People often question whether “things” will get better or worse in the days ahead in terms of world events and natural disasters.
Some camps only speak of how bad things will become, gathering beans and guns, hunkering down in fear, waiting for Jesus to return.
Other groups imply things should only get better, the bad things are our fault, and Jesus will only return when we get our act together and dominate the world.
It’s a subject spoken of more than any other topic in the bible, but still, there is so much confusion about the “end-times.” No wonder people just want to stick their heads in the sand and avoid the subject altogether. What if the days ahead are both the darkest but yet the most glorious?
Joel 2 describes the day of the Lord coming near. He called it “the great and terrible day of the Lord”. Events leading up to Jesus’s return will be more challenging, but in that hour, the church will manifest the glory of God far exceeding the book of Acts.
“For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:2
Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 all describe very distinct and escalating challenges coming upon the earth before the Lord’s return.
Great deception, false messiahs arise, global upheaval and war, widespread panic, seismic events of epic proportion, and horrible epidemics breakout. The word of God tells us that this is only the beginning of what’s to come.
This is followed by world-wide persecution and a great apostasy. Love for God and one another grows cold, hatred, and betrayal breaks out in The Church, and many are led astray by false teachers who point to a gospel that compromises righteousness, conforms to social pressures, and has economic benefits.
Get your bible out and read Matthew 24. This is really what it says.
However, it is not all bad, and we are encouraged to have a hope-filled eschatology. Look at what happens next!
But keep your hope to the end and you will experience life and deliverance. “Yet through it all, this joyful assurance of the realm of heaven’s kingdom will be proclaimed all over the world, providing every nation with a demonstration of the reality of God. And after this the end of this age will arrive.” Matthew 24:13-14 TPT
It is supremely interesting that in mission circles and gospel initiatives, the drive is to get the gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation to fulfill the Great Commission, and then Jesus will return. This is really good, however, the context of when the Great Commission and the unique challenges of that day are often overlooked. This requires a moment to pause and think about what type of missionary is needed and how do we train them for that day. More on that in a moment but meanwhile…
“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24: 37-39
This passage also indicates that life will be also going on as normal. Meaning we normalize disasters, war and epidemics of epic proportions and just keep doing life as normal. 2 Peter 3-4 says, “Above all, you must understand that in the last days mockers will multiply, chasing after their evil desires. They will say, “So what about this promise of his coming?”.
Matthew 24 goes on to describe the very last of the last days and references the prophet, Daniel, in verse 15 and the antichrist. It is a subject most do not want to talk about or even believe in but let me point out in the book of Daniel in the midst of the antichrist’s rampage of death and destruction upon the earth it says this,”…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
Ha! During the most trying time upon planet earth, God’s hope-filled people will resist and overcome the challenges and will still be fruitful for the Kingdom!
We need to have a sober but hope-filled response to challenges the earth will be facing. We can know that in the coming great crisis that The Church will rise, and the gospel will go forth to every nation in the power of the Holy Spirit!
Do you want more proof?
Some say it’s getting darker, some say it’s getting brighter, I say, we have a job to do!
Consider this. When the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord is it now you are going to establish your Kingdom on earth? He replies…
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 ESV
Jesus intrinsically links the outpouring of the Spirit to “a last days” missions thrust and that you and I would be part of establishing His Kingdom and rule upon planet earth. People’s final words are usually the most important and usually stress their final wishes. Jesus’s final words also confirmed the prophet Joel.
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. Joel 2: 28-32
You see, Jesus’s last words before leaving earth were underscoring His first words after His resurrection. His Great Commission for us to go to every nation in His power and authority. The outpouring of the Spirit instantly touched nations so that Jesus would receive the rewards of His sufferings, “The nations as His inheritance” as indicated in Psalm 2.
So the command remains:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
As He shared these words, He was Jesus was speaking as our great prophet, yea more than a prophet, the very Son of God leading the great charge as our chief apostle into us into the nations on a mission. He underscores that He will be with us, and the mission will continue until the very end.
This should give us great hope that we do not have to hunker in fear for the days ahead, focusing only on how we will survive. The Spirit of God is available in increasing measure for us to go with power and authority to the darkest circumstances upon planet earth.
“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father! John 14:12
So let’s take our heads out of the sand, there is trouble coming. We need to prepare for what’s coming but lets do it with a hope-filled perspective with 100% obedience to Jesus’s command. The hour demands that we train and raise up a new breed of missionary to go out with power in the hour we live.
At CRI, we are training and sending short-term Responders as well as full-time crisis missionaries from our mission base and training center in Blue Ridge, VA. Consider joining us for an upcoming training event or attend our missions school. Check them out here.