With all the fighting and turmoil in the Middle East, and particularly as it affects Israel, this question -- Are we near the end of time? -- is on the minds of many people.
Various passages in the Bible speak of "The Day of the Lord," when Jesus Christ shall return to earth and bring the closing of our current era -- the age of grace. Jesus talks about these days in the gospel of Luke, Chapter 21:5-36. Please read all of these verses. I will comment on some.
In verse 10, He says, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilence in various places and fearful events and great signs from heaven."
In verse 20, He says, "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near -- for this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written."
As one listens to the news on radio and TV, or reads about what is happening in the Middle East, we can certainly see that many of these signs are coming to pass. Many of the Arab countries are against the very existence of Israel. It seems they will not be content until all the Jews are destroyed.
However, the Bible says the Jewish race will exist until the very end -- until the second coming of Christ and beyond. (See Genesis 12: 1-3.) We see great earthquakes, and the tsunami in Indonesia, for example, and Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, super storms with great destruction and loss of life.
Of these perilous times, Jesus spoke in verses 34-36: "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth."
Are we near the end of time? No one knows when the end of time (end of the world) will come. Only God, the Father, knows and I believe it will be solely on His schedule. The important thing for us to realize is not when the end of time will come, but we should be more concerned about when our time is over.
How long will we live? When will we die? Some of us have shorter times, some longer, depending on age and health, but regardless of our time to live, the more important question is: What is our relationship with God?
Basically, are you a Christian or not? This is a question that we must answer before our life is over, before we die.
If we are born-again believers in God through Jesus Christ, then we will only face death briefly as a transition to eternal life. If one has not accepted Christ as savior, has not admitted his sins and asked God to save him/her through Christ, then time is most important!
While alive, mankind has this choice: To accept the gift of God through Christ, or to ignore God and even deny He exists. If one chooses not to believe, he has no part of heaven and life eternal with God. If one dies in this sinful condition, he will stand before God and be judged of his sin, and then be sent to an everlasting hell!
This is why it is so important for everyone to accept the fact that God Lives and Jesus is alive! Some say God will not send a good person to hell, and they are correct. God doesn't make the choice. The sinner does, as he listens to the lies of the devil.
Eph.2:8-9 says, "For by grace (the love of God) are you saved through faith -- and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works less any man should boast."
No matter who you are, or what you have done, by repenting of your sins and putting your faith in Jesus Christ, you will be saved. Please make a decision for Christ now. Then, go to a Bible-teaching-preaching church and confess Christ as your Savior.
May God bless you as you believe, and take you to heaven when you die. I'll see you there.