This is not so much going to be a deep study of the Bible, which has quite a bit to say on the matter, but rather a further stake in the ground when it comes to sharing my thoughts on where I think humanity is heading right now with respect to the end times, which according to Christian commentators from my theological stable is the time we are now living in. It is not meant to be alarmist when it comes to those who follow Jesus, who are told to look forward to Jesus return, marking that end, but for those who don’t it is worth pointing out these matters just as people who used to walk around with “Prepare to meet your God” bill boards once did.
I come from a Christian tradition, called the Plymouth Brethren, which used to give an inordinate amount of attention to end time events and which featured much in early preaching. This contrasts with other traditions that gave the matter little thought. The PBs tended by dominated by those that held a dispensational, pre-millennialist eschatology. Excuse the long words but eschatology is about end time events; millennium relates to a time the Messiah will reign on Earth in accordance with Bible prophecy; “pre” means the millennium will take place after the Messiah returns (non-believing in Jesus Jews would say this is for the first time) to this Earth; dispensation relates to the notion that God acts in different ways according to the age (this being the age of the Church; when Jesus returns it will be again the age of the Jews). I say this because explaining terms is important, yet realising there are other eschatological views that even good Christian folk hold, as well as to reassure readers I am not about to argue a case for any, here at least.
However, I do affirm the tradition of the church that Jesus is coming again as He promised before he left the earth the first time. While the Bible is full, arguably, of a lot of unfulfilled prophecy and it is tempting to relate these to the momentous happenings we see all around us, none us know when that time is, even though there has been and continues to be a lot of speculation. Many believe this to be proceeded by the rise of the AntiChrist, one who as the name suggests opposes Christ, yet is able to control the world and unleash all sorts of evil, especially against true followers of Christ. I got to think about this when I read a report that already in some countries people have been implanted with microchips in their body. This has the convenience of doing away with money when buying goods and accessing services, and has been broadly welcomed. On a more sinister note, it has the potential of controlling population and if those in control have malevolent intent could cause great harm.
This brings to mind something I wrote about three years ago, which remains pertinent concerning the great deceiver who is to come. “It is written in the Bible “and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” Revelation 13 17-18. The beast here is associated with the Antichrist, a coming world ruler under the control of Satan. Like much of the Book of Revelation (a prophecy given to the Apostle John when he was an old man), coming up with a complete understanding is a challenge (to put it mildly) and has been a cause of controversy, dubious interpretation and divided opinion since it was written nigh on 2000 years ago”.
I daresay people in my position and with broadly similar views on Bible prophecy down the ages will have pointed to all sorts of events, besides what I have just shared, that indicate the end is indeed nigh. But as part of that end there will be the defeat of the AntiChrist, followed by the reign of the true Christ, which true believers are encouraged to look forward to and ought to be a salutary warning to those who do not believe. I sense we are about to see the fulfillment of hitherto some yet to be fulfilled prophecy. While there will be evil, it will also be a chance for God’s people to shine and for the gospel to be preached. As I say, mine is not to speculate but we are urged by Jesus to check out the signs of the times and to serve him. His promise should hearten his followers: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” John 14:27.
Update 16/09/2017: One of the triggers for me posting concerns recent events on earth and stars and planets. One article, just come to light, that offers a perspective but to treat with caution, is titled: “Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on Sept. 23, Christian numerologists claim – Christian numerologists claim that the world will end on Sept. 23, 2017 as they believe a planet will collide with Earth. According to Christian numerologist David Meade, verses in Luke 21: 25 to 26 is the sign that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, are signs of the apocalypse. The verses read: “25: There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “’26: 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.'”