Lately, we have heard more talk than usual about the end of history, that we are now living in the last days and that the Lord’s return is imminent. All of this talk arises out of the deeply felt anxiety – not only here in the USA, but also all around the world – regarding the possible fall of every economy and a takeover by tyrannical governments in many, if not in most, nations; or even the establishment of a tyrannical one-world government.
Furthermore, never has a national religious / political leader (please note, regardless of what any of us might want to believe, religion and politics are, and always have been, totally interrelated) actively worked to bring on the final battle – Iranian President, Mamoud Ahmadinejad. He has publicly proclaimed this as his purpose. We can take him at his word.
Also, never before in the history of the world has the possibility of a one-world government been as real as it is now. This is simply because the world is much smaller than at any other time in history as a result of advanced communications technologies, ease in travel, economic international interconnectedness, and massive shared information systems. Given these realities, everyone has to recognize worldwide tyranny as a possibility – but not necessarily as a probability. Anything is possible. Only some things are probable. Anything can happen. Only some things will happen. But the question still remains – Is it happening now?
Whenever I speak or write about our Lord’s return, I always preface my remarks with His instruction that no one knows the day or the hour – and no one will be able to properly read the signs at the right time.
Furthermore, the last days already have begun. We know that. They began with Christ’s Ascension. From the moment He ascended into heaven, His church on earth has anticipated His return. Hence, the last days began 2,000 years ago. Other than that, no one can make any accurate prediction.
It is helpful, though, to know the signs even if no one will be able to properly read them at any given point in time. Many lists are available. Order and sequence vary. But all of them have some common elements. Here is a condensed summary.
- An outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all people with only a very few truly receiving Him.
- Virtual universal apostasy with devotion given to a revival of ancient paganism, taking the form of a variety of de facto religions such as
nature worship, devotion to the earth goddess or Mother Earth, or belief in some non-Christian social / political / economic philosophy of
life or similar variation. All of this overlays the worship of the devil.
- Adaptation of the Gospel to the lies and deceptions of the above.
- The proclamation of the Gospel to every nation, tribe or group of people in every part of the world.
- Good called evil and evil called good – a complete inversion.
- Belief in worldly wisdom rather than in the divine revelation.
- People, ministers, priests and preachers turn away from Christ’s Truth. (This most certainly includes the degradation of the Sacraments of Baptism
and of Holy Communion.)
- The restoration of Israel as a political sate with the rebuilding of the Temple on Temple Mount. (This is not universally agreed upon among
Christians as a sign since much of Christ’s church see themselves as the new and true Israel with Jesus Christ Himself as the rebuilt temple.
Furthermore, many believe that the whole world is the New Jerusalem rather than the particular city.)
- Violent weather – earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, etc. coupled with famine, plague and disease.
- Fascination with, belief in and devotion to the occult.
- Wars, civil strife and violence in all nations.
- Dramatic increases in crime and evil doing of every sort.
- False messiahs appear and people devote themselves to these frauds.
- Massive persecution of Christians and Jews.
- The manifestation of the actual Anti-Christ. He will eventually preside over the one-world government.
When all of these things have happened, Jesus will return with His army of angels under the command of St. Michael the Archangel to fight the last battle and defeat evil forever. Finally, St. Michael will slay Satan. (Michael and Satan are opposites – Jesus stands over and above both of these archangels. Jesus Christ has no opposite.) Then the new heaven and the new earth will be established with our Lord reigning as the King of Kings.
I have oversimplified. Volumes upon volumes have been written on this subject. But this should provide you with some kind of frame of reference.
So then, What’s happening now? We will see. Whatever the case may be, our job is to live as if our Lord might return at any moment. That means that we do as He instructed us – love Him above all else, love our neighbors as ourselves and, as we keep His commandments, watch and pray.