A short note about signs indicating the return of the Lord Jesus.
I believe the Bible teaches imminency.
B1 A few articles that might help us understand the basics.
C2 IMMINENCY AND THE ANY-MOMENT RAPTURE (PDF)
B2 There is not a long list of signs about Jesus’s return.
But, there are some things prophesied. Are they a sign? Sort of, but are they a sign that Jesus will come soon? These things might be happening, but they are not THE signs. To be a sign, it must be very significant, belantent, perhaps even worldwide. Apostasy is an example.
Some things we do know:
B1 The return of the nation of Israel
C1 Daniel 9:24-27 CSB Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city—to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place. "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an Anointed One, the ruler, will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in difficult times. "After those sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the coming ruler will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come with a flood, and until the end there will be war; desolations are decreed. "He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.
C2 For a covenant to be made there must be a nation of Israel (your people). One article to study (PDF).
C1 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 WEL Don’t let anyone deceive you by any method, because [it will not happen] unless the departure comes first and the man of sin, the son of perdition, is revealed. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above everything that is called god or what is worshiped, so that he, as if God, sits in God’s temple showing that he, himself, is god.
C2 The departure (translated variously as falling away, apostasy, great rebellion, etc.) must not be something ordinary to be a sign. It must be an apostasy never seen before.
C3 Some interpret the word departure to be the rapture.
C4 Perhaps a mysticism as we see overwhelming the church today: 1 Timothy 4:1 NLT Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
C5 The Greek word is ἀποστασία apostasía. It means falling away, defection, apostasy. It would be a departure from the teaching of Jesus Christ.
C6 It is used one other time in the New Testament: Acts 21:21 CSB But they have been informed about you—that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or to live according to our customs. [Emphasis is mine].
D1 Acts 21:21 speaks of a false claim about Paul’s teaching. They claim that Paul is teaching a departure from the teachings of Moses, the Torah.
D2 They claimed that Paul was teaching the believers to not follow the Torah and to disclaim Moses as an authority.
D3 To a religious, seriously minded Jew, this is heresy of all heresies.
C7 English definition of apostasy
D1 the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief. (Oxford dictionaries via Bing).
D2 It helps to understand the antonym to help me understand. An antonym is loyalty.
C6 It seems reasonable, therefore, that the apostasy spoken of by Paul would be the heresy of all heresies concerning the Christian faith.
D1 The Gospel would be changed.
D2 Christian doctrine would be changed.
D3 Christian worldview and lifestyle would be changed.
D4 This is happening with greater frequency than any believer would want.
C8 Is it a sign? No one knows when this apostasy occurs. Nevertheless, we do seem to be in a time when the plain teachings of the Scripture are being ignored.
B3 Last days conditions
C1 2 Timothy 3:1-9 WEL Know this also, that in the last days perilous times will come.
2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, braggers, arrogant, users of abusive language, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, impossible to please, false accusers, unable to control themselves, fierce, despising those who are good,
4 Traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 Having an appearance of godliness but having spurned its power. From such turn away.
6 For this type are those who wheedle into houses and captivate gullible women loaded with sins carried away with various evil desires,
7 Ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also oppose the truth. Men with corrupt minds, rejected as worthless in regards to the faith,
9 But they will get no farther, because their foolishness will be clearly seen by all, just as theirs was.
D1 When these last days occur is not said, but the conditions listed in our passage must be extrodinary common and bold.
D2 These people are spoken of as having some sort of religious expression.
D3 They are deceivers who groom people to abuse and take advantage of them.
D4 Truth is no longer reality but personal opinion.
C2 Possibly, the sins of the Canaanites and those living before the flood can give us an idea of the types of sins that God hated so much that He judged them worthy of the death penalty.
D1 Noah’s days: Genesis 6:5-7 NLT The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the LORD said, "I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.
D2 Thoughts, desires, words, and deeds would be exactly the opposite of God’s list.
E1 God’s ten commandments
F1 You shall have no other gods before Me.
F2 You shall make no idols.
F3 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
F4 Keep the Sabbath day holy.
F5 Honor your father and your mother.
F6 You shall not murder.
