After this beginning, things go from bad to worse. All nations will turn against Israel. There will be betrayal. There will be hatred of the truth. Many will be offended by those who take a stand for the truth. False prophets will increase their following. The world will turn against all things just. The love of many will wane because all they see is evil. Yet this is not the end.
The end won’t occur until the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to all the world (Matthew 24:14). During the time of sorrow and the intolerable anguish, our job is to continue to spread the gospel. During time of persecution and hatred, our job is to spread the gospel. Satan has come up with a neat little trick to keep this from happening.
You may ask, “What trick are you referring to?” I am so glad you asked that question. I strongly think our question is wrong. I think our desire to know when the Lord will return is causing us to focus on events instead of the Lord. I hear the question all the time, “What events still must happen before the Lord returns?” I hear, “How do the events of today play into the return of Christ?” I am afraid we are looking to events instead of to the Lord.
I think this is what bothered Christ when the people of His day kept asking for signs. One day the crowd was surrounding Him asking about signs. He sighed and said it is an evil generation that seeks signs (Luke 11:29). The Lord of lords was there and they wanted a sign. They were so busy looking for signs that they totally missed the Messiah. Our generation seeks signs of when Christ shall return.
God has made it plain that the return of Christ is a mystery. Christ told the Pharisees that the time of Christ’s coming would not be seen by signs (Luke 17:20). Looking for the signs takes our focus off serving the Lord. We worry and debate when Christ is to return. He did not call us to dispute signs but to serve the Lord. If we are busy serving the Lord, we won’t have time to debate the signs of the times.
Now there are some who put emphasis on the blooming of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32-35). However, the next verse explicitly states that no man knows the hour or the day when Christ will return (Matthew 24:36).
So what do we know about the return of Christ? First, we know for a surety that He shall return (Acts 1:11). Second, we know we are to work for Him until He returns (I Thessalonians 1:3). Third, seeking signs is not what God has called us to do. He has called us to learn of Him and share Him with the world. Instead of trying to figure out when He will return, start understanding He can return at any moment and desire to be found faithful to His service when He appears (I Corinthians 4:2).
Our goal is to serve Him and be looking for His return (Titus 2:3).
Keep serving and working.