A Timeline of Events Before the Return of Jesus Christ

Question

We received the following email from an individual that reads in part:

Since so many things are changing so quickly now and since the veil between the physical and the spiritual is thinning every day — could you propose a timeline of events until the return of the Lord Jesus?

And another person sent us an email that said in part:

When [will] the Anti-Christ/Beast/Man of Perdition be unveiled? How much time are we looking at?

Answer

The long and short of our response is: we do not know. We are not psychics and we do not give predictions for the future. Neither are we christian occultists who go by the name “prophetess or seer,” and we are not going to soil either the office of prophet or the title of a true prophet of God by pretending we are such.

Furthermore, we do not work for Satan’s hierarchy any longer, and are not privy to any new plans they have. The overall plans we do know about, we have written in our book.

But for a good overview of what the end times are going to be like, look to the words of Jesus (see also Mark 13 and Luke 21):

Matthew 24:3-51 (BSB)

Signs of the End of the Age

While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will all this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered, “See to it that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Witnessing to All Nations
(Mark 13:10-13; Luke 21:10-19)

Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many.

Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Abomination of Desolation
(Mark 13:14-23; Luke 21:20-24)

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then let those in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve anything from his house. And let no one in the field return for his cloak.

How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not occur in the winter or on the Sabbath. For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened.

At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance.

The Return of the Son of Man
(Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28)

So if they tell you, ‘There He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days:

‘The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree
(Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33)

Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

Readiness at Any Hour
(Genesis 6:1-7; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:35-48)

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away. So will be the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household, to give the others their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whose master returns and finds him doing his job. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

But suppose that servant is wicked and says in his heart, ‘My master will be away a long time.’ And he begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day he does not anticipate and at an hour he does not expect. Then he will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There is a lot of arguing back and forth between Christians about what these verses mean, exactly. We urge you to ignore all the bickering and go to the Word of God for yourself to find out what these verses mean in context to the whole of Scripture, as well as what the original words mean. Online Bible study tools make this easy.

Basically, Jesus says it’s going to get worse. Here’s a timeline according to what He said:

1. Many will come in the name of Jesus, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

2. There will be wars and rumors of wars.

3. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.

4. There will be famine and earthquakes in various places.

5. Followers of and believers in Jesus Christ will be persecuted, destroyed, and hated.

6. Many will fall away from the faith (also see 1 Timothy 4:1 and 2 Peter 3:3-4), and they will begin to betray and hate one another.

7. Many false prophets will arise and will deceive many people.

8. Wickedness will multiply and the love that many people have will grow cold.

9. The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations.

Then Jesus spoke of other things that come after this — most of which people fuss over —  and it is all leading up to His return, when He sets the Kingdom of God on this earth. But the bottom line is, Jesus warned us to be ready, because we do not know the hour or the day of His return.

People fuss over this phrase, too — “we do not know the hour or the day” —  but we aren’t going to argue about it, because arguing about it causes us to miss the point of what Jesus was saying: BE READY! He was making the point that it doesn’t matter when He comes, but if we are doing our job by following Jesus Christ and living by the Biblical standards of God, we won’t be taken by surprise when He returns!

How do we make ourselves ready? By focusing on our relationship with our Heavenly Father, something that is only made possible through Jesus Christ! This begins at salvation, when we cry out to Him to save us, repent of our sin, and ask Him to forgive us. Then, we follow Jesus Christ, as is commanded by Scripture:

Luke 9:23-24 (BSB)

Then Jesus said to all of them, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”

John 21:17-22 (BSB)

Jesus said to [Peter], “Feed My sheep. Truly, truly, I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself and walked where you wanted; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.

After He had said this, He told him, “Follow Me.”

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. He was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper to ask, “Lord, who is going to betray You?” When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

In other words, focus on the right thing — following the example of Jesus Christ — and stop worrying about and focusing on all the surrounding elements. All those other things are simply distractions on what our goal should be, which is to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

Luke_9_23-24.pngHow do we follow Jesus Christ? By taking up our cross, submitting to the Father, and walking in obedience to His Word and to His will, no matter what. This is a daily, conscious activity, and by knowing what is written in His Word (the Bible), we can learn about His commands and His standards!

When you research on what God’s standards are, in addition to studying the perfect example of Jesus Christ, consider Job as another example of living up to the standards of God. The Bible describes him as being a man of integrity: “perfect and upright,” and someone who “feared God and eschewed evil.” (Job 1:1)

A problem that many of us have is “eschewing evil.” What does this mean according to the Bible? To study this word, and to look at other verses where this Scripture is found, you can follow this link: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?page=1&strongs=H5493&t=KJV#lexResults


Q&A_Timeline.png

So while we can recognize the signs of the times according to Scripture, it is important to not focus on the signs of the end times. The end times will play out the way that God has ordained, and if we focus on the problems that are surrounding us, we are likely to have fear in our hearts. But when we focus on following Jesus Christ— taking up our cross, submitting to the Father, and walking in obedience to His Word and to His will, no matter what — we will be ready when He returns.

Blessings,

Carolyn and Loren ❤


Related Reading — Q&A: Answering Questions About the Antichrist

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