The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes, you say, `It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, `Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away. [Matthew 16:1-4]
Our Lord was saying to the Jews of that day they were blind to the signs of their time because of spiritual blindness. He indicated that only those who have spiritual illumination and discernment from the Holy Spirit can hope to understand the trends and meanings of history.
Was Jesus speaking here directly to the Jews of that day about their blindness and rejection of Jesus being the Messiah or was He speaking of future signs of His second coming? How you answer that question will influence how you view history overall and how you view the culmination of humankind.
Some people argue that the characteristic of ‘end time’ people have been our character throughout the ages and that people haven’t really changed. In its simplest form, that is true. It’s not that we don’t do the same things, what’s relevant is that we do it with increasing intensity and we are teaching new ways of doing it. Certainly, these things have been happening since the beginning of time. However, the intensity of these things today is such that we dare not blind our eyes to their meaning.
What’s most stunning about it all is the breath-taking rapidity of these recent developments. It seems we are now seeing change happen faster than ever before. What once took years, now happens in days. What once took days, now happens in minutes.
Eve Of Destruction Video
Today many secular as well as religious authorities recognize … “These are extraordinary times.”
A Wall Street Journal headline read, “Millennium Fever: Prophets Proliferate, The End is Near.” A New York Times book review began, “Some 50 million Americans share a belief that these are the last days.” Even the Chicago Tribune ran a front-page story about the end times in a recent Sunday edition.
Even the most seasoned newsmen who have “seen it all” are in awe of the world developments in recent years. All of them realize that something unique in the history of the world is happening today.
Furious and frustrated over his blazingly imminent end, Satan is gearing up for a monumental, last-ditch effort to capture the souls of men and women. Satan is an adversary who wishes to harm us by denying God exists and/or attacking His character. Raging psychopath, liar and mass murderer that he is, Lucifer’s mind is consumed with his mad ambition to take as many captives as possible with him into the dark pit.
Is Civilization Coming to an End?
An Associated Press writer asks, “Is everything spinning out of control?”
Malcolm Muggeridge suggested, “The basic condition for a civilization is that there should be law and order. Obviously this is coming to an end. The world is falling into chaos, even perhaps especially our western world…
There are many other symptoms.
- The excessive interest in eroticism is characteristic of the end of a civilization because it really means a growing impotence, and fear of impotence.
- Then the excessive need for excitement, vicarious excitement, which of course the games provided for the Romans and which television provides for our population.
- Even the enormously complicated structure of taxation and administration is a symptom of the end of the civilization.
- Above all, there is this truly terrible thing which afflicts materialist societies – boredom, an excessive boredom which I note on every hand.”
For some, the book of Revelation describes the end times as a future event. It speaks of a one-world government, a godless dictator, financial terrorism and the total regulation of all business, plagues, crime and rebellion, and devastating disasters.
When I survey current events, I see most of this occurring in our present day world. While it may not have yet reached its fullest expression, things in our world have been continuously spiraling to higher levels. In 2020, the antichrist system of control and domination was ratcheted up to unheard of levels across the globe in a coronavirus scamdemic.
Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of Nobel Prizes in 1954 and 1963, said he believes the greatest catastrophe in the world is yet approaching. This looming catastrophe might well result in a world war which could destroy civilization and spell the end of the human race. Or, it might take the form of mass starvation among a world population that has been doubling every 35 years. Civilization might end because of the collapse of the systems on which it depends; or the end of civilization might result from weather changes induced by governments to improve the yield of crops.
Some are pointing to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as that catastrophe Dr. Pauling was referring to. Considering all the events occurring in our world today, coronavirus is not really all that big a deal. Not that it’s not a dangerous pandemic, it is and there are an increasing number of deaths associated with it. But there have been pandemics in the past that have been far worse and there are tragedies happening every day in our world that take more lives than coronavirus.
I believe the real danger of this manufactured Covid-19 pandemic is the global reaction to it. What are governments doing in response? It seems to me they are overly overreacting by closing their borders, shutting down their economies, and forcing people into unemployment. They have never reacted like this before even when faced with far worse situations. I suspect the longer term effects of coronavirus will be an economic catastrophe that may indeed lead to Dr. Pauling’s warning.
Where does it all lead?
Even though we see the signs so clearly, it’s still difficult to interpret them. What does it all mean? Where is it all leading?
The Bible tells us, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” [Eph. 11:7] It does no good to be paralyzed by fear. Like Noah, perhaps the signs of the time we see around us should motivate us to do something to prepare and take care of our families. These events might be designed to wake up the unsaved from their slumber to see their need for a Savior and to turn their lives over to Jesus.
To many, these “signs” were fulfilled in the First Century church with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD while others see these “signs” pointing to a time in the future that Jesus said would herald His return. Regardless of your viewpoint it seems clear there are “signs of the times” in today’s headlines.
Why is there so little peace in the world when we have such unprecedented knowledge and unlimited potential?
Are we are now living in the “last days”?
Some see the signs of the times as prophecies being fulfilled now or in the future while others argue these signs were fulfilled in 70 AD. As I survey the various categories of signs that the Bible talks about, they certainly appear to have been fulfilled in the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. That being said, it seems many of these signs are still occurring today and that is what causes so much confusion. While I don’t accept the dispensational concept of the “last days,” I do believe we are witnessing Satan’s continued attempt to control and dominate the earth (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The Signs Are All Around Us
We’ve become a proud people, lovers of self, boastful, profane, disobedient, unthankful, unholy, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, despisers of all that is good.
But mark this: 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—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. [2 Timothy 3:1-5]
There are many people in this world who believe they are following God – they go to church on Sunday and are going through the motions of their faith. Yet, they have permitted a moral rot to infect this world and will be largely responsible for bringing us to the threshold of judgment. They are those “having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
Men will reject the truth until God will turn them over to the “strong delusion” of the Antichrist who will cause them to believe a lie and be damned [2 Thessalonians 2:9-12].
General ‘signs’ Jesus Spoke of in the Olivet Discourse.
(See Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21)
- Deliberate deception by men of God’s Word
- Rise of false Christs
- Increase in wars and rumors of wars
- Famines, Pestilence & Earthquakes
- Discrimination and hatred against Christians
- Backsliding, turning from the faith, betrayal
- Hatred of Christian against Christian
- False Prophets and “New Age” leaders
- Lawlessness abounding
- Love and concern for others grows cold
- Gospel preached worldwide
Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. – Matthew 24:33-34
That verse 24:34 is the stumbling point for many people. What generation? While it was clearly directed at the people living at that time, I believe that God is still warning the world. Like ancient Israel, the world today has broken His covenant and has gone away from Him. Then, as now, these events are warnings designed to turn us to Him. And what we have seen thus far is just a prelude. The prophetic warnings are going to continue, even building in intensity, then the final judgment is going to come.