Sometime ago I was a guest on a radio talk show. The host was somewhat amused at my boldness in asserting that we are living in Earth's final days. He asked, "So, what leads you, Mr. Wilson, to believe that I am living at the end of the world?" It was obvious from his question that he was taunting me and understandably so! How many times during the past 2,000 years have Christians cried, "Wolf-wolf?" How many times has it been said, "The end of the world is just around the corner?" I tried to deflect his skepticism by saying there are two kinds of evidence that prove we are living at the end of the world. The first evidence is "general," the second is "apocalyptic." General evidence is all around us and can be easily observed. Apocalyptic evidence is even more affirming, but apocalyptic prophecy requires study and understanding.
General evidence can be difficult to discuss as a sign of the end of the world because human conduct is one of the signs of the end. The behavior of mankind has become grossly degenerate, but to the carnal heart it does not appear to be "all that bad." In other words, the stench of sin goes unnoticed in today's society! It is like the old saying, "Pig farmers can't smell their pigs." Still, a measurable change in degenerate behavior has occurred during the past 20 years and 16 million deaths confirm how sexually immoral the world has become! AIDS is not like the Bubonic Plague, typhoid fever or tuberculosis. AIDS is a fatal disease that is uniquely conveyed (in all but a few cases) through sexual contact.
On Saturday, April 29, 2000, more than 3,000 homosexual couples gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. for a "marriage ceremony" conducted by Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. On the following day, thousands gathered in this nation's capital at the National Mall, demonstrating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. The march and the "marriage" of 3,000 couples was carefully planned to emphasize the need for "human rights" for homosexuals and to remind politicians that homosexuals are a significant voting block. "It's a human rights issue, it's just about people being treated fairly in terms of legislative issues. I just think that there's too much hatred and we have to stand up against that," said Mark Halacy from New York. "All we want is the freedom to love, the freedom to love whomever we choose without fear, without bigotry, without discrimination," said Lori Jean, former Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
From my point of view, AIDS is a verifiable sign of the end. It is an unmistakable sign that human sexual behavior has ignored the bounds of conduct set forth by man's Creator. God said,"'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. 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. 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. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants."(Lev 18:22-25) These verses indicate why God drove the heathen nations from the land that He had given Israel. Similarly, the rising tide of homosexual behavior in the U.S. indicates that our land has been defiled (or will soon be), and our nation (and all other nations suffering from this defilement) will be punished for this sin.
I know my remarks will be considered offensive to homosexuals. I do not wish to offend one person. Yet, the Bible is clear and on this topic God leaves no middle ground. The practice of homosexuality puts an impasse between people. On the one hand, homosexuals want acceptance and "freedom" to fulfill any sexual desire, but many heterosexuals want freedom from the immoral influence of homosexuality for themselves and their children. How can the needs of both be met while sharing the same land? Homosexuality is a deviation caused by the curse of sin. It is real, not imaginary. It is incredibly powerful. I have no doubts that for some, homosexual tendencies began early in life. Homosexuality affects people of every nation, race and religion and this sexual deviation is a behavioral sign of the end. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for defiant sexual immorality, the entire world will suffer the same fate.
Let me make this point clear. A person who is homosexual is not unlike any other sinner. He/she has a soul to be saved and is due Christian kindness and charity. The need of a Savior is no less for the homosexual than any other sinner. However, salvation belongs to those who overcome sin through faith in Christ. The power unto salvation includes power over sin! (Rom 6:9-18, 1 Cor 6:9-11) The only cure for homosexuality is the same cure for every sinner – a miracle, the miracle of rebirth! Pray for those individuals who have adopted the homosexual lifestyle. Instead of judging the individual, pray for victory over a besetting sin. May the Holy Spirit speak to their hearts and help them grasp the divine condemnation that rests upon this sinful course of action!
Another Sign of the End
Another impressive sign of the end is population growth. Even the carnal eye can grasp how the world's population growth is like a runaway train. Researchers warn that the population of Earth will have four billion more mouths to feed within 35-40 years. Even now, more than three billion people suffer from hunger and the number of malnourished people increases each day. Social scientists speculate that something must destroy more than two billion people within the next twenty years or devastating wars over food and water will be inevitable. The Earth can no longer provide food and water to sustain its population growth – another telling sign of the end.
Violent weather and other natural disasters this past century have caused famine, economic havoc and death. The table below shows just a few of these disasters during the past century.
|| 24 Million Dead
|| 5 Million Dead
| Ohio Valley
|| Tornados for 3.5 Hrs.
|| Mar. 18, 1925
|| 695 Dead
| China-Yangtze River
|| 3.7 Million Dead
|| 1.5 Million Dead
|| .5 Million Dead (2 Million Homeless)
| South Florida
|| Hurricane Andrew
|| $25 Million Damage
| Central America
|| Hurricane Mitch
|| 11,000 Dead
Just in the month of January 1999, more than 200 tornadoes were observed in the U.S. – 14 times the average number! At this very moment, 50 million people are currently facing famine as a result of a severe three year drought in two of India's western states. Likewise, the middle East is currently experiencing its worst drought in more than 80 years.
