Are we in the end times?
In this article, you will:
- Discover the 12 signs of this prophetic event
- Determine if we are in the end times already
- Know what to do to prepare for this event
But first, let’s understand what the end time is.
Let’s dive in!
What is the End Time?
The end time is a topic being studied in eschatology. This study concerns the “expectations of an end time, whether the close of history, the world itself, or the present age” 1.
Based on that, the end time is a period covering the last days or eschaton (1 Peter 4:7; Ellen White, The Gift of Prophecy, 113.2, 253.3).
It refers to a period in the near future characterized by significant events leading to the fulfillment of divine purposes and the ultimate culmination of human history (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
This prophetic period ultimately leads to the coming of Jesus Christ. It also marks the establishment of His eternal kingdom and a new heaven and earth (Acts 1:11; Revelation 21:1).
12 Signs of the End Times
1) Natural disasters
There will be increasing frequency and intensity of natural calamities, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and famines (Luke 21:25-26; Revelation 16:8-9).
For instance, as of February 2023, roughly 3,500 wildfires have burned 28,700 acres of land 2.
“These calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man” 3.
But in them all, “God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.”
2) Increase in knowledge
“Roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge” (Daniel 12:4, NIV).
True enough, the end times will witness a notable increase in knowledge and understanding.
It is closely tied to advancements in science and technology, allowing for the rapid dissemination of information 4.
3) Technological advancement
Along with the increase in knowledge, the end times will also see an advancement in technology (Daniel 12:4) 5.
Based on statistics, the speed at which global technology grows is twice every 18 months. In the US particularly, the tech industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5% by 2024 6.
This advancement is reshaping the world and playing a role in fulfilling end-time prophecies.
4) Rise of false prophets and teachings
“False messiahs and false prophets will appear…to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24, NIV).
These false prophets will bring misleading doctrines and ideologies that deviate from biblical truths. They will manipulate spiritual concepts for personal gain (Ellen White, Early Writings, 138.1).
A real-life example of this is the story of Jim Jones and his People’s Temple back in 1978.
Jones claimed to be a prophet but his teachings were way off. He even convinced his followers to do terrible things, leading to the tragic Jonestown Massacre 7.
This and other similar instances in the future will cause confusion and lead people away from the authentic gospel (2 Peter 2:1).
5) Rise of deceptive miracles
While propagating false teachings, false prophets will also “perform great signs and wonders” (Matthew 24:24, NIV).
They will, for instance, cause fire to come down from heaven to the earth to be seen by many people (Revelation 13:13-14).
Deceptive miracles are a means by which false teachers and powers will mislead people in the end times.
Scary, isn’t it?
6) Rise of apostasy
Apostasy is the “abandonment or renunciation of one’s religious faith or moral allegiance” 8.
With that in mind, the end times will witness a significant rise in apostasy. Many will turn away from the faith and abandon their beliefs (1 Timothy 4:1).
In turn, they will conform to worldly values rather than standing firm in biblical principles. And through the promptings of the enemy, they will blindly accept false teachings (Ellen White, Christian Service, 57.2).
7) Social and political turmoil
Social and political turmoil is a sign of the end times, reflecting the Bible’s prophetic warnings about a world in chaos.
Jesus predicted that in the last days, there would be “wars and rumors of wars,” indicating global unrest (Matthew 24:6, NIV).
The Apostle Paul also mentioned “terrible times” characterized by societal breakdown (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NIV).
Additionally, the book of Revelation describes political upheaval and the rise of powerful, authoritarian leaders (Revelation 13).
Do you see these things happening now?
8) Moral decay and spiritual apathy
Moral decay and spiritual apathy are evident signs of the end times, as foretold in the Scriptures.
The Apostle Paul warned of a time when people would become lovers of themselves and disobedient to God’s moral standards (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Jesus also spoke of a period of lawlessness and increasing wickedness (Matthew 24:12).
