We are living in the last days as the Bible bring out Please read 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
The Bible uses the expression “last days” to refer to the concluding time period leading up to a divinely appointed execution that marks the end of a system of things. The Jewish system with its worship built around the temple in Jerusalem experienced its last days from 33 to 70 C.E. What occurred then was pictorial of what would be experienced in a greatly intensified way and on a global scale at a time when all nations would be facing the execution of judgment decreed by God. The present wicked system of things, which extends worldwide, entered its last days in 1914, and some of the generation alive then will also be on hand to witness its complete end in the “great tribulation.”
What indicates that we today are living in “the last days”?
The Bible describes events and conditions that mark this significant time period. “The sign” is a composite one made up of many evidences; thus its fulfillment requires that all aspects of the sign be clearly in evidence during one generation. The various aspects of the sign are recorded at Matthew chapters 24, 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21; there are further details at 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 2 Peter 3:3, 4, and Revelation 6:1-8. By way of illustration, we will consider a few outstanding portions of the sign.
“Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:7)
There will be food shortages . . . in one place after another” (Matt. 24:7)
“There will be great earthquakes” (Luke 21:11)
“In one place after another pestilences” (Luke 21:11)
At the close of the first world war the Spanish flu swept around the globe, claiming upwards of 20 million lives and at a rate unparalleled in the history of disease. Despite advances in medical science, a heavy toll is exacted every year by cancer, heart disease, numerous sexually transmitted diseases, multiple sclerosis, malaria, river blindness, and Chagas’ disease.
‘Increased lawlessness accompanied by a cooling off of love on the part of the greater number’ (Matt. 24:11, 12)
A leading criminologist says: “The one thing that hits you in the eye when you look at crime on the world scale is a pervasive and persistent increase everywhere. Such exceptions as there are stand out in splendid isolation, and may soon be swamped in the rising tide.” (The Growth of Crime, New York, 1977, Sir Leon Radzinowicz and Joan King, pp. 4, 5) The increase is real; it is not merely a matter of better reporting. It is true, past generations had criminals too, but never before has crime been as pervasive as it is now. Persons who are up in years know that from personal experience.
The lawlessness referred to in the prophecy includes contempt for the known laws of God, a placing of self instead of God at the center of one’s life. As a result of this attitude, divorce rates are skyrocketing, sex outside of marriage and homosexuality are widely accepted, and tens of millions of abortions are performed every year. Such lawlessness is associated (in Matthew 24:11, 12) with the influence of false prophets, those who set aside God’s Word in favor of their own teachings. Heeding their philosophies instead of holding to the Bible contributes toward a loveless world. (1 John 4:8) Read the description of it at 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
“Men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth” (Luke 21:25, 26)
“The fact is that today the biggest single emotion which dominates our lives is fear,” said U.S. News & World Report. (October 11, 1965, p. 144) “Never before has mankind been as fearful as at present,” reported the German magazine Hörzu.—No. 25, June 20, 1980, p. 22.
Many factors contribute to this global atmosphere of fear: violent crime, unemployment, economic instability because so many nations are hopelessly in debt, worldwide pollution of the environment, lack of strong and loving family ties, and the overwhelming feeling that mankind is in imminent danger of nuclear annihilation. Luke 21:25 mentions ‘signs in sun, moon, and stars, and roaring of the seas’ in connection with the anguish felt by the nations. The rising of the sun often causes, not happy anticipation, but fear of what the day may bring; when the moon and stars shine, fear of crime makes people stay behind locked doors. In the 20th century, but not before, planes and missiles have been used to send destruction streaking down from the heavens. Submarines carrying deadly loads of missiles prowl the seas, just one such submarine being equipped to annihilate 160 cities. No wonder the nations are in anguish!
‘Christ’s true followers to be objects of hatred by all nations on account of his name’ (Matt. 24:9)
This persecution is not because of political meddling but ‘on account of the name of Jesus Christ,’ because his followers adhere to him as Jehovah’s Messianic King, because of their obeying Christ ahead of any earthly ruler, because of their loyally adhering to his Kingdom and not becoming involved in the affairs of human governments. As modern-day history testifies, that has been the experience of Jehovah’s Witnesses in all parts of the earth.
‘This good news of the kingdom preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness’ (Matt. 24:14)
The message that would be preached is that God’s Kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ has begun to rule in the heavens, that soon it will put an end to the entire wicked system of things, that under its rule mankind will be brought to perfection and earth will become a paradise. That good news is being preached today in over 200 lands and island groups, to the most distant parts of the earth. Jehovah’s Witnesses devote hundreds of millions of hours to this activity each year, making repeated house-to-house visits so that everyone possible is given the opportunity to hear.
To what do all these events of “the last days” point?
Luke 21:31, 32: “When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near [that is, the time when it will destroy the present wicked world and itself take full charge of earth’s affairs]. Truly I say to you, This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur.” (The “generation” that was alive at the beginning of fulfillment of the sign in 1914 is now well along in years. The time remaining must be very short. World conditions give every indication that this is the case.)