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THE end?

What life events will transpire from the time of the first twist of the toothpaste cap to the last squeeze? The mundane, often monotonous, the surprising, spontaneous, joyful, sad, and sometimes hurtful things of life. Our stories are diverse but similar because of our common thread, the thread of human emotions. My story is your story. We’re in this together. Whether spoken or written, our stories are meant to be shared. It takes courage and vulnerability to do so. Like love, sharing involves risk. But also, like love, the risk is always worth it. I share my stories with you in mind.

All good things must come to an end.

That’s not entirely true. ALL things – good and bad, must come to an end…..that’s better…. but still not entirely accurate….All CREATED things must come to an end. Now we’re getting somewhere.

A sad but true reality, death is a part of life. It was Woody Allen who said, “I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

One day, regardless of what our beliefs are about God, heaven, hell, life, death, eternity…..you, and I will leave this earth. As has often been quipped, “none of us are getting out of this alive.” Well, that’s not entirely true. Some of us (according to the Bible) will be transformed from this life to the next in what Scripture describes as the “twinkling of an eye”, when all those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ are removed from the earth during an event commonly referred to as the rapture.

THE WORLD IS GOING TO END ON OCTOBER 10, 2021.

Maybe not…..okay, more like probably not. Of course, no one knows when the end of the age will come. In fact, when Jesus walked the earth He said that not even He knew when that day would be, only His Father knew. But let’s say that by some means you knew beyond doubt that October 10, 2021, was indeed going to be the last day of life as you know it. What impact would that have on your daily routine? How about your eating habits? Your exercise program? Relationships? Work, hobbies….. your spending habits?

The younger we are the more we tend to take time for granted. Knowing the date of our ‘departure’ would certainly cause time to rise to the top of our precious commodity list as more and more of it went by. In our scenario, as October 10, 2021, drew nearer, would your beliefs about the afterlife change at all?

According to the Bible, signs of the end times will not be confined to just the spiritual realm. There will be noticeable events in the natural, sociological, technological, and political arenas.

Natural signs that will occur include great earthquakes, famines, and pestilences in various places, and “fearful events and great signs from heaven.” Does any of that sound like today’s headlines? Scripture describes these types of signs as “birth pangs” which will ultimately lead to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Sociological signs. Immorality is rampant in society today. Abortion, homosexuality, drug abuse, and child molestation are all on the rise. American culture is changing at a rapid rate, with traditional understandings of marriage and gender transforming, and a more progressive view of sexuality. The Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage; the transgender debate and the Obama administration’s directive that public schools allow students to use the bathrooms that correspond to their self-perceived gender are all indicators of a hedonistic and materialistic society. People are lovers of themselves.

Here’s how the Book of Timothy describes end-times society, “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (2 Timothy 3:1–4)

Technological signs. There continues to be a rapid increase in knowledge. Some of the judgments in Revelation are more easily imagined in a nuclear age. Revelation 13 says the Antichrist will control commerce by forcing people to take the mark of the beast, ….computer chip technology.

The Bible says the “gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come,” (Matthew 24:14). The Christian gospel continues to be preached in even the most remote and hard-to-reach geographic areas of the world through the internet, radio, and television (Mark 13:10).

Political signs. The restoration of Israel to her land in 1948 is the single most impressive fulfilled prophecy proving that we live in the end times. Zechariah 12:3 confirms this: “On that day when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.”

Spiritual signs. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 indicates many people will follow false teachers. We see an increase in cultic groups, heresy, deception and occultism, new age and pagan religions. On the positive side, Joel 2:28-29 prophesies that there will be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16), and we are still seeing the effects of that outpouring in revivals and Spirit-led Christian movements, worldwide preaching of the gospel message, and the emergence of Messianic Judaism.

Chapter 24 in the Book of Matthew describes more of the “birth pains”; “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”

God gave us these prophecies because He does not want anyone to perish, and He always gives ample warning before pouring out His wrath (2 Peter 3:9).
End times scholars generally agree that the rapture of the church could occur at any moment. There is no prophecy that needs to occur prior to that event. God will deal with sin either by grace or by wrath. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Those who do not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior will remain under the Lord’s wrath.

Finally, the Bible compares the time prior to the rapture (the tribulation, the second coming of Christ, or ?? — depending on your particular belief) to the time prior to the flood of Noah’s day….“The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood, everyone was carrying on, as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away. The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that..” (Matthew 24:37-39). In other words, Noah looked really foolish until it began to rain!

Odds are October 10, 2021, will not be the date that the world as we know it comes to an end. It may be tomorrow and it may be in the distant future. One thing for sure, we all know there is something that lies beyond this life. I can say that with such certainty because the Bible tells me so! The decisions you and I make in this life will have a profound impact on the next. Hope to see you there!

Mike Pitocco
Mike Pitocco
​Following a stint in the USAF Mike worked in retail management on Long Island, New York prior to relocating and beginning a new career with the California Department of Corrections, from which he retired after 33 years of service. Retiring as a Program Coordinator with the Division of Addiction and Recovery Services. He continued his involvement with the drug treatment initiative for several years as a consultant with the University of California, San Diego, Center for Criminality & Addiction Research. While working at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, CA, Mike activated Celebrate Recovery (CR), a faith-based ministry, at the prison. Mike and his wife Sharron also activated CR at a number of other correctional facilities in the state. Mike volunteered and eventually was hired as a full-time Chaplain at the Lerdo Detention Facility (Kern County jail) in Bakersfield, CA; eventually becoming Supervising Chaplain, and earning his certificate of ordination from Prison Ministry of America. Mike was also the Ministry Director of CR at Canyon Hills Church in Bakersfield along with co-founding the Kern County Prison Ministry Alliance, the goal of which was is to reduce recidivism one life at a time. Mike considers himself truly blessed to be Sharron’s husband, the proud father of Christina, Daniel, and Sean and grandfather (aka, ‘Papa’) of Lawson, Harper, and Savvy. For Sharron - God’s instrument in knocking off some very rough edges - for family, for life and love, and whatever he may be privileged to share through writing, Mike gives glory to God alone…. Soli Deo Gloria. He is a contributing author to the inspiring book Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

6 COMMENTS

  1. Great article, so full of spiritiual strength in many ways. God is the sole decider as to when the end will be and as a strong believer in Christ and the Holy Scriptures, no one knows, only HIM, understanding too that the word “Rapture” doesn’t occur in the Bible, rather a term from the Latin word taken away, refering actually to the return of Christ, to be together with HIM. I love how you engage the readers in what you write Mike. Again, great article, and I am sure October 10th means something to you and your brother.

    • Thank you for reading and for your comment Lynn. No, the term rapture does not appear in the Bible…..just Scriptures that depict and prophecies that foretell the event…….then, of course, we get into differing beliefs regarding pre, post or mid tribulation rapture – and that assumes one believes there will be a tribulation or a rapture at all!! But those are articles for another time…… Yes, 10/10 is a date near and dear to my brother’s heart. : )

  2. It hit home from our life-long friendship my brother Mike. I will always have my arm across your shoulders — just like in all of our family pictures.

    Another comment on your well written article:

    Live every day knowing that your body is terminal, because it is! Live every day knowing that your soul is eternal, because it is! This perspective keeps me Christ-focused bro.

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