Most people do not realize how close we are to the return of Christ. God's prophets told us what to look for when Jesus came the first time and even more is written about His second coming. God has given us this information because He wants us to be ready for Christ's return. 2 Peter 3:9b says, "(The Lord is) not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
Part of the reason the time was right for Christ's first advent was that it had become possible to spread the good news of His coming throughout the known world. The Romans had built bridges and roads to make it easier to control their subjects and facilitate trade. These technological advancements in transportation also made it easier for Paul and others to cover more territory in their missionary travels. "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son," Galatians 4:4.
As with Christ's first advent, the technological marvels of our day point to His soon return. The prophet Daniel recorded God's Word that there would be an explosion of knowledge in the end times: "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase," Daniel 12:4. He also said that events leading up to the Lord's return would occur in rapid succession, "the end of it shall be with a flood," Daniel 9:26. The rate of change we are experiencing is not just a by-product of our getting older, developments are accelerating on all fronts as God said they would.
"Change" is the watchword for today. Seventy-five percent of all medicines in use today have been discovered in our lifetime. Ninety percent of all the scientists who ever lived are alive today. A single nuclear warhead can exceed the power in all the bombs and artillery shells exploded in both world wars. Mass communications systems broadcast news around the world in seconds.
Revelation 11:7-12 tells of two prophets who are killed by the Antichrist and all the world sees them resurrected. How would this have been possible prior to TV & satellite communications?
Roman roads greatly improved transportation but prior to the car, the fastest mankind could travel was about 30 miles per hour. Adam could mount a horse and gallop that fast through the Garden of Eden. Now, even air travel is routine. Running to and fro at 350 MPH between Houston and Dallas is like catching a bus. This century is the first ever to have such a dramatic jump in mobility.
Only since the development of the space program have we been able to comprehend the biblical prophecies relating to man's efforts in the heavens in the last days. In Obadiah 4, we read, "though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," says the LORD. The time of fulfillment for this prophecy is given in verse 15: "For the day of the Lord is near..." Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 30:3-4 that at the time of the end when Israel would be re-gathered, that even if God's earthly people would be driven out into the heavens, He would bring them back.
The rapid growth of the computer has fueled the increase of man's knowledge making it possible to manage vast resources of information.. Inexpensive personal computers the size of a notepad can contain the entire Bible and search it a couple seconds for a single word. The information superhighway (a.k.a. Internet & World Wide Web) makes it possible for someone in their home to use other computers anywhere in the world.
Computer automation is moving us closer to a cashless society with every day that passes. Already computer data bases keep track of our credit and buying habits. It is easier and more convenient to buy things using credit cards than to write a check. The Antichrist will use a cashless society to subjugate the whole world: "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name," Revelation 13:16-17. Miniature computer chips the size of a rice grain are already being injected under the skin of farm animals and pets to identify them. The mark of the beast technology is ready and waiting. All we need is an economic disaster to plunge us into the application of this technology as a solution to it.
When Daniel asked God to help him understand the prophecies he was given, God said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand," Daniel 12:9-10. We have entered the time of the end. The prophetic pieces of the puzzle about when Christ will return are all falling in place for the wise during the second half of this century.
If you don't know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, no amount of preparation will allow you to escape the wrath that will come upon the earth in the Day of the Lord. However, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved," Romans 10:9.
If you have been saved, you should be active in a Bible-studying church. In these last days, we should remember to encourage each other in the Lord, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching," Hebrews 10:25.