by Arch Hoercher

Are we living in the last days?  Are we living in the time that Jesus Christ will return to this earth?  Every generation since Jesus ascended into Heaven almost 2000 years ago, has thought that Jesus would return in their lifetimes.  I do believe that His return could be very soon.  Jesus said that no one knows the day or the hour of His return.  I understand that, but His Word gave us signs of His coming.  We are living in times like no other in history.  The signs of His return are all around us.  Biblical prophecy of His impending return have been satisfied.  Jesus could return tomorrow or next week or next year and yes, He could return a hundred years from now.  I believe His return will be sooner than later.  What He wants from us is to be ready for His return, no matter when that time may be.  In Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV) Jesus said; “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Timothy speaks to the last days in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 (NIV) where he writes; “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”  Read this list over a few times.  It describes our society and the world to a tee.  These “qualities” are seen in Hollywood and in our government.  I do not recall ever seeing the level of hate that people have for one another, levels of hate that defy description.  A man shooting at men, women, and children from a hotel room not caring who lives or dies.  The brutality and treacherousness that is seen in the world is at a level that is unbelievable.  The atrocities carried out on people because of their ethnicity or religion is horrifying. 

Jesus spoke of the last days as recorded in Matthew 24: 6-7: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.”  Jesus said in Luke 21:11 (NIV); “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” The 20th century was the most murderous in all of recorded history.  Since 1914 there have been more than 100 million people killed due to war or some other type of conflict.  There has not been a time since that some sort of war or conflict has not or is not occurring some place on this planet.  For a world that produces more food than at any time in history, there are still areas of our world that people are starving to death.  As much as medicine has advanced in the treatment of disease, there are still areas of this planet that people are dying of pestilence and disease.  The number of earthquakes average about 15 a year worldwide.  Some of which have been extremely devastating.  The weather calamities have caused death and misery throughout the world and in this country.  Hurricanes and tornados have caused loss of life and great financial impact.  Wild fires in California this year have caused more loss of life and financial impact than for several previous years combined.  Jesus warned us that in the last days bad things would happen.

Daniel 12:4 (NIV) reads; “But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end.  Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”  One does not have to think very long on the increase in knowledge of man in today’s society.  We go here, there, and everywhere to gain more knowledge.  All a person would have to look at is the boom in technology over the last 20 years.   The first computer I worked with had a CPU the size of a large file cabinet.  Compared to the computer of today where the CPU of a powerful computer is the size of an Andes Candy Mint.  I have seen the birth and advance of the cell phone.  The cell phone you hold in your hand is more powerful than the biggest of the early computers.  The things happening on the other side of the planet can be known in seconds through Twitter or Face Book. 

The point I am trying to make is that the end times (the return of Jesus Christ) can happen at any time.  The Christian should be ready for His return.  The Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV) that; “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, ‘Where is this (coming) He promised?  Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’”  There are a lot of people out there that do not believe in Jesus Christ much less the fact that He is going to return.  The Bible is clear.  Jesus Christ will return in great power and truth.  The Christian should be ready for His return.  We should never be swayed or influenced by anyone saying that He is not returning.  Jesus promised He will and He will never break a promise.  It will happen.  When is anybody’s guess.  But I will tell you what I am going to do.  I am no longer looking for signs of His return.  There are plenty of those already out there.  The one thing I will be doing is waiting on His call.