Are we approaching the Second Coming?

by Michael H. Brown

       It's the greatest of all questions. It pops up every year -- especially at this time. It transcends denominational boundaries. And the anticipation is skyrocketing.

       Is Christ ready to return? Is the Second Coming well-nigh? Will He soon come in glory?

       No doubt, something is about to happen. As I have been writing recently, we've entered a period of purification -- a time when we'll see storms, unusual natural disasters, military confrontations, and other forms of upheaval, both economic and societal, as the evil that has built up is broken down. 

        Around the world, seers have been telling us since the 1980s that major events are on the way. They have said that there will be a number of events in the coming times. Most stay away from dates. Most are careful not to tie it to the year 2000. They indicate that over the next few years any number of situations -- some disastrous, some spiritual -- will begin to unfold.

       Some, however, take it further -- into the apocalyptical, believing that the purification will pave the way to the Second Coming.

       The danger is in discrediting legitimate prophecy. Major events are on the way -- both natural and supernatural -- but they will likely occur in ways that are unexpected. A year ago I was warning people not to go overboard with Y2K. I didn't think it would amount to much and feared when little happened that it would damage legitimate prophecy -- which it did. Many were turned off to the legitimate chastisements that are coming because of bogus predictions that haunt us every year.

       But there has never been more reason to anticipate. We are that much closer to major events. What has been forecast at Medjugorje and certain other places will occur in our lifetimes or those of our children. Things may begin to move quicker after the year of mercy -- this Jubilee Year that was won for us by the Pope -- is over.

       But the Second Coming?

       There has been anticipation of that since the time of the disciples. We see in places like James 5:8 that the coming of the Lord was thought to be "at hand." Through the centuries -- especially at times when the world is ready to plunge into a crisis -- have been similar prophecies. In the Middle Ages, around the time of the Black Death, there were so many seers proclaiming the end of the world, the antichrist, or the Second Coming or end of the world that the Pope banned them from pulpits.

         If we believe the Catholic Church, some major things must happen first. The Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. There will be a persecution accompanied by the unveiling of the "mystery of iniquity," a great religious deception (including the Antichrist). 

       And that's not all. Before Christ comes, says the Catechism, "all Israel" must recognize Jesus. 

       It will take a huge event to cause this, a major scare, that could mean a nuclear conflict, a global epidemic, or an event like the approach of a comet or asteroid. Jesus Himself said that before His coming would be signs in the sun, moon, and stars -- and that "men will die in fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the earth" (Luke 21:26).

       We are entering a time of chastisement. In my mind, no doubt about that. The question is this: Will it be a purification as has occurred several times in a global way since the time of Jesus, or will it be a purification that paves the way for Jesus and causes Israel to turn to Him as the Messiah?

       That's the key place to watch: Israel. Watch what happens there, along with natural events and a great stirring from a person who embodies evil.


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