(Image belongs to https://fewox.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/the-return-of-jesus-christ/)
A Falling Away
The Apostle Paul clearly tells us that “the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared” (1 Timothy 4:1-2). There has undoubtedly been a falling away from the faith; just look at plummeting church attendance. But there is also a falling away from the truth of the Bible with manmade doctrines that have distorted and twisted Scripture to fit what false teachers/pastors/prophets believe. This is a falling away from the truth of God and falling into error, and many are being led astray.
Increase of Lawlessness
Paul also wrote that “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). Apparently, the “mystery of lawlessness” was already at work in Paul’s day; but today many who profess Christ do not keep the commandments. And although we can’t be saved by the commandments, those who are saved strive to do so (1 John 3).
Love of Many Growing Cold
Jesus prophecies about the end of the age in saying, “because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:13). Paul adds that “people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2-4). All you have to do is look at the news to see how lovers of self and haters of others has exploded in the world.
The Voice of the Martyrs says that in just the last decade and a half of this century, there have been more killed for their faith than in all the time since Christ was crucified 2,000 years ago. In other words, take all of those killed for their faith for the last 2,000 years and then those killed in the last few decades and we see that more have died for their faith in recent years than in the previous 2,000 years!
Gospel Preached Worldwide
In the Olivet Prophecy, Jesus said about the end times that “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). Aren’t we closer than ever to the saturation point of the Gospel today? The Gospel has been proclaimed throughout the whole world on every continent and nearly every people group through ministries, missionaries, and other Christians. Jesus’ return appears to be very close.
Know that these things must happen before Christ appears for the second time (among other things), which include a falling away from the faith and the truth, growing lawlessness, the natural love of many growing cold, increased persecution, and the Gospel being proclaimed worldwide. I believe these have already happened; therefore, I see no reason that Jesus cannot come back today or tonight. All the more reason to hear what Jesus said: “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44).