Meanwhile, the book of Revelation portrays a society where immorality and idolatry prevail (Revelation 9:21).
9) Persecution of believers
Christian persecution is a prominent sign of the end times, as foretold by Jesus Himself (Matthew 24:9).
Through a vision, John saw the souls of martyred Christians crying out for justice, highlighting the severity of persecution (Revelation 6:9-11). The Apostle Paul also warned that persecution would come to those living godly lives (2 Timothy 3:12).
Why then will Christians, even if they’re faithful, be persecuted in the last days?
Well, that’s because of their unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, which contrasts with the world’s values (John 15:18-19).
The world is hostile towards Christ and His message.
For instance, countries such as North Korea, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan consider Christianity illegal. Simply owning a Bible or talking about Christianity, even at home, may result in imprisonment or death.
Despite this reality, God’s remnant will not waver in spreading the gospel, never compromising on biblical principles (Matthew 24:14; 2 Timothy 3:12).
Such things challenge the earthly powers that oppose God’s heavenly kingdom, leading to persecution (Acts 5:28-29;2 Timothy 3:12).
10) Global unity and alignment
Global unity and alignment, as a sign of the end times, is indicated by the world coming together under a common agenda.
The Bible speaks of 10 kings who align their authority with a global entity, symbolizing this unity (Revelation 17:12-13).
Similarly, the Tower of Babel incident foreshadows humanity’s inclination toward global cooperation outside of God’s divine plan (Genesis 11:1-9).
This unity manifests through organizations, alliances, or international efforts, ultimately leading to the fulfillment of end-time prophecies.
11) Global evangelization
Global evangelization, as a sign of the end times, signifies the spreading of the gospel message to all nations and people groups (Matthew 24:14).
This widespread proclamation of the gospel serves as a prerequisite for the return of Christ and the culmination of human history.
It reflects God’s desire for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and aligns with Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).
Believers are called to actively participate in this global mission, knowing that it advances God’s plan for the end times 9.
12) Interest in the return of Christ
Global interest in the return of Christ, a sign of the end times, signifies a growing awareness and expectation of His imminent coming (Matthew 24:30).
This phenomenon reflects a heightened sense of urgency and a recognition of the signs of the times among people from various nations and backgrounds (Luke 21:28).
Believers are encouraged to be watchful and ready for His return, knowing that this anticipation aligns with biblical prophecy. Besides, it signifies the culmination of God’s redemptive plan for humanity (1 Thessalonians 5:6; Revelation 22:20).
But amid the signs of the times, believers find hope in the promise of Christ’s return (Ellen White, Counsels for the Church, 302.4).
Are We in the End Times?
We have just discussed the signs of the end times.
You have seen that some of them, such as the proliferation of false teachings, already have evidence in the past (Matthew 24:24) 7.
Some of them, such as the natural disasters, are still with us today, as you can frequently see in the news (Luke 21:25-26; Revelation 16:8-9) 2.
And though some of those signs are yet to be fulfilled, there is no doubt that we are in the end times.
What Should We Do in Response to This?
1) Accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
The first step in preparing for the last days is to accept Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord.
By doing so, we acknowledge our need for His salvation, committing our lives to Him. It’s like opening our hearts to a loving friend who offers eternal hope and guidance (Romans 10:9; John 3:16).
This decision not only secures our place in God’s kingdom but also fills our lives with purpose and peace (John 14:6, 27).
With that, let’s invite Jesus into our hearts and walk this journey of faith together.
2) Develop a relationship with God.
Develop a deep and personal relationship with God through prayer. Read His Word and seek His presence daily (Jeremiah 29:13).
Immerse ourselves in His Word to gain understanding, discernment, and spiritual growth (Psalm 119:105).
“The church of Christ is dependent on Him for her very existence. Only through Him can it gain continued life and strength” 10.
“The members are to live constantly in the most intimate vital relationship with the Savior. They are to follow in His steps of self-denial and sacrifice.”
