The Greatest Sign of the End Times

René Malgo

What is the greatest sign of the end times? Ron Rhodes calls Israel the “super sign of the end times,” because we see its existence as a nation today before our very eyes. But there is an end-times sign that is even bigger, although we can’t see it with our own eyes. However, we experience its far-reaching effects every day.

What really got the end times rolling is the incarnation of the Son of God: the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to this earth. For the apostles, His appearance in the midst of His people was the beginning of the end of the ages (Gal 4:4; 1 Cor 10:11; 1 Pet 1:20). It was the greatest sign of the last days (cf. Matt 1:23; Luke 2:11-12).

With Christ, life Himself appeared in this world (1 John 1:1-3). The reconciliation of the world appeared in person (1 John 2:2; 2 Cor 5:19). The light of the world Himself appeared (John 8:12). And so John could write at the time, “…the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth” (1 John 2:8).

According to the conviction of the apostles, the darkness of the world was about to pass away (Rom 13:12). The day was near (James 5:8-9), because Christ had abolished “sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb 9:26). His coming marked the turning point in human history. And in the end, he didn’t return as soon as the apostles and their disciples had expected, because the infinitely merciful and gracious God wants to save more people (2 Pet 3:9).

It was right when John wrote, over 1,900 years ago, “Little children, it is the last time” (1 John 2:18). He couldn’t guess how much longer the last hour would last, any more than we can figure it out (Acts 1:7), but he did well to connect the last hour with the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. 1 John 2:18-23). For in Him, the kingdom of God has truly come near!

John called all those who deny that Jesus is the Son of God “antichrist.” Christ is another word for Messiah, or Anointed. In other words, anyone who denies that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah is an antichrist. That is why the apostles so often used the near end of all things as a starting point (1 Pet 4:7). Because the King of Israel, prophesied for the end of days, had come and solved the problem of sin. The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy had begun.

By “Son of God,” John, like the other apostles, meant God Himself. This is made clear by the fact that he calls the Lord Jesus “light” and “life.” In addition, he concludes the First Epistle of John with a warning against idols, and in the line just prior to it, emphasizes regarding the Lord Jesus, “…This is the true God, and eternal life” (5:20).

That is why it is the end times: God Himself, God the Son, has appeared and was made known as Israel’s Messiah on this earth. And whoever denies this is an antichrist.

According to John, such people who deny that the Son of God became man are antichrists (1 John 4:1-6). For this reason also, these are the end times, because a world event couldn’t be more dramatic: God Himself, who doesn’t take on a human shell, but rather becomes human and thus inseparably connects with His creatures. As a human, Jesus Christ is our mediator (1 Tim 2:5). As a human, He is the first coming of the resurrection (1 Cor 15:21-22). And as a human, He is our intercessor before the Father. He knows exactly what we’re feeling and how we think, because He also went through it Himself, but without sin (Heb 4:14-16).

There has never been anything like it in history, and never will be again: God Himself became a man. He remained who He is, and yet became what He had not been before. In this way he reconciled the people with Himself, joined with them, and incorporated them into His heavenly life, so that all who believe and abide in Jesus Christ may be called the children of God. Therefore, figuratively speaking, the manger, the cross, and the empty tomb are the greatest signs of the end times, for they show that the most holy Creator has made Himself approachable, to draw His fallen creatures for time and eternity. And we can only marvel at it, worship and exclaim, “Amen, come, Lord Jesus!”

Midnight Call - 07/2018

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