End Times Signs
By Chris Schang
The Bible tells us in Matthew 24 during the course of what is perhaps Jesus' most important sermon - the Olivet Discourse. Jesus told some of his disciples about the end times signs that would take place during the end of the age. The disciples were of course very interested in what was going to happen in the future.
Some of the end times signs Jesus mentioned were false Christs, wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilence, and other horrible signs that indicated that the end of the world as we knew it was close at hand. While there have been many false Christs, wars, earthquakes, etc. since Jesus left the earth, this does not necessarily mean that the end of the world is right around the corner. In fact, depending on when you lived, the end times could have been far off. It has been said that the first false Christ appeared about 120 years after the death of Jesus. And we know that all through human history there have been wars, earthquakes, and famines among other things.
However, what separates today from yesterday is that the modern state of Israel exists during our lifetime. It is said that the key to end times Bible prophecy is the nation of Israel. This is so very true. And when we look at things in the context of the re-birth of Israel we see a very different picture emerge. The Bible tells us that when Israel is reborn as a nation, that the generation that sees these things will witness all things fulfilled. This is referred to as the story of the fig tree in Matthew 24. Israel is oftentimes referred to as the fig tree in the Bible. And as a result, we know that since the re-birth of Israel there has been a remarkable increase and frequency of the end times signs that Jesus mentioned previously. It is not unusual these days to see several moderate to significant earthquakes hitting various parts of the world on any given week. In fact, due to the technological increase in earthquake monitoring equipment, we are now in position to plot the number of earthquakes in a year and the results are alarming. There has been a tremendous amount rise of earthquake activity over the last 50 years. And much more over the last 20 years. The same things can be seen with other signs as well.
One of the effects of the end times signs is that they serve to remind us that we can't save ourselves. Our salvation and security is simply in the hands of Jesus Christ. As a result of the fall of man, the whole of creation has been under a curse that has corrupted us. There is only one hope in the world for the predicament that we find ourselves in and that is through the completed work of Jesus on the Cross. Only through the shed blood of Jesus can we be reconciled back to God. This gift of salvation is priceless and it is available for all of those who will ask for it. The coming judgments of God will be preceded by falling stars, eclipses, and heavenly catastrophes as foretold in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. These horrible natural catastrophese will be God's final call to repentance before he pours out his wrath in the final seven year tribulation period. This seven year tribulation period will be a time like no other. This will surely be the worse seven years on earth. This time is often referred to by several names including the tribulation period, the 70th week of Daniel, and the time of Jacob's Trouble.
The pre-trib rapture of the church will take place before this seven year tribulation period. This is the blessed hope of the church as promised throughout the scriptures. Only believers who have placed their faith in Jesus will be able to go up in the rapture. All the rest of the people, many who were sitting on the fence seeking one last end times sign, while finally see it but it will be too late at that point. They will have to go through the tribulation period as they did not make a decision for Christ until it was too late. However, God in his mercy will allow a second chance for salvation during the tribulation period, but it will not be without a cost. Many of the people who come to faith in Jesus Christ after the rapture will have to die for their new found faith in Jesus. These are the tribulation martyrs that we read about in Revelation 6. They will be of people from all over the word who are dying at the hands of the judgments falling on the earth as well as from wars, famines, and pestilence. This is why it is important that people make a decision for Christ today, for tomorrow could be too late. In fact, the Bible declares that the day of salvation is today. Make your decision today and go up in the rapture, don't go through the tribulation. It will literally be Hell on Earth for seven years.
The Bible says that the seven year tribulation period is so bad that men will faint in horror at the things coming upon the earth. World leaders will be confused and it won't be until shortly after the seals are broken that the people on earth realize that the wrath of God has been poured out as promised by the Bible. The men on earth will try to escape but there will be no refuge. It will be so bad that men will seek that the stones fall on them in order to hide them from the one who sits on the throne in Heaven. This is a dramatic account of the tribulation period. The purpose of the tribulation period is to punish unrepentant sinners and to call Israel to redemption through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, it will take over two-thirds of the world's population to perish before the tribulation period will end. Yet when the tribulation period ends it will result in the redemption and regeneration of the Jewish people.
While we are given an outline and a list of things to look for concerning the end times signs, the Bible is silent on exactly when these things will occur. Yet, one of the worse things that has happened over the years is that men have foolishly tried to figure out the mind of God and discover things that only he alone knows. This kind of behavior is foolish and prideful, it hurts the witness of believers everywhere as they come up with dates for different events to occur and then when their date comes to pass without happening they end up with egg on the face. This is a tactic the devil loves to play over and over again. He's always on the lookout for someone who will date-set an event and then the devil sits back and watches as the Bible is mocked by it's critics as being untrustworthy. While I have no doubt that many of these people are well intentioned, it still doesn't change the fact that their behavior is reckless and foolhardy. If god had wanted us to know the exact date of an event, he would have told us. But the truth is events like the rapture, which is a favorite date-setting target, are imminent and can happen at anytime. To put a date on these things only serves the devil and his causes. Please, don't date-set.
In fact, remember the words of Jesus when he told his disciples that no ones knows the date or the hour in Mark !3:32. Instead, he simply cautioned them and warned them to always be on the look out as mentioned in Mark 13:23.
End Times Signs
1. People living without regard to whether God exist - Genesis 6:5, Luke 17:26-27
2. Explosion of knowledge and travel - Daniel - 12:4
3. Wars and rumors of wars - Mark 13:7
4. Widespread acceptance of immoral behavior - Luke 17:26, 2 Peter 2:5-8
5. Instability in world leadership - Psalm 2:1-3, Revelation 13:4-9
6. Widespread abandonment of the Christian faith - 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3-4
7. Increased demonic activity - 1 Timothy 4:1
8. Significant shifts in political power and influence - Revelation 13:3-7
9. People mocking the Word of God - 2 Peter 3:2-4, Jude 17-18
10. Antichrist declares himself to be God - 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
11. General disrespect for others - 2 Timothy 3:2-4
12. Spirit of selfishness and materialism - 2 Timothy 3:1-2
13. Breakdown of the family unit - 2 Timothy 3:1-3
For more end times signs, please take a look at our list of 101 Last Days Prophecies