to share with others that Jesus is coming again and these “signs” indicate that His coming is very soon?
Yes, these last days have unbelievable challenges — challenges that can cause great stress, but the prophecies about the last days are not all dark. The Scripture teaches that in the last of the last days, there will be a great harvest of souls brought into the Kingdom of God. This is the greatest hour for the Church of Jesus Christ. Statistics prove that right now more people are coming to Jesus worldwide than at any other point in history. Men, women, boys and girls are receiving Jesus as Lord!
Who will bring in the harvest? Jesus said, “The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. Pray that the lord of the harvest send laborers into the harvest field.” (Mt. 9:38) All who hear and obey the call of God will seize every opportunity to point people to Jesus during these perilous times!
Jim and Judy Vaught are ministers at Calvary Assembly of God in Mount Airy.