By Zheng Xun
We are now at the end of the last days, and there are many brothers and sisters who believe sincerely in the Lord and await His return who must surely be thinking this question: In chapter 22, verse 12 of Revelation, the Lord Jesus prophesied, “And, behold, I come quickly.” The Lord promised us that He would come again in the last days, so has He now returned? This question really is so important to us Christians, so how exactly are we to know whether the Lord has really returned or not? In actual fact, the Lord Jesus has already told us through biblical prophecies, and as long as we take all the facts together and ponder them in earnest, then we will find the answer.
- 1. The Appearance of War, Famine and Earthquakes
- 2. The Restoration of Israel
- 3. The Gospel Shall Be Preached in Every Corner of the World
- 4. Iniquity Shall Abound and the Love of Believers Shall Wax Cold
- 5. The Appearance of False Christs and False Prophets
1. The Appearance of War, Famine and Earthquakes
It says in Matthew chapter 24, verses 6 to 8: “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” The disasters that have occurred across the world in recent years have been growing more and more severe and, to man’s horror, earthquakes, floods, droughts, wildfires, famine and outbreaks of disease occur frequently and are widespread; the world is in a changeable and turbulent state, and war, violent acts, regional conflicts and terrorist attacks happen frequently and continue to escalate. For example, in April 2015, 16 states in the US discovered that they had the avian flu virus, and experts indicated that this was the worst outbreak of avian flu in the US in 30 years. On April 25, 2015, an earthquake registering 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred in central Nepal, resulting in the deaths of around 9,000 people, with 22,000 injured. This was the biggest natural disaster to hit Nepal in over 80 years. From November 2015 to July 2016, Paris, Brussels and then Nice experienced multiple terrorist attacks, which caused the deaths of at least 200 people, with over 700 injured. In April 2016, India experienced its worst drought for 40 years, which caused more than 300 million people to struggle to find enough water to drink. From 4th to the 6th February 2017, due to heavy snow, there occurred a series of avalanches along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which caused the deaths of more than 100 people and affected around 2,617 families, making a total of 15,702 people. At daybreak on April 1, 2017, floods and landslides caused by heavy rain hit Mocoa, Colombia, killing at least 316 people and injuring 332, with 103 people missing. This was the third weather-related disaster in Colombia’s history and is considered the worst disaster ever to hit Mocoa. It is precisely the frequency of these disasters that serves as a reminder to mankind from God, and from them we can see that this biblical prophecy has long been fulfilled, and the Lord has come again.
2. The Restoration of Israel
It says in Matthew chapter 24, verses 32 to 33: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” As we all know, the fig tree putting forth its leaves is spoken of in reference to the restoration of Israel. Israel was restored on May 14, 1948. These scriptures tell us that when we see Israel restored, the Son of man is at the door. It has now been 70 years since Israel was restored; 70 years ago, the Lord was at the door, so hasn’t He long since returned? It is very clear that this prophecy of the Lord Jesus’ return has also been fulfilled.
3. The Gospel Shall Be Preached in Every Corner of the World
It says in Matthew chapter 24, verse 14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.” “This gospel … shall be preached in all the world” means that when all the world has heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus, Christ will come. (It does not mean when every single person has heard the gospel or when every single person believes in Christ.) When the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross and completed His work of redemption, the Holy Spirit began to guide the disciples and apostles to bear witness to the Lord Jesus. Since then, the Lord’s gospel has been gradually spread through all manner of channels, such as radio, the Internet, books, gospel flyers or believers’ evangelism. Christianity has become established throughout the world, and many countries even take Christianity as their national religion. Christians have also long since spread across the world, and there are even many who accept the Lord Jesus’ gospel in China, which is ruled by an atheist political party; the Lord Jesus’ gospel of redemption has long since spread to the ends of the world. Dear brothers and sisters, think about it for a moment: What nation, what region in the world now has never heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus?
