What is it with Christians these days?  There is so much talk about the End Times.  What is that all about?  It’s all Henny Penny/Chicken Little and the sky is falling doomsday gloom and doom.  Who wants to be a part of that????

If you are asking these questions, let me see if I can help you understand us for a minute or two.  Perhaps you have noticed that every now and then Hollywood puts out a futuristic movie that tells of a time to come when some sort of disaster has struck the earth, either by means of war or nature (and sometimes an alien attack from outer space) and life as we know it changes forever.  The destruction and loss of life is devastating.  Of course there is always someone, or some group who’s human spirit and will to survive drive them to overcome at all costs.  The hero saves the day and life goes on. 

Have you ever wondered why there is this underlying thought that someday things could change and we might face a future like that displayed on the movie screen?  If life is so good now, why do we even imagine something so horrible?  As someone who believes in the sovereignty of God, I believe that He has put an awareness in our hearts that all this that we live in now will not last forever.  That there is something more to come, and that it might not be so great for everyone.

Now, here is what else I can tell you.  Christians have a leg up on this one.  Whether you believe in God or not does not have any bearing on whether or not He really exists.  Sorry.  That is just the plain facts.  I can believe a chair does not exist, but that belief won’t keep me from tripping over it in the dark, because it does exist despite my belief.  See what I’m saying?  God exists, whether you believe it or not.  And He is sovereign over everything.  He has a plan for this earth, and has been rolling it out since the beginning of time, which He created, by the way.  We Christians know this because we have 2 things.  We have the Holy Bible, in which God spread out His plan for us to read.  And we have the very Holy Spirit of God living in our souls, and He causes us to understand what God has written in the Bible.  (The Bible tells us that no one can understand the words written there unless they have the Holy Spirit giving them understanding.)

So what does God say about the future of the world?  It will end.  Everything we know, as we know it, will come to an end.  Earth was never meant to exist forever in the state that it is currently in…meaning the sinful state.  God created the world and everything in it (including space and everything in that).  He created it perfect.  But one of His creation, Lucifer (also known as Satan, or the Devil) got a bit high on himself and started a mutiny in Heaven.  So God booted him out, and all his followers.  (Mind you, God knew all this would happen, He was not taken by surprise, and He could have stopped it, but chose not to so that all those who would eventually spend eternity with Him in the perfection and purity that He desires would be the ones who chose to be there.)  Satan caused trouble on earth.  He tempted the very first human beings, and they failed the test.  They disobeyed God and sin entered the world.  It not only caused all things that were created perfect to become warped and deformed, but it also brought death and decay, violence, sickness, fear, hatred…all the things we would get rid of if we could create a utopian society.  It was like all of creation became terminally ill with a disease that would take thousands of years to run its course, ever so gradually spreading through everything.  Like black slime oozing into the very pores of all in existence.  

God allowed this sickness of sinfulness so that each and every human who ever lived or will live could have the opportunity to chose to believe in Him and ultimately live with Him in a new world that would no longer have the sin disease.  But, in order for the new world to come, the old one must be destroyed, and because God is righteous, completely pure and holy, those who chose to reject Him must be destroyed as well.  Seems harsh.  But you must understand that He loves every human, whom He created individually, piece by piece, with perfect care, and offered His own Son (Jesus) as a human sacrifice (yes, I said human…He was both God and man).  And yes, I said sacrifice.  Many ancient religions required some sort of sacrifice for the penance of wrong-doing.  Christianity is no different in that.  It stems from Judaism which required the sacrifice of animals for the penalty of sinning and the cleansing from it.  Human sacrifice was not a part of it, as it was in some others.  Until God sent Jesus.  Jesus was perfect.  Never once sinned, or did anything wrong.  Because He was the Son of God, but also human (so that He faced our same temptations), He alone was able to become a sacrifice and accept the penalty for the sins of the entire world, past, present and future.  He alone could bear the wrath of God almighty.  So that is what happened.  Jesus died on the cross and rose to life again 3 days later.  He was the sacrifice.  And since then there has been no need to sacrifice animals.  After all, which one of them could do a better job than Jesus, Himself?  None. 

