The "Me" Generation
"Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold" (Matthew 24:12 KJV).
This is how Jesus described the callous condition of people's hearts in the days to come—just before His return. In a related passage, the apostle Paul writes, "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Selfishness and cold-heartedness seem to be prevalent almost everywhere we look.
The Good News Goes Global
"And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14).
Unlike the rise in wars, famine, plagues, earthquakes, etc., Jesus said that this particular sign—the Gospel being preached in all the world—was not merely something to indicate "the beginning of sorrows," but was a specific sign that would indicate when the actual end of the age—beginning with Christ's Second Coming—would be upon the world.
According to The Almanac of the Christian World, Christians and Christian churches now exist in every country of the world. Missiologists estimate that between 75 and 85 percent of the world's population have heard the Gospel at least once. Over 50 million Bibles are distributed every year, as well as nearly 80 million New Testaments. Four billion Gospel tracts are also printed each year.
According to the United Bible Societies, the entire Bible or parts thereof are now available to about 98 percent of the world's population, having been translated partially or entirely into some 2,303 different languages.
Other Christian books are also proliferating. Books primarily about Jesus in today's libraries number 175,000 different titles in 500 languages, increasing by 4 newly published every day. The Gospel is also preached in 38,000 Christian magazines and on 4,050 radio and television stations. Ninety-nine percent of the world's population have the Gospel available to them via Christian radio stations. And then there is the 1979 film Jesus, or the Jesus Film as it has come to be known, which has been seen by 2 billion people and has been translated into more than 760 languages and dialects.
Never in the course of history has the Gospel been preached in all the world to all nations as it is right now—if not directly by missionaries, it is certainly being preached by the modern mediums of radio, television, telecommunications, and the Internet. This is a conclusive prophecy by Jesus that shows that you and I are now living in the time of the end!
Globetrotters and Jetsetters
"Many shall run to and fro…" (Daniel 12:4).
The modern means of communication and transportation that have made it possible for the Gospel to now be preached in all nations bring to mind another specific prediction regarding Endtime conditions. In 534 B.C., the prophet Daniel received an outstanding revelation. Afterwards, God told him not to worry that he couldn't understand it all, that even though the prophecy was given to him, it wasn't for him. It's only been in recent years that the book of Daniel has been opened. The Lord told Daniel:
"Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase" (Daniel 12:4).
Many running to and fro literally means "speeding about, here and there," or as The Living Bible renders this verse, "travel shall be vastly increased."
When you consider that people's means of transportation—horse and buggy, wagons, camels, boats, etc.—did not change substantially for thousands of years, you can appreciate the significance of this prophecy.
"Knowledge shall increase" (Daniel 12:4).
It is with good cause that the term "information overload" was coined in recent years. If the amount of information that is available is an indication of the knowledge available, knowledge has increased within our generation almost beyond imagination! Here are just a few mind-boggling facts on this:
The world produces between 1 and 2 exabytes of unique information [print, film, optical, and magnetic content] per year, which is roughly 250 megabytes for every man, woman, and child on earth. An exabyte is a billion gigabytes, or 1018 bytes, or roughly the equivalent of the textual content of a billion books.
Around a million books are printed annually (that's titles, not copies), 25,276 newspapers are published (that is separate newspapers, such as the International Herald Tribune, not the number of issues), 40,000 scholarly journals, 80,000 mass-market periodicals, 40,000 newsletters.
Fascination With Satan
"Now the [Holy] Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1).
Not only are many people unknowingly falling for Satan's deceptions, increasing numbers are following rank Satanism.
The Bible tells us that if people willfully reject God's truth, they will be given "strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). When we refuse the truth, there is nothing left to believe but a lie. This is why much of the world today is wide open for deceivers and false prophets. An abandoning of true faith frequently precedes "giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."
Two fields in which paganism and Satanism have made tremendous inroads are the popular music business and the computer gaming industry. The most shameless acts of blasphemy and desecration are now socially acceptable in the name of audiovisual and multimedia entertainment and "freedom of expression."
1. The Almanac of the Christian World. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1990.
2. DAWN Fridayfax 2001 #2.
3. DAWN Fridayfax 2003 #7.
4. DAWN Fridayfax 2002 #8.
5. DAWN Fridayfax 2001 #2.
6. UNESCO 1996, ISSN 2001, Ulrich's 2000, Oxbridge Directory 1997.
7. Kent, Steven L. "Cyberplay: Why do so many games have violence and devil imagery?" CNN, 30 May 1997 : http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/9705/29/cyber.lat/
Excerpted from The Future Foretold, by Michael Roy