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Are We Nearing the End Times?
Did you know all the signs Christ said would signify His second coming are occurring in our time?
When Jesus' disciples asked what would signal His return, He gave them several signs to watch for. He also taught that the time immediately before His coming would be known as the "beginning of sorrows" (Matt. 24:8), which in English means the "onset of labor pains."
Jesus was saying the signs of His coming would start out as mild pangs spaced widely apart like human labor and then gradually become closer together and more intense, like the birth process, until this final seven-year (Daniel's 70th week) period of suffering and judgment would culminate in the coming of the Messiah.
Consider the signs that Jesus said would be the prelude to His return and notice how they've begun to occur in our time:
False Christs: The past few decades have witnessed a huge upsurge in charismatic leaders claiming to be Christ, including the Moonies' Rev. Sun Moon, the Buddhist Dalai Lama, the Hindu Krishnamurti, the Jewish rabbi Menachem Schneerson, and the Bahais' Baha Ullah, to name a few. Collectively, their followers number in the millions. . Jesus replied to them, "See that none misleads you; for many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." Matt. 24:4,5
War: War in the original Greek of Matthew 24 is ethnos, meaning ethnic or racial war. A recent editorial in Time magazine reported there are presently 67 wars being fought around the planet and most of them are ethnic wars, including the recent slaughter in Rwanda and Bosnia. According to the National Defense Council Foundation, conflicts around the globe have doubled since 1989. "... you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars..." Matt. 24:6,7
Famine: The LA Times reported recently that more than one billion people suffer from serious malnutrition, exacerbated in the past months by worldwide drought. More than 35 million people living mostly in the southern states of Africa suffer from acute hunger and are threatened with imminent death. "There will be famines..." Matt. 24:7.
Pestilence: The rate of infectious diseases has increased 58% since 1980, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Diseases once considered conquered are now reappearing, sometimes in drug-resistant forms. AIDS has become a worldwide scourge, and viral diseases such as Ebola pose an international threat because of transcontinental flight. "There will be pestilences." Matt. 24:7.
Earthquakes: The number of dangerous earthquakes measuring 6.0 or greater on the Richter scale has been steadily increasing since the 1950s when there were nine. In the 1960s, there were 13. In the 1970s, 51. In the 1980s, 86. In the 1990s more than100 such serious earthquakes have already been recorded, according to the LA Herald Examiner. "There will be...earthquakes in various places." Matt. 24:7.
The Seas and Waves Roaring: The Associated Press reports that the most recently completed Atlantic hurricane season produced 11 hurricanes, 8 tropical storms, and $7.7 billion in damage. Serious flooding has also occurred recently in the U.S., Russia, Japan, Mexico, China, Europe, Korea, and the United Kingdom, according to Barron's. "There will be bewilderment at the roaring of the sea and waves." Luke 21:25.
Violence: Since 1960 violent crime has increased in the U.S. by 560%, according to FBI statistics, and the number of reported cases of child abuse in the U.S. has risen from 670,000 in 1976 to nearly 3 million in the 1990s. Other nations are experiencing similar dramatic increases in violent crime, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "...as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Mt. 24:37. ("And God said unto Noah, '...the earth is filled with violence...'" Gen. 6:13.)
Gospel Preached to the Whole World: Christian radio and TV are now reaching into almost every nook and cranny of planet Earth. "...and this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to the whole world and then the end shall come." Mt. 24:14.
All of the signs that Jesus said would precede His return seem to be occurring in our time.
Other Prophecies Fulfilled
- Other prophecies relating to this seven-year period of judgment, coming from many parts of the Bible, have also begun to be fulfilled:
- Israel reborn as a nation in 1948 (Ezek. 4:3-6, Lev. 26:18)
- Israel surrounded by hostile Arab countries ( Psalm 83:4-8)
- Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews (Luke 21:24)
- Israel negotiates a peace treaty with her enemies (Daniel 9:27)
- Doomsday weapons threaten earth (Joel 2:3)
- Ecological devastation occurs (Rev. 11:18)
- The Roman Empire revives as the European Union (Daniel 2:40-44)
- Heresies become widespread (II Thess. 2:3)
- Russia rises as a military power (Ezek. 38:1-12)
- A hole in the ozone layer develops (Rev. 16:8.9)
- TV communications are global (Revelation 11:9,10)
- Cultic activity arises (I Tim. 4:1)
- Sub-dermal microchips for identification purposes (Rev. 13:16,17)
- Massive increases in wealth occur (Jas. 5:3)
- GATT and World Trade Organization become possible forerunners of a world government (Rev. 13:7)
- Asia possesses resources for a 200-million-man army (Rev. 9:14-16)
- The Euphrates River can be dried up (Rev. 16:12-v 14) and a military highway linking Asia to the Middle East is being completed (Rev. 9:14)
- Knowledge vastly increases (Dan. 12:4)
- Russian and Ethiopian Jews return to Israel (Jer. 23:7,8; Zeph. 3:10)
- The Hebrew language is recovered (Zeph. 3:9)
- Jerusalem is rebuilt in nine specific directions (Jer. 31:38-40)
- Levites and priests train for Temple service (Ezek. 43:14,15)
- Israel's rainfall increases dramatically (Joel 2:23) and the country becomes fertile and blossoms (Isa. 27:6)
- Men become more selfish, arrogant, abusive, ungrateful, fierce and treacherous (II Tim. 3:2,3)
Where We Fit In
Referring to these signs, Jesus said, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near." (Luke 21:24-28).
If we are approaching that seven-year period that precedes the second coming of Christ - and all the signs indicate we are - the Bible tells us those years of judgment upon the earth will be accompanied by untold human suffering.
But believers in Christ who have sincerely placed their trust in Him can be certain of the redemption to which Jesus referred. .
So where does that leave you? Are you one of God's children who's been called to believe in His Son but has rejected each invitation? Where are you going to spend eternity?
Jesus told us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John. 3:16). But He went on to say that "...he who does not believe is already condemned because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (John. 3:18).
Is it too late for you to find salvation?
Not yet. God designed an offering, His only Son died a miserable death on a cross so that our sins could be blotted out in our Creator's sight and we could be reconciled to Him.
All we have to do is accept His Son as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. By doing this our loving Father promised that, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart imagined the wonderful things God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
Would you like to receive those "wonderful things" in the everlasting life Christ promised His followers? Do you want to know how to accept God's Son? It's simple. All you have to do is sincerely pray this prayer: "Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and I want to turn away from my wrongdoing. Right now I'm inviting you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You, making You my Lord and Savior. Amen."