Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. —1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 (ESV)
Google searches for “end times” and “rapture” are spiking as news watchers try to interpret the stories scrolling across their screens.
So what do we know about the end of the world? Just as importantly, what don’t we know? And how should we live in light of this knowledge? Let these Biblical messages from Billy Graham and Franklin Graham guide you as you pray for God to give you wisdom and peace.
Understand the Truth About the End Times
How is the world going to end? Can anyone predict when it will happen? How bad will things get before Jesus comes back? Read Billy Graham’s short answers to each of these questions and others.
Make Sure You’re Ready
Posting to his Facebook followers, Franklin Graham quoted the book of Revelation, “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war” (Revelation 19:11, ESV).
“Jesus Christ came to earth as a suffering Servant,” Franklin wrote. “He will return as conquering King. A day of reckoning is coming, and we are invited to be ready. Have you bowed your heart in repentance and faith before the King of kings?”
That’s the most important question you’ll ever answer. The Bible says it’s not “if” but “when” Jesus Christ will come back to judge the earth. By choosing to follow Christ now, you can ensure you’ll have eternal life in heaven when all is said and done.
Know the Signs
While the Bible makes it clear that no human being knows when the world will end, it also says there will be signs that Jesus’ return is approaching. The best source for understanding signs of the end times is the Bible itself. Take a careful look at some of the things Jesus said about His return.
>> Read about signs of the end of the age in Matthew 24
>> Read about the coming of the Kingdom in Luke 17
>> Read about what Jesus foretold in Luke 21
From recent hurricanes and earthquakes to the rise of ISIS and this year’s total solar eclipse, many people are asking whether specific events are signs of the end times. The short answer is we don’t know.
Billy Graham once preached in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, on the night of a total lunar eclipse. Rather than pointing to the eclipse as a specific sign from the Lord, he used the moon and stars to illustrate the incomprehensible vastness and power of God.
Mr. Graham has, however, said he believes there are Biblical signs of the end times visible in the world today. Nearly 10 years ago, he wrote, “We see the storm clouds gathering and events taking place that herald the second coming of Jesus Christ.”
Understand There Will Be ‘Scoffers’
On the last night of the 1969 New York City Crusade, Billy Graham preached that there will be “scoffers” in the last days. In 2 Peter, chapter 3, the Bible describes these scoffers as people who will follow their own sinful desires while mocking the truth of Jesus’ return as though it will never happen.
“People will say, ‘Oh yeah, God is dead,'” Billy Graham explained. “‘We can’t find God anywhere. We took a trip up in space. We didn’t meet God; we didn’t meet any angels while we were there.’
“And there are going to be other scoffers that will scoff at the idea of future judgment, scoff at the idea that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth again. They’ll laugh at the whole idea.”
Why do people mock the Bible, and why don’t they want Jesus to come back? Hear the answer in Mr. Graham’s message below.
Choose Hope, Not Despair
In the same message from New York City in 1969, Billy Graham said people tend to react to the idea of the end of the world in one of three ways: with pessimism, activism or hope.
“I belong to that group that has a theology of hope,” he said. “Because my hope is not centered in this world or in what man is going to do or not going to do. My hope is centered in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who the Bible says is going to come back someday and straighten the whole mess out.”
If you are a follower of Christ, you also have hope, especially when it comes to end times. The idea of the end of the world may seem frightening, but those who are in Christ have nothing to fear.
When events at home and around the world cause you to despair, remember that Jesus has overcome the world, and He will come back for His people. As Billy Graham once said, “I have read the last page of the Bible. It is all going to turn out all right.”
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33, ESV