4. Iniquity Shall Abound and the Love of Believers Shall Wax Cold
It says in Matthew chapter 24, verse 12: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Iniquity is now increasing in the world of religion, and it is now without the work of the Holy Spirit or the presence of God. Even though some may appear to have a fervent belief, they still walk the worldly path. The coveting of wealth is widespread amongst believers, some sell all manner of goods in their churches, some go into business and some run factories and busy themselves with making money. They take no thought to working for the Lord and they live enmeshed in worldly entanglements. When pastors and elders preach, they focus only on explaining biblical knowledge and theological theories instead of preaching the Lord’s words; they don’t bear witness to the Lord or exalt the Lord, and they don’t lead believers to seek to understand the Lord’s will. And so, they end up leading their listeners into biblical knowledge, and their flock becomes further and further removed from God; some pastors and elders vie with each other and engage in jealous disputes, so much so that they even form cliques, separate into differing factions and gangs, steal offerings, engage in sexual misconduct and have no God-fearing heart whatsoever. These iniquitous actions are happening more and more now in the world of religion and churches are becoming more and more desolate. These things inevitably make us think of the end of the Age of Law, when the temple that had previously been filled with the glory of Jehovah appeared desolate, the priests made poor sacrifices, and the temple became a marketplace. Is there any difference between the churches of today and the temple at the end of the Age of Law? From this we can see that this biblical prophecy has been completely fulfilled, and that the Lord has returned.
5. The Appearance of False Christs and False Prophets
It says in Mark chapter 13, verse 6, that when the disciples asked the Lord Jesus what omens there would be for His second coming in the last days, the Lord Jesus said, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” And it is recorded in Matthew chapter 24, verse 24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
The Lord Jesus prophesied that when He returned in the last days, there would appear false Christs and false prophets. Over the past few years, false Christs and false prophets have appeared one after another in many countries around the world. They call themselves Christ, and not only do they try to pass themselves off with Jesus’ name, but they also try to imitate the Lord Jesus’ signs and wonders, healing the sick, casting out demons, etc. From the appearance of so many false Christs, we can see that this prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus’ return has been fulfilled, for when false Christs appear, the true Christ has actually already come. At this time, we should even more so take the initiative and seek out the appearance and work of God. Perhaps some brothers and sisters may say: “Now, so many false Christs and false prophets have appeared. If we take the initiative to seek and investigate, what shall we do if we are deceived?” But if we don’t seek and investigate the appearance and work of God because we are afraid of being deceived, we would not know that the Lord has returned, and wouldn’t that make us even more likely to be abandoned? Wouldn’t we be stopping eating because we are afraid of choking, and losing out on a lot to save a little? From this, we can see that adopting an attitude of hearing nothing, seeing nothing and touching nothing toward all who preach the coming of the Lord for fear of being deceived is foolish. If we want to welcome the Lord Jesus’ return, then it is crucial to be able to tell the difference between false Christs and the true Christ. Only in this way can we welcome the Lord and not be deceived. So what are the characteristics of a false Christ? The Lord Jesus said, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders.” From the Lord’s words, we can see that the main features of false Christs are: They can only perform some simple signs and wonders and preach fallacies which appear true but which are actually false in order to deceive people; they are completely incapable of expressing any truth to solve mankind’s problem of sinning and confessing, and they cannot save mankind from their own corruption. This is because the essence of false Christs is that of extremely wicked evil spirits, and they are completely devoid of truth. Only Christ is the truth, the way and the life; only Christ can express the truth, show us the way and provide us with life. All those who cannot express the truth to provide for us and can only show some simple signs and wonders are false Christs—this is the fundamental principle of how to tell false Christs from the true Christ. With the Lord’s words as our basis, we need not worry about being deceived. For how specifically to tell the difference between false Christs and the true Christ, please watch this wonderful movie clip, How to Differentiate Between the True Christ and False Christs.
From the facts above, we can see that all the prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus’ return have been fulfilled—the Lord has returned. Many people, however, will surely ask: “If the Lord has returned, why haven’t we welcomed Him yet?” Have you ever thought that there could be something wrong in the way we practice welcoming the Lord Jesus’ return? When it comes to the Lord Jesus’ return, many people make guarding against false Christs their number one priority. They cling to their conceptions and imaginings and believe that all who testify to the Lord’s return are false, and they pay no attention to how to be a wise virgin and hear God’s voice. Some people focus on watching and waiting, holding to the Lord Jesus’ name and keeping His way. But this is only passive waiting and they never take the initiative and go forth to seek and investigate, and they pay no attention to hearing the Lord’s voice. How can we welcome the Lord by practicing in this way? The Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:3, 8). The Lord is faithful, and as long as we harbor a seeking heart, pro-actively investigate the Lord’s appearance and work in the last days, listen in earnest to the Lord’s voice, and see whether this way has any expression of the truth and whether or not it can provide us with life, then the Lord will surely guide us to recognize His second coming!
Editor’s Note: By reading this article, we now understand that all the prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus’ return have been fulfilled. So how should we welcome the Lord Jesus’ return? We recommend the gospel page The Lord Has Returned, so that we may continue to seek and look into this aspect of the truth. If you have any further light, enlightenment or difficulty with this article, please leave a comment, or communicate online with us through our webpage’s live chat.