5 November 2023: When will Jesus return? (part 2)

Bethel Baptist Church
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5 November 2023


“I had a picture of a spinning top going round and round, finely balanced on its tip. And yet other forces are operating to slow the top down causing it to wobble and eventually to stop. Is this a picture of this present creation that will not go on for ever but wobbling will eventually stop and Jesus will usher in His new creation, a new heavens and a new earth.”




When will Jesus Return?

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Matt. 24:3-8

As we consider the several signs that precede Christ’s return, one of the most oft quoted is that of wars, rumours of wars, famines, earthquakes, as mentioned here in Matthew (cf. Mark 13:8) and Luke adds pestilences (Luke 21:11) meaning plagues, diseases. However, as these have happened throughout history, e.g. famines,

One of them [prophets], named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)

Acts 11:28

We need to put these under the heading that Jesus referred to them:

All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Matt. 24:8, Mark 13:8

However, using the very term “birth-pains” suggests that they will increase in frequency and intensity leading to the signs that Jesus did mention. A paper detailing a study by various universities made the point (March 10th 2011):

“Wars are increasingly frequent, and the trend has been steadily upward since 1870 … Wars are becoming more frequent … the frequency of bilateral militarised conflicts … has been steadily rising over 130 years …”

The frequency of wars, MARK HARRISON, NIKOLAUS WOLF

Science Daily summarises the findings of this research as follows:

“… wars.. increased steadily from 1870 to 2001 by 2% a year on average … the number of conflicts rose steadily from 6 per year on average between 1870 and 1913 to 17 per year in the period of the two world wars, 31 per year in the Cold War (1946-1991) and 36 per year in the 1990’s.”

Science Daily (June 28th 2011)

Note these figures do not include civil wars. All this is described as “somewhat alarming.” But Jesus response is different:

You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen but the end is still to come.

Matt. 24:6

Quote of the week

“Factors are coming together, signs are being fulfilled in concert, in ways that have never happened before.”

Larry Spargimino

Verse of the week

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Luke 21:28

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, as we increasingly see things happening in this world that naturally would alarm us, strengthen us by Your Spirit to keep our eyes on You, and that we will look up and see our redemption is nearer now than it has ever been, in Jesus Christ, Amen.