There are 3 chapters in the Gospels — Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 — in which Jesus spoke extensively about events leading up to His second coming and the end of the age. The Lord gave some dire warnings about natural catastrophes and spiritual dangers. The apostle Paul accurately described those perilous closing days this way: “There will be terrible times in the last days” (2 Timothy 3:1).
Brace yourself as we take a quick journey through some of the “terrible times” Jesus and the apostles spoke of as leading up to and including the end of this age. Here are some of them:
• “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:7).
• “There will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (7).
• “You [Christian believers] will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me” (9).
• “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” (10).
• “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (11).
• “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold” [in these latter days of the Church Age] (12, NKJV).
• “False Messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (24).
• “Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many” (Mark 13:6)
• “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child” (12).
• “Children will rebel against parents and have them put to death” (12).
• “Everyone will hate you [Christian believers] because of Me” (13).
• “There will be…fearful events and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21:11)
• “They will seize you and persecute you…and put you in prison…on account of my name” (12).
• “They will put some of you to death” (16).
• “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea” (25).
• “People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken” (26).
• “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:1-5a).
• “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires” (2 Peter 3:3).
• 1/3 of the earth will be burnt up. 1/3 of earth’s trees and all the green grass will be burnt up (Revelation 8:7). These will be joined by other environmental calamities.
• The sun will scorch people with fierce heat (Revelation 16:8-9).
• “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained” ( Revelation 6:9, the opening of the 5th seal).
• “[The beast/antichrist] was given power to wage war against God’s holy people…” (Revelation 13:7).
• “You know very well that the day of the Lord [Jesus’ Second Coming] will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).
• “…the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power…” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, KJV).
• This is just a sampling of the natural and spiritual end-time calamities that will occur in the days leading up to and including the end of the age. The Bible contains many more such warnings. Is there any hope? Yes! Please read on.
These powerful verses speak of the prophesied Second Coming to earth of Jesus Christ. As already noted above, those who do not know God and have not obeyed the Gospel of Jesus Christ will face the flaming-fire wrath of Jesus. The lost will hear those dreadful words from the Lord’s mouth: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
However, these same verses speak of an entirely different outcome for those who have given themselves to Jesus Christ as their Savior. On that very “Day” of His 2nd coming He will “be glorified in His saints and…admired among all those who believe” (vs 10). Just as God miraculously protected Israel in Egypt as He poured out His wrath on the enslaving Egyptians, there are numerous verses which speak of the Lord’s favor on His people, on those who have come for salvation to God the Father through Jesus the Son of God. Let’s look at some of those encouraging verses, in order to strengthen your hearts with confidence in God’s favor in the last days.
• “The one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
• To His followers Jesus says, “When these [end-time] things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)
• “…the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night…  and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4).
• “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (2 Timothy 4:18, NKJV).
• Jesus told His followers (John 16:33), “In this world you will have trouble.” And that even includes persecution, possibly even martyrdom, for our faith in Him. But in the midst of all this world’s troubles, remember Jesus’ words: “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (33).
Many more Scriptures could be quoted to encourage end-time Christians to have much hope in the Lord, even in those last-days times of great chaos and trouble. I’ve deliberately closed with these verses from Revelation 12. They speak of the glorious Church, the Radiant Bride of Christ, in the last days. Let me briefly declare my firm belief that this radiant, spotless company of end-time believers will be taken to a place of divine provision and protection ("the wilderness") for the last 3-1/2 years of the Church Age — (vs. 6) for 1,260 days; (vs. 14) for a time, times, and half a time = 3-1/2 [years]; (13:5) during the 42-month reign [= 3-1/2 years] of the Antichrist that leads up to Christ’s Second Coming.
My fellow Christians (and future fellow Christians), be encouraged. There is great hope for the end-time Church. If the Scriptures we’ve looked at have piqued your interest, I encourage you from my heart to read further some of our articles on the glorious Bride of Christ in the end times:
BONUS! For those desiring a very in-depth study of the end times, I highly recommend Bible teacher Elton McMillan's website. I believe it's among the very best end-time Bible studies available today. Elton's many excellent, descriptive charts and artwork are best viewed on your desktop or laptop computer. You'll find this free treasure trove of last-days teaching at The End Times Explained Step by Step | Bride of Christ
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Calamities in the End Times Are Prophesied,
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©2019, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons &
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Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.