We Do Not Know the Day

or the hour of Christ’s return at the Rapture. But one day billions of people will suddenly vanish from the face of the earth. Are you ready?

- Dr. David Jeremiah

11 Answers to Questions About the End Times

11 Answers to Questions About the End Times

Questions Answered in This Article

Are we living in the Apocalypse?

No. Before God’s judgment falls, I believe Jesus will take to heaven those who have placed their faith in Him as Savior. Seven years later, Jesus will return to end the world as we know it and establish His Millennial Kingdom.

But signs of the End Times are beginning to manifest today. These issues will only deepen and reoccur more frequently as we get closer to the end. In Matthew 24, Jesus gives us a glimpse of some of these signs:

The Sign of Deception. People will cry desperately for leaders to deliver them, and they will seek mystics and religious leaders who claim to have hidden knowledge. Many false teachers will claim to be the Savior. Jesus is the only salvation for this world, and we must be vigilant against counterfeits.

The Sign of Disputes Among Nations. Conflicts, border skirmishes, race wars, national battles, and general unrest will escalate.

The Sign of Devastation. There will be widespread famine and disease, as well as “earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7).

The Sign of Deliverance Into the Tribulation. Just before Jesus returns, there will be an explosion of antagonism toward God’s people. Christians will experience persecution. Many will pay a high price for proclaiming the name of Jesus in our world.

These signs regularly appear in the news today. While we cannot know the date or time of the Rapture, we know these issues will exponentially grow when it does happen.

What events need to happen before Christ can return?

Though we do not know the day or hour of Christ’s appearing for His Church, we do know something very important: It could be today! Why do I say that? Because nothing remains on God’s prophetic calendar except the unfolding of end-time events, beginning with the Rapture of the Church. Theologians call it the doctrine of imminence—the return of Christ is imminent, meaning it could happen at any moment.

Because this hope is central to the life of every Christian and must never be allowed to fade from our awareness, I hope you will meditate for just a moment on that truth. Today, if you belong to Jesus Christ, you could be caught up to meet Him in the air and be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Help?! The news often makes me anxious and afraid.

As world conditions worsen, Jesus said we shouldn’t hang our heads in hopelessness or shake our heads in confusion. Instead, we should lift up our heads in expectation, for our redemption draws near (Luke 21:28). After Paul told the Thessalonians about the sudden return of Christ in the air for His people, he said, “Comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

Our world is in a state of depression. Proverbs 12:25 states: “Anxiety in the heart of a man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” Obviously there are times when medication is absolutely called for, but meditation is often better. When we visualize our Lord’s return, we’re treating our souls to a “good word.”

Jesus told His worried disciples on His last night with them, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions. … I will come again and receive you to Myself” (John 14:1-3).

Try this experiment. One evening, sit down and watch television for an hour, focusing on a roundup of the world news. It’ll be an hour filled with riots, war, politics, problems, budget deficits, serial killers, and natural disasters. Reflect on how you feel afterward.

The next night, turn off the television and study First and Second Thessalonians, two little books in the New Testament with much to say about the Lord’s return. Read Paul’s promise that God will give His anxious children rest “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels” (2 Thessalonians 1:7). After an hour of pondering the eight little chapters of the Thessalonian epistles, my guess is you’ll have joy in your heart as you anticipate His return.

The study of the signs of the times isn’t just for “Second Coming scholars.” It’s for every single Christian who loves His appearing. It’s comprehensible and it’s compelling and it will change your life. It is a practical subject with tangible benefits, and those who study it are happier, holier, healthier people. We can rightly consider it the greatest self-improvement course we can take, and the benefits are eternal.

During these challenging days, find out what the Bible has to say about the prophetic times, and learn to pray: Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Are we seeing signs of the Last Days?

Earthquakes are shaking, fires are raging, hurricanes are obliterating, tornadoes are spinning—humanitarian organizations today are often hard pressed to provide food to countries and cities affected by the destruction of natural disasters and their aftermath.

Sound like the evening news? Well, yes, but it also sounds like Matthew 24, the passage in which our Lord, sitting on the Mount of Olives, predicted the future of world history and the end of the age. Now, I believe the signs in Matthew 24:4-14 actually represent a description of the first half of the tribulation period. But these trends and events are not going to suddenly appear when the Rapture comes. They’re going to increasingly characterize these Last Days leading up to the Rapture of the Church, as they reverberate backward through time.

In our times, we see an increase of false Christs—not as people, but as growing trends such as fallacious spirituality, socialist philosophy, atheistic activists, and other similar ideas. There is also an increase of wars, famine and pestilence, persecution of Christians, lawlessness, and the weakening of Christian influence as a lukewarm Church limps its way through our modern culture. But this picture does have one bright spot— more people are preaching the Gospel in more places to more people than ever before in history! Our Lord doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. So we are His witnesses.

These are exciting days! The signposts are speeding by and the angel is warming his lips on the trumpet. As we see these things coming to pass, it means the Kingdom of Christ is drawing nearer.

We can almost hear the countdown. We’re living in prophetic times and seeing prophecy fulfilled right before our eyes. It’s time to look up, for our redemption draws near!

What are the “days of Noah” in Luke 17?