Should we accept violent weather as a natural phenomenon or should we consider these disasters as signs – manifestations of God's displeasure? The Bible indicates how God uses these "natural phenomena." Notice these verses:"If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land. 'I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country."(Lev 26:3-6)
God Deals with Mankind
Some people attempt to limit God's words in the Old Testament (OT) by saying they were directed at Israel and not toward mankind in general. I disagree. God's dealings with Israel were based on the same principles of righteousness that He now uses for all nations. God is not a respecter of people. (Acts 10:34) He made all of us and He loves each of us. (Acts 17:26) The OT confirms how God dealt with other nations, using the same standard of fairness He used with Israel. Even more, if God destroyed a nation that He set apart as His ambassadors of grace (Israel), surely He will do no less to other nations who violate His laws. God deals with all the people of Earth in a consistent manner. By studying His actions and warnings in the OT, we can understand His forthcoming actions against the whole world.
Earthis Defiled by its People
Notice these words from Isa 24:1-6"See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants – it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The Lord has spoken this word. The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore Earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left."(Read Deu 11; Jer 14 and Hos 4.)
Is Degeneracy a Valid Sign?
Sin and its resulting degeneracy have been around since the beginning of time on Earth. Humankind became so corrupt by Noah's day that God was left with no alternative against sin's malignant growth but to send a worldwide flood. So, how can degeneracy be a current sign of the end? The answer lies not only in the depth of degeneracy, but in the breadth of evil. Paul wrote,"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 Tim 3:1-5)
Jesus predicted in Mat 24:12,"Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold."Paul wrote in Gal 5:19-21,"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."
Full Cup Principle
There is a consistent concept throughout the Bible that I call the "Full Cup Principle," which applies to every nation and city in the whole world. The principle is defined: "When human conduct degenerates beyond the point of redemption and restoration, and subsequent generations are unable to rise above their forefather's level of corruption and cannot meet God's minimum standards for civility, God steps into the affairs of man and terminates that body of people." The Full Cup Principle explains the destruction by the flood in Noah's day, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Israel, Judah, Babylon, the Medes and the Persians. It also explains the coming destruction of the world.
Rising Contempt for the Return of Jesus
The passage of time suggests the continuation of time. Unfortunately, some Christians claim to be eager for the Lord's return, but their eagerness is not based on a realistic understanding of His coming kingdom. In fact, many Christians believe they are worthy enough to escape the Great Tribulation via a rapture. On the other hand, there are other Christians who say, "I am not concerned about the Second Coming. It will happen whenever it happens. All that matters today is that I am right with the Lord." Superficially, these statements sound reasonable, even defensible, but there is an underlying contempt for the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation hidden in these words. The prophecies reveal what God plans to do and where we are in His divine plan. As Christians we should be carefully examining the prophecies so our faith and spiritual preparation will be adequate for the final exam that lies ahead. There have been scoffers for thousands of years, but it is the breadth and depth of skepticism among Christians that convinces me we are near the end. Peter said,"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."(2 Pet 3:3-9)
The Gulf Widens
Another sign of the end is how man has become preoccupied with hoarding wealth. A great gulf is widening between the poor and rich of the world as the rich use their power to acquire and hoard even more wealth. Statistics reveal that during the past decade, the world economy has more than doubled. The rich received 75% of that growth, the middle classes received 20% and the poor received 5%. The poor are growing poorer and more desperate. Feelings of hatred, animosity, despair and hopelessness are growing in every quadrant of the world. The misery index is climbing. Listen to James,"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near."(Jam 5:1-8)
This short presentation has described a few of the general signs indicating to me that we are at the end of the age. Earth is overcrowded and unable to feed or quench the thirst of an accelerating population. The corporate behavior of mankind is dismal. In less than twenty years, sixteen million have died of AIDS in less than 20 years, and some estimates indicate that 30 million more will die within the next ten years! Unnatural weather phenomena plagues our Earth. 80% of the world's wealth rests in the hands of 6% of the population. The poor have no hope and no future – only slavery and death. Christians have very little interest in the prophecies, nor is there any credible evidence to convince them that Jesus IS coming soon.
When God's judgments (the first four trumpets) fall on the Earth, religious and political leaders will initiate a powerful backlash against wanton behavior, including homosexual relationships. Many "sin-less laws" will be legislated overnight to stem degenerate behavior. Unfortunately, Christians who resist Babylon and its manmade laws will appear to side with those having the deviant behavior. How ironic! For a deeper presentation, order your copy of my book The Revelation of Jesus .