What Must Happen before the Events of Revelation Take Place?
In the last days, we know that…
The Good news will be preached
throughout the earth:
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so
that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come”
There will be wars and rumors of wars:
“And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic.
Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately
There will be false messiahs and false prophets:
“Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones”
The antichrist will appear:
“Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come” John 2:18.
There will be signs in the sky:
“‘Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken” Matthew 24:29.
There will be those who mock the promise of Jesus’ coming:
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created’” 2 Peter 3:3-4
People will receive the Mark of the Beast:
“He required everyone--
small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead.
And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark,
which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed here.
Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man.
His number is 666”
People will turn away from true faith and embrace demonic teachings
(which sounds similar to the popular New Age teachings of today):
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons...” 1 Timothy 4:1.
There will be terrifying disasters and miraculous signs:
“There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven” Luke 21:11.
Christians will be hated,
and many will turn away
from Christ and turn against each other:
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed.
You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.
And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other” Matthew 24:9-10.
Sin will be widespread:
“Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold” Matthew 24:12.
What Apocalyptic Texts Can Best Prepare Us for the Last Days?
The Greek meaning of apocalypse is to uncover, reveal, or disclose.
Our eyes need to be opened so we can remain alert, viewing the world’s events from God’s perspective.
We can do this by learning eschatology—studying the apocalyptic texts in the Bible that can best prepare us for the last days.
To begin, it’s important that we remain aware
of what is to occur in the Great Tribulation.
This is covered in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
The book of Revelation provides us an in-depth glimpse of the destruction to come.
There is much apocalyptic literature in the Old Testament as well:
Isaiah chapters 24 – 27 and 33 describes a mythological vision regarding the days leading up to Christ’s return.
The book of Daniel is prophetic as well,
specifically Daniel’s visions included in chapters 7 – 12.
Amos contains symbolic visions concerning judgment,
which you can read about in chapters 7 – 9.
Micah prophecies judgment against Israel and Judah,
but then it changes its tone and prophecies hope and restoration amongst God’s people during Christ’s millennial reign.
Zechariah 9 – 14 contains visions and prophesies regarding the second coming of Jesus and the restoration amongst God’s people.
Joel contains poetry and imagery that focuses on coming disaster and judgment on Jerusalem, followed by a time when God’s presence will be released and bring forth restoration amongst His people.
Jeremiah contains predictions of both judgment and hope for Israel and the entire world in chapters 26 – 51.
Ezekiel, in a similar manner, contains visions, parables, and allegories that illustrate coming judgment and restoration amongst Israel and all of God’s creation.
We can also refer to the parables Jesus taught, such as the one involving weeds and wheat (Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43). Other parables that can further our study of eschatology include the Parable of the Householder (Mark 13:32-37), the Final Judgment (Matthew 25:31-33), the Parable of the 10 Bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1-13), the Parable of the Three Servants (Matthew 25:14-30), and the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
How Must We Live in the in-between Times?
It's vital that we
study Scripture and apply its principles to our daily lives.
We are to remain firm and steadfast in our faith in all seasons,
even if it costs us persecution and rejection.
Time is ticking.
Christ could return at any moment.
Let’s use our gifts to further the Body and spread the Gospel,
all for the sake of preparing this world
for the coming of our
God is not coming for a lukewarm Bride or a systematic, legalistic church—one that looks clean on the outside but is filthy on the inside. Rather, He is coming for a Bride that is pure and on fire for Him (see Revelation 19:7). We are to be “ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matthew 24:44).
1 Thessalonians 5:2,6-8
reminds us of the importance of staying awake and alert:
“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night … So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”
Let’s be a voice for Christ and stay informed on global and national current events, viewing them from God’s perspective. (The Victory Channel News is my go-to source for trustworthy news provided from a biblical perspective.) Matthew 24:32-33 illustrations why it’s important to remain aware:
“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree.
When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout,
you know that summer is near.
In the same way, when you see all these things,
you can know his return is very near, right at the door.”
Lastly, we are to endure until the end, because Matthew 24:13 says, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
As destruction and evil escalades, those of us who are in Christ can cling to the truth that Jesus has already defeated the darkness. We don’t need to be afraid because John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” The world may appear unpredictable, but these events are not random; in fact, they have already been foretold in the Bible.
And what else has been foretold?
The fact that, when Christ returns, the enemy will be destroyed once and for all.
Trust me: On that day, it’s not going to be “the end of times” for His bride; rather, it will be the dawn of a new day. A day that will mark the very beginning of our utopia, our eternity, with Christ.