F7 You shall not commit adultery.
F8 You shall not steal.
F9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
F10 You shall not covet.
E2 So in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds they do the opposite. The Canaanites did the opposite when obeying the commands of their gods. Deuteronomy 12:31 CSB You must not do the same to the LORD your God, because they practice every detestable act, which the LORD hates, for their gods. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. [Emphasis is mine]
E3 The opposite laws would then be:
F1 Any gods you want or can imagine.
F2 Any image you want or can invent.
F3 Blaspheming Jesus is good.
F4 No time for Jesus. Seel yourself and your own pleasure first.
F5 Do not honor your parents. They are old fashioned and not enlightened.
F6 Murder is the solution to a problem, so abortion, political killings, war, etc.
F7 Any kind of sex as long as you don’t hurt someone else.
F8 Steal if you need to.
F9 Lie to protect yourself and your friends.
F10 Covet and pursue it.
D3 Leviticus 18 speaks about the practices of the people living in the land presently.
E1 The passage:
Leviticus 18:1-30 NIV The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am the LORD your God. 3 You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. 4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. 5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD. 6 " 'No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD. 7 " 'Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her. 8 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife; that would dishonor your father. 9 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere. 10 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter; that would dishonor you. 11 " 'Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife, born to your father; she is your sister. 12 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister; she is your father's close relative. 13 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, because she is your mother's close relative. 14 " 'Do not dishonor your father's brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt. 15 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; do not have relations with her. 16 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your brother's wife; that would dishonor your brother. 17 " 'Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness. 18 " 'Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living. 19 " 'Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period. 20 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her. 21 " 'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD. 22 " 'Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. 23 " 'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion. 24 " 'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 " 'Everyone who does any of these detestable things--such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God. [Emphasis is mine]
E2 Some comments
F1 Sexual sins predominate
G1 The Israelites were not to have intercourse with mother, stepmother, stepsister, granddaughter, sister, aunt, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, a woman AND her daughter, a woman AND her granddaughter, when a woman is unclean, neighbor’s wife, any male, any animal, etc.
G2 Sex is good and is to be pleasureable for husband and wife only.
F2 The Israelites were to never sacrifice children to any god (Molech is mentioned here). Note from the Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 1895):
(Heb. Mo’lek, מֹלֶךְ, king, always with the art. הִמֹּלֶךְ, except in 1Ki 11:7; Sept. ἄρχων in Lev 18:21; Lev 20:2-4; Μελχών v.r. βασιλεύς in 1Ki 11:7; Μολὸχ ὁ βασιλεύς in Jer 32:35; and simply Μολόχ in 2Ki 23:10, as Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion everywhere render; Vulg. aMoloch), called also MOLOCH (Amo 5:25; Act 7:43), MILCOU (1Ki 1:5; 1Ki 1:33; 2Ki 23:13), MALCHAM (Zep 1:5), and MELCOMI (marg. Jer 49:1; Jer 49:3, text “their king”), is chiefly found in the Old Testament as the national god of the Ammonites, to whom children were sacrificed by fire.
F3 God ordered the people not to live by the rules, laws, and standards of the Canaanites or anyone else; they were to live by God’s rules.
F4 Punishment was to be vomited out of the land.
F5 A note from Believer's Bible Commentary by WILLIAM MACDONALD 1985 on this passage: Verses 1-23 tell the people what not to do; verses 24-30 tell them why not to do it. It is no accident that impurity and idolatry are found together in the same chapter (see also chap. 20). A person's morality is the fruit of his theology, his concept of God. The Canaanites were a graphic illustration of the degradation that idolatry produces (vv. 24-27).
B4 God’s promise to bring the Jews back to Israel
C1 The Jews coming back to Israel has never happened like it has the last 70+ years.
C2 It was prophesied:
D1 Jeremiah 16:15 NKJV but, 'The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.' For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.
D2 Jeremiah 30:3 NKJV For behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,' says the LORD. 'And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
The are not exact signs, but perhaps the above are indications that the Jesus’s return is soon.
Like the Apostle John we pray, as all believers have for nearly 2,000 years: Revelation 22:20 NKJV He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!