Will violence continue to escalate as the time of Jesus’ appearance draws near?
As in the Days of Noah
The recent law enforcement issues have created tensions between African-Americans and police. Even though actual reports of police brutality are in the small minority, it doesn’t take much for our society to take to the streets. With out-of-town agitators thrown in, you’ve got a riot! People are so easily led into violence today, so it’s very much like it was as in the days of Noah. The Word says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Gen 6:5-6), so by Noah’s time, “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Gen 4:11-12). This verse could have been written about our society today, but it was the same way in Noah’s day too, so what happened after the world reached such a state? The flood of God’s judgment came crashing down on all unbelievers.
Led to Violence
Sadly, many people who end up doing violent things are actually led into such action. Scripture says, “A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good” (Prov 16:29, so Solomon’s wise advise is, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent” (Prov 1:10a). If envy has our heart, we are told, “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways” (Prov 3:21). Choose to do what Christ might do in a given situation, because “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence” (Psalm 11:5). What kind of test is it? God may test our hearts to see if we’ll be moved to violence or coercion to try to change a social injustice, but again, the Word says, “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence” (Psalm 11:5). We too must hate violence; not the ones who do violence, but their acts of violence and pray for this country. God may be using these troubled times to draw men to Christ. What about you? Do you know Him yet?
Authorities of God
When we rebel against authority, we rebel against God, just as those who rebelled against Moses actually rebelled against God. The Word is clear that “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom 13:1). The way God looks at civil and governmental authorities is that “he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Rom 13:4), so “whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Rom 13:2). We are told to be in subjection to the authorities (Rom 13:5), as long as it doesn’t force us to sin against God (Acts 5:29). We obey God first, in this case, but most of the time, the local laws are what God has sovereignly institute, and they are for our own good, so we must “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph 5:11). Don’t let someone influence you to evil as “Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things; he who purses his lips brings evil to pass” (Prov 16:30), so the Lord tells us, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place” (Jer 22:3). That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?
The End of Violence
Isaiah wrote a beautiful description of a world without violence. He said that someday, “Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise” (Isaiah 60:18). This is why Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matt 26:52). Certainly, when we see an injustice in the world or our neighborhood, we should strive to make it right and fight for the rights of those who cannot defend themselves (Prov 31:8), but when it’s beyond our control, we must remember “him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people” (Heb 10:30). Demonstrating for rights or a social injustice is one thing, but rioting, burning, and looting are yet another. One can change our world. The other will only make it worse.
Will violence continue to escalate as the time of Jesus’ appearance draws near? Sadly, I believe it will, but we must leave judgement up to God, as the Judgment Seat is a one-seater, and there’s no room for me on it. God alone will judge; He will judge righteously, fairly, and without regard to persons. Only those who have trusted in Christ have had their sins already judged and will not be at the Great White Throne Judgement (Rev 20:12-15), but if you’ve never trusted in Christ, then you have good reason to fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell (Matt 10:28). It is after death that judgment comes for the unbeliever (Heb 9:27), or it comes at Christ’s appearance (Rev 1:7), so please, I plead with you, make today your day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). If you keep rejecting Jesus Christ, at some point (death or at Christ’s appearance), it will be too late.
Here is some related reading for you: Is Increasing Violence a Sign of the End Times? 
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.