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When We Wonder If This Is the Beginning of the End
More than one friend has asked me, “Is this the beginning of the end?”
The truth is, from the moment we breathe our first breath, we are moving towards our last.
Death is a part of life. Unless we remain alive until the day Jesus comes to rescue His Church, we will reach the end of life here on earth.
So, in effect, the beginning of the end started when we were born. Of course, I realize this is not the answer people are looking for.
Though I'm no expert on the end-times, I am grateful to have sat under the teaching of some great minds on Christian eschatology (doctrine of last things). Later, in this post, I’ll share links where you can go to read or listen to additional teaching on the last days and what it means for Christians.
We are caught in a season of immense uncertainty. “The world has gone crazy,” some say. For many of us—yes, even God-followers—we are unsure of tomorrow and what it may bring.
In good times, it’s easy to say, “I’m not worried because I know where I’m going when this is all over!” Yet, when confronted with disillusionment, insecurity, and anxiety, our faith wavers. Chaos and crisis have come to our door—and our faith may seem to have gone out the door.
So, “Is this the beginning of the end?”
I think what most of us want to know is, “Will Christians still be here on earth during the tribulation?” The answer to this question depends on which doctrinal teaching you embrace.
There are three choices concerning when Jesus Christ will return to rescue the Church. Those choices fall into the categories of pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, and post-tribulation.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17 (NASB)
The faith-system I was raised in leans toward a pre-tribulation rapture of the Church, and I am hanging on to that. Like most Christians, I do not want to be here when it all unfolds, and the evil wrath of the Antichrist is unleashed.
So, if this is not the beginning of the end, then what is happening?
In this season of turmoil like most of us have not experienced in our lifetime, here is what I believe we can learn from this time in history.
#1 - Make no mistake about it, there are definite evil forces at work on earth. Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open. Pray like your life and the lives of your family depend on it!
#2 – This is a wake-up call. This season is a wake-up call for believers, the Church, those who will re-connect with God, and those who need to be awakened to what is coming.
#3 – This season will usher in another great awakening. Now, if this is wishful thinking (or wishful praying) on my part, then I take encouragement in knowing I am not alone. Many are praying and believing God will use these turbulent times to bring a revival of salvation across the earth.
#4 – “The end of all things is at hand…” These words, true in the early days of the Church, are still valid, today. Even though many centuries have passed, the message remains the same. With all that is happening around us, it seems nearer than ever before.
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4.7-8 (ESV)
Then, what happens, next?
Though we can not know for certain when the return of Jesus will occur, God’s Word explains it will take place in two separate events, or stages.
The Rapture -
The first event is when Jesus Christ comes, in the air, to rescue the Church away to heaven (see 1 Thess. 4.16-17 above). According to Bible prophecy, everything that needs to happen prior to this first event taking place has already transpired!
The Revelation -
The second event will take place when Jesus Christ returns to earth, bringing the saints (the Church) with Him, to enact judgment and punishment. According to Bible prophecy, there are still specific events that must take place before the Revelation occurs.
Many are wondering, “Are we seeing the beginnings of a pre-tribulation period, now?” Again, we cannot know for sure, but it is possible. What I will tell you is the actual tribulation will be far worse than anything this world has ever seen (think Holocaust of all Holocausts).
Karlene, is there anything you can say to bring me hope?
Friend, yes! Jesus is coming for His bride! If you have received Him as Savior and are living a life pleasing to the Lord, no matter how this plays out on the world stage, He is coming for you!
I am convinced He loves us too much to leave us here amidst the terror and horror that will come upon earth and her inhabitants during the tribulation. So, look up, dear one. Be living ready to meet Him as if it will happen tomorrow—but keep planning as if you have another one hundred years to spread His message of grace and mercy.
More resources on the beginning of the end >>>
Quick reads from Crosswalk.com…
4-part video series from Dr. Terry Trammel (one of my theology professors)…