The Signs of the Times

The horrific, unprovoked assault upon the Ukrainian people at the hands of Russia is heartwrenching. Nonetheless, the Ukrainian people are not going down without a fight. The people have taken up arms and are defending their nation and its people; they are fighting for their God-given right to exist as a free sovereign nation and Christ-loving society.

In response to Ukraine’s resistance and actions by other nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the alert status for Russia’s nuclear forces to “Special Regime of Combat Duty” to further escalate the war against the Ukrainian people and perhaps intimidate those who stand with them. It also seems to indicate that Russia no longer views any other nation as a deterrent to war. 

When we consider the possible resurgence of the Soviet Union and Russia’s budding relationship with China, it begs the question: Are we seeing the kings of the east mentioned in the book of Revelation starting to take shape before our very eyes? Who are these kings? We cannot be sure, but many have speculated they include Russia, China, and North Korea. 

Now, the Bible speaks about amassing an army of 200 million soldiers in the last days leading up to the Battle of Armageddon. Today, only one nation could amass such a massive army: China. Moreover, the book of Ezekiel foretells about a large, powerful nation from the north, along with its allies, invading Israel. 

The invasion of Israel has not happened yet, but since reclaiming their land in 1948, the world’s nations have been systematically isolating Israel. Do we see a prelude to that event with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Perhaps so, after all, many believe that modern-day Russia is Gog and Magog referenced in Revelation 20. But where are we today, according to the Bible’s prophetic calendar?

In Matthew’s gospel, the disciples asked Jesus about the signs of His coming and the end of the age. Jesus answered, saying:

See to it that no one misleads you. Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many people. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”

Matthew 24:1-14

There is no shortage of false teachers among false religions who promote false doctrines today. No doubt, we live in a time of wars and rumors of wars with a nation rising against a nation. However, Jesus tells us that these signs are just the beginning, and he refers to them as birth pangs or labor pains. When they begin to take place, we are to straighten up and lift our heads because the day of our redemption, the day of Christ’s second coming, is drawing near.

It gets better! If the Lord’s second coming is drawing near, that means the church’s rapture is even closer and it could happen at any moment. Now, no one knows the day nor the hour of when the rapture will occur, but we can recognize the signs of the times that Jesus gives us clear warning. So what can we do as the world around us continues to decline and crumble?  

  1. We must ensure that we are right in our relationship with God. Sin is the great divide that separates us from the Lord, and only by our confession and repentance of that sin can we be forgiven and commune with God and place our burdens at the foot of the cross.
  2. Pray for those on the front line of persecution, like our Ukrainian Christian brothers and sisters. Prayer will always be our best and ultimate line of defense, and the Bible makes it clear that God always hears and answers the prayers of His people.
  3. We need to get out and engage people with the gospel. How many people in your sphere of influence have yet to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord? Chances are, someone has already come to mind, and it’s not too late; there is still time for them to be saved, but time is running out, for I do believe we are living in the last days!

Therefore, let us renew our commitment to confess our sins and pray for one another, especially the Ukrainian people. Let us share the gospel without fear to a lost, dying world, for the day of our redemption is drawing closer every day. How do we know? Because we can see the signs of the times all too clear. It’s time for the church to come together in fervent prayer and speak to the world in a single unified voice, saying, “Jesus Christ is Lord of all!”  

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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