Contrary to children’s books and nursery décor, the story of Noah’s ark is not a cute tale about animals marching two-by-two. It is a vivid picture of God’s judgment, and it is an image that Jesus evoked when speaking to His disciples about what to expect in the Last Days.

Our world today is just like Noah’s. Despite warnings, people do not expect judgment. Noah’s neighbors did not expect a flood—and neither do yours. Deep down most people, if they give any thought to eternity at all, tend to think they will have a chance at the last minute to say or do the right thing to secure their place in God’s Kingdom.

But the Rapture doesn’t work that way. It is instant and irreversible.

Just like the ark that Noah was building could have been seen for miles, the warning signs for this generation are all around us. The clouds are gathering. Distant thunder is rumbling. And the door to salvation stands open.

For now.

There will be a day when God shuts that door as securely as He shut the door on the ark, and no amount of knocking, pounding, or pleading will open it.

Does the entire world need to hear the Gospel before Christ’s return?

He could come tonight! (The Doctrine in Imminency) You may hear people say that the Rapture cannot occur until the whole world has heard the Gospel; therefore, we need to preach the Gospel to every creature so that the last person to be saved is brought into the kingdom, at which time Jesus will return for His Church. This cannot be true.

If there is anything that has yet to happen before Christ’s return, there is no such thing as the imminent return of Jesus Christ. The command to take the Gospel into the whole world is certainly pressing upon every generation, but the condition of the Gospel going to the whole world is a condition not of the Rapture, but of the Second Coming of Christ.

What should we do when we face persecution?

If you are an outspoken child of God today, you may find yourself facing persecution from unbelievers. As Christians, the nature of our Christian faith makes us a target for the devil. We must prepare for these attacks and trust in the One who is on our side. God has not promised to keep us from difficulty, but to be with us in it—caring for us and encouraging us through any persecution we might face. Many of our biblical heroes faced persecution—Daniel, Elijah, Noah, Stephen, Paul, and our own Lord Jesus, among many others. Remember them and imitate their example. Like our biblical heroes, we can’t change our convictions so people will like us. During distress and trouble, trust God. Neither the devil, nor the people against us, know what to do with people who refuse to be intimidated and stand strong in their faith.

Will I be a part of the Rapture if my body has been cremated?

When the Scripture says, “The dead in Christ will rise,” it is speaking of the bodily resurrection of believers. At this time, the spirits of believers will be united with their perfect and complete resurrection bodies. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Dr. David Jeremiah answers some of the most frequently asked questions about heaven, including “do dogs go to heaven?”

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Who is the Antichrist?

The Antichrist will be a charismatic leader who will be able to sway the masses with his speaking ability. Daniel 7 says that he will have “a mouth speaking pompous words” (verse 8). “He shall speak great words against the most High” (verse 25, KJV). “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies …” (Revelation 13:5). The Antichrist will be noted in his career for wonderful eloquence, and will be able to capture the attention and admiration of the world. Because of his ability as an orator, he will stand in front of the world’s people and galvanize them into a mighty force. Daniel 7:20 describes the Antichrist as one “whose appearance was greater than his fellows.” With his great magnetic personality, this man will cause people to flock to him. Daniel 7:8 says that, “… in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man ….” Verse 20 speaks of his eyes again. This refers to his mental ability, his intellect, his cleverness, his uncommon wisdom and cunning.

The Antichrist is represented as a Beast—an appropriate title for him (Revelation 13:1-10).

During the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will personify Satan himself. Second Thessalonians 2:9 says, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.”

What Will Armageddon Be Like?

Israel will be the center of conflict. The battle will fill the entire land of Israel with conflict and bloodshed. Six major powers are going to be involved in the final campaign: the revived Roman Empire, the northern confederation (Russia and her allies), the kings of the East (Asia), the kings of the South (Africa), the Lord and His armies, and the nation of Israel.

A covenant will be made between the Antichrist and Israel that will bring peace and the renewal of the Jewish sacrifices to Israel for three and one-half years. The Antichrist will magnify himself (Daniel 11:36-37). Then Russia will invade Israel (Ezekiel 38). There will be a struggle between the northern and southern kingdoms (Daniel 11:40). All the nations will converge on the great battlefield of Armageddon.

At that moment the Lord will show up to set things right (Revelation 19:11). The Scriptures tell us that when the nations that are gathered together against Jerusalem see the Lord’s armies coming, they will forget about each other and band together to fight against the Lord. In one dramatic moment Christ brings conclusion to the Battle of Armageddon. He throws the Beast and the False Prophet into the lake of fire and establishes His kingdom on earth.

It will take seven months to bury the dead and seven years to rid the earth of all the weapons which have been gathered by the nations (Ezekiel 39:8-16). The last verse of Revelation 14 describes a scene that is difficult to imagine: “And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.” The blood shed at this final battle is spread over a 200-mile area.

Who will be the first to experience hell?

The first two inhabitants of hell are the Beast and the False Prophet—and they are still suffering the torments of that dreadful place 1,000 years later, when Satan himself joins them in the lake of fire. All of them “will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). Their sins are so evident and heinous that they are cast directly into hell without ever appearing at the Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20.

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