I know you are wondering what all this has to do with the End Times, and The Sky is Falling.  Here it is.  Jesus was the sacrifice for all humanity, but not all humanity accepts what He did. When God created man, He put in him the desire to find the source of all things.  In essence, the desire to know Him and have a relationship with Him.  That is why there are so many religions out there.  It is people searching for the truth, searching for God.  Unfortunately, Satan is also out there and he is busy confusing and weaving enormous webs of lies and deception so that many do not find God.  Yet even with the lies that they believe, there is something nagging and gnawing inside of them.  They know there is something missing.  If they chose not to recognize it, they reject God.  God has revealed Himself to all of humanity in all of creation.  Did you know that the molecular structure of tears is different based on the cause of the tears?  God did that in His creation!  The world is put together by the intelligent design of the God of the universe.  And in doing so, He reveals Himself to all humanity so that He can be found, and we can have a personal relationship with Him.

Someday, God has planned to end the sin-filled earth, and bring judgement on all those who have rejected Him.  That is why so many Christians seem to be doom and gloom.  We know the judgement of God is coming and we want desperately for you to be exempt from that.  The only way for that to happen is to chose to believe God, believe that Jesus became your sacrifice, and that even though He died, He lives still.  He asks that you turn from your sins and do your best to not live that way anymore.

I know this is getting long, but let me tell you about God’s coming judgement.  The Bible warns that the time of God’s judgement will come like a thief in the night, unexpected.  Man will be caught unawares.  But there are signs that we can watch for, and these signs are what Christians are seeing and recognizing in the world today.  Things that were prophesied in the Bible and are taking place, or activities and events that lean us toward believing that God’s judgement is coming soon.  One of the fist things that will happen, and we cannot give a time or date because only God knows that, is that those who are Christians will be miraculously taken out of this world to be with God in Heaven for a period of 7 years.  During that time there will be 3 1/2 years of worldwide peace.  But it is a false peace, because after the first 3 1/2 years there will be all kinds of earthly disasters.  Earthquakes, famine, hail, locusts, economic depression…this will all be worldwide.  The entire world will turn against Israel.  She will have no one to be an ally.  I am listing far less than will actually be.  Imagine the worst futuristic movie scenario and remove the heroes.  It will be ugly. 

All of the Christians will have been taken out of the world, but God will raise up new ones.  He will appoint 144,000 Jewish people who will convert to Christianity, and they in turn will speak fervently and many, many more people will become Christians during the total of those 7 years.  So God gives the unbelieving a second chance to believe and change their ways.  Jay Mack, who’s study of the Bible book of Revelations I have been studying, says that the revival during that time (meaning the numbers of people who turn to God for salvation and for that relationship with Him) will be bigger than any other revival in the history of the world.  He also states that every person who becomes a Christian during that time will be martyred for their faith in God.  Every one.  They will be hunted with no place to turn or hide.  Because you see, the person who manages to set up that false worldwide peace is Satan’s right-hand man, and after people are comfortable in the peace, he will turn the world on Israel, and on the Christians who worship the same God.  His intent will be to wipe them both off the face of the earth.

After the 7 years is up, Jesus will return to earth in a very miraculous way, defeat Satan and his minion, and set up His own kingdom, which He will reign here on earth for 1,000 years.  And after that, all unbelievers from all of time will face His judgement.  Those who rejected Jesus will be sentenced to what is called the 2nd death, eternity in Hell.  I’m not sure that we really know what Hell is, but it is enough to know that the presence, and goodness of God is not there. Which means there is no thing that is good, loving, kind, joyous, or peaceful there.  Nothing. 

God will then re-make the earth to it’s original perfect state, and His believers, the ones who chose to believe in Him and desired to be with Him and have that relationship with Him, will live there in total peace and joy, in the presence of God, for all eternity.

This is a lot to take in if you are not familiar with the Christian faith.  The bottom line is that if you have not yet made the decision to chose to believe in God and in Jesus, your time is running out.  You can choose to wait, looking for a sign, some sort of proof that He is who He says He is, but that sign may very well come too late.  And then, if you chose to wait, but you change your mind when the evidence of the end times rears its ugly head, you will pay a high price for waiting to believe.  Faith, in its very nature, requires that you make a conscious choice, a choice to believe, or to not believe, whether you see the evidence or not.  But let me say to you, search your heart, and be honest about what you find there.  If you do, you will find God revealing Himself to you and you will know that what I have said here today is true.  I preach gloom and doom because, even though I know that I will be with Jesus in Heaven, so many people I know, and even more that I don’t know, will be here on earth enduring the judgement of God.  Do not put off choosing any longer.  Don’t wait for that sign that will convince you.  Believe now, by an act of your will, by faith.