Jesus Christ described the predominate preoccupation of humanity prior to His return.
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, the built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” Luke 17:26-30
If we look at the heart condition of mankind in the days of Noah and when Lot dwelt in Sodom, we will get a clearer picture of the human condition before Jesus Christ comes back to this earth.
5Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them. Genesis 6:5-7
20And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave. 21I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Genesis 18:20-21
….4Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out that we may know them carnally.” 6So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, 7and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 8See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.” 9And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door. Genesis 19:4-11
The inhabitants of this earth will be engaged in normal human activity while living wickedly depraved lives and will not give a moment’s thought to the possibility of their impending doom because of their wickedness. They will greatly resent and be hostile against the believers call to them to repent and turn from their wicked ways. Our world is in the same condition as it was when God poured out His judgment and wrath upon evildoers. We are headed towards even greater depravity as made clear by the news of our day. The Word of God also gives the spiritual condition of the majority within the church in a number of verses.
In 2 Thessalonians God tells us that the great apostasy which will prevail upon the earth will give rise to the Antichrist.
1Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-15
The religious unbelievers are those who fall away. They are those who reject the uncompromising standard of God’s truth, which is the Word of God, the Bible, and they give way to devious doctrines of demons delivered by depraved duplicitous deceivers. They have itching ears only desiring what they want to hear and liars whose consciences are seared as with a hot iron are happy to oblige.
13But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived…3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Timothy 3:13 & 4:3-4
And so we are given the declination of mankind before the return of Christ. The horror of this ungodliness will be righted when Christ sets His kingdom up upon this earth at His second coming. The time for Christ’s return is approaching quickly.
The kingdom that Jesus Christ will establish upon this earth for one thousand years will be marked by holiness, harmony and peace, the exact opposite of what we have now.
17“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. 19I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying. 20No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years shall be accursed. 21They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. 24It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says the Lord. Isaiah 65:17-25
Jesus Christ shall rule this world in righteousness from His exalted throne in Jerusalem. There will still be those who reject and rebel against Christ, but they will be dealt with swiftly and justly.
Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, 3“Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6“Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” 7“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” 10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed you judges of the earth. 11Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way. When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalm 2
The ultimate rebellion will come at the end of the thousand year reign when Satan is released from the pit and he deceives the nations once more to reject the Lord. But they will all meet their just demise.
4And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:1-10
None of these events have taken place yet, but we can be sure, that just as the Scripture was fulfilled when Christ came to this earth the first time, so will it be fulfilled when He returns physically to destroy the wicked kingdom of the Antichrist and then set up His glorious kingdom of righteousness.
The imminent return of Jesus Christ to this earth is the believers blessed hope. Our great desire is to see our beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh. Those who lie and say that He is already ruling and reigning upon this earth have a big problem to deal with, and that is reality. Which scenario does our world most approximate at this time, the scenario given by Christ before His return, or the scenario of Christ ruling physically upon this earth? Those who are honest will admit that our world looks like the evil scenes presented to us in Genesis. The evil will continue until He returns to destroy it and establish righteousness. As the beloved of the Lord let us work for Him and look for His return. Let us share the gospel, give to the poor, love one another, do good to one another, and look up for our redemption draws nigh. May God bless us to live for Him and His glory.