3) Live a life pleasing to Him.
Living a holy life is a crucial aspect of preparation for the end times as it reflects our readiness to meet Christ.
The Bible calls us to be holy, as God Himself is holy (1 Peter 1:16). It emphasizes the sanctification of our character and conduct.
Holiness helps us withstand the moral decay of the world and remain blameless before Him (1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Peter 3:11).
By living a holy life, we honor God and purify ourselves for His soon return (1 John 3:3).
4) Repent and ask forgiveness for your sins.
Confession and repentance of sins are vital in preparing for the end times. They lead us to forgiveness and purification of the soul (1 John 1:9).
Confession means acknowledging our sins before God, fostering a humble and contrite heart. On the other hand, repentance involves turning away from sin and turning toward God, seeking His righteousness (Psalm 51:1; Acts 3:19).
By practicing confession and repentance, we maintain a close and restored relationship with God. Doing so ensures our readiness for Christ’s return (James 4:8-10).
5) Love and serve other people.
Loving and serving others are essential in preparing for the end times as they align with Jesus’ teachings of selflessness and love (Matthew 22:39).
Acts of kindness and service reflect the love of Christ in us and fulfill His commandments. Also, by loving and serving others, we demonstrate our faith and obedience to God’s will (John 13:34-35; James 2:14-17).
Ultimately, these actions help build a community of believers who are ready to support each other and exemplify God’s love during challenging times, especially in the last days (1 Peter 4:8-10).
“We are exhorted to add to godliness, brotherly kindness…We should have that love for others that Christ has had for us” 11.
6) Participate in the sharing of the gospel.
Participating in sharing the gospel is crucial in preparing for the end times as it fulfills Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).
Sharing the gospel not only saves souls but also strengthens our own faith and commitment to Christ. It ensures that the message of salvation reaches those who haven’t heard it, fulfilling God’s purpose (Romans 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9).
By actively spreading the good news, we play a vital role in His plan for the redemption of humanity. It secures our place in His eternal kingdom (Daniel 12:3).
7) Endure trials with faith.
Enduring trials with faith is essential in preparing for the end times as it strengthens our character and deepens our trust in God (James 1:2-4).
Trials refine our faith and prepare us to withstand the challenges of the last days. They teach us to rely on God’s strength, not on our own. It ensures that we remain steadfast in the face of adversity (2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 1 Peter 1:7).
Eventually, enduring trials with faith helps us grow spiritually and equips us to persevere through any tribulations we may encounter in the end times (Romans 5:3-5).
8) Stay watchful and alert.
Being watchful and alert is crucial in preparing for the end times as Jesus Himself emphasized the need to stay vigilant (Matthew 24:42-44).
It ensures that we are spiritually ready for His return, guarding against spiritual complacency (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
By being watchful, we can discern the signs of the times and align our lives with God’s will (Mark 13:32-37).
This attitude of readiness keeps us focused on our eternal hope and helps us navigate the challenges of the end times (Revelation 3:3).
“Let every soul be on the alert. The adversary is on your track. Be vigilant, watching diligently lest some carefully concealed and masterly snare shall take you unawares” 12.
What Have You Learned?
What are your thoughts on the 12 signs of the times? Did our discussion help you determine if we indeed are in the end times?
Share your thoughts by commenting below.
To learn more about this topic, check this out: Season 1 Lesson 5: The End of the World?REFERENCES
- John Carroll, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 2000
- Penny Gusner and Les Masterson, Forbes Advisor, 2023
- Ellen White, Christian Service, 52.3
- Francis Nichol, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, volume 4, 879
- Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, 234.4
- Paul Michael, Media Peanut, 2023
- Unitarian Universalist, 2023
- Oxford Dictionary
- Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, 233.1
- Ellen White, The Upward Look, 167.2
- Ellen White, My Life Today, 98.3
- Ellen White, God’s Amazing Grace, 332.3