Signs of the End Times - Signs to Watch For

No one knows the day or hour of Christ's return, but the Scriptures have given us signs that point towards the Second Coming. Christ himself talked at length about the signs leading up to the end of the age. Here is a brief collection of the specific signs we are told to be on the lookout for.

Wars and Rumors of Wars
Mark 13:7 (New International Version)
When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

More people have died in armed conflict in the 20th century alone than in recorded history. There are constant news reports about brewing conflicts around the world, and it always seems that there is trouble on the horizon, specifically in the Middle East. Christ tells us that these things have to happen; these events will set the stage for the coming Antichrist and final showdown between Israel and the world.

Army of the King of the East
Revelation 16:12 (New International Version)
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.

Although some of the Apostle John's prophecies in the book of Revelation are difficult to understand from our perspective, the main consensus for this prophetic verse is that an army comprising of "the Kings of the East" will move into Middle East at or near the battlegrounds of Armageddon. The drying up the river Euphrates that will usher these armies into the Middle East will be an event easily recognized.

Nation Rising Against Nation, Famine and Earthquakes
Matthew 24:7 (New International Version)
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

There has been marked conflict on the earth for about as long as we have kept recorded history. We have had a few instances in the 20th century where nation has truly risen against nation, and we have seen famines, pestilences and earthquakes on the rise exponentially in the last 50 years as a whole. According to one stat, earthquakes alone have increased in frequency and intensity some 2,000% since Israel returned to the land in 1948.

Global Government and Revived Roman Empire
Revelation 13:1-2 (New International Version)
And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.

Revelation 17:12-13 (New International Version)
The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.

The prophet John also describes a one-world global government that will arise and rule the world by dividing it into ten regions described as the "Revived Roman Empire". The European Union will probably play significance as one of the first key steps towards this. The pope himself reportedly has referred to the European Union as a "Revived Roman Empire".

Israel Returns as a Nation
Luke 21:24 (New International Version)
They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Jerusalem had been "trampled" by the Gentiles for centuries since the Romans sacked them in AD 70. History was made once again in both 1948 and 1967 when Israel recaptured Jerusalem and solidified their stance in a unified and legitimate nation.

The Final Generation Will See These Events Fulfilled
Luke 21:29-32 (New International Version)
He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

There is some debate over what Christ intended by this, some maintaining that this prophecy related to the specific destruction of Jerusalem (and the Temple) in AD 70, while others maintain that this Prophecy has eschatological significance. If the latter is true, this would mean that the "final" generation would not pass away until these end times prophecies are fulfilled. In biblical language, a generation can span anywhere from 40 to 70 years. Could we be this close to the

Daylight Hours are Shortened Due to Intense Heat
Revelation 16:8-9 (New International Version)
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.

During the time of the Great Tribulation, plagues are unleashed on man (as it was during the Exodus) as a testament to God's judgment and the wickedness of man. During this time, God will actually shorten the daylight hours because of the sun's scorching heat. Could this be as a result of ozone depletion? Skin cancer and maladies related to overexposure of UV rays are on the rise globally.

Storm Activity and Natural Phenomenon Become Increasingly Worse
Luke 21:25-26 (New International Version)
There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

The alarming increase in hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes and tsunamis (which may more accuraltely be contributed to earthquake activity) since the end of the 20th century have been noted. The death toll due to natural events alone in the last 30 years has been significant.

Famines and Pestilence Increase
Luke 21:11 (New International Version)
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Matthew 24:7-8 (New International Version)
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Revelation 6:8 (New International Version)
I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Deaths related to famine and disease have increased exponentially in the last 100 years. We see the occurence of new diseases all the time and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight.

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