Those with eyes to see clearly recognize that we are living in the last days, as 2 Timothy 3:1 makes known:
This know also: that in the last days perilous times shall come.
The Amplified Bible puts it this way:
But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
During such intense times, many Christians continue to look heavenward, in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ. Bible scholars and others look at world events and interpret them in light of words spoken by Jesus Christ. When asked about the signs of his return, he spoke of signs and wonders appearing in the sun, moon and stars . . . in the heavens above and in the earth beneath.
The following passage from Luke 2:7-11 continues to generate much discussion:
7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
In light of intensifying world events any observers of the times and seasons continue to wonder if Christ’s return is at hand. The nightly news reports escalating conflict among nations, along with increasing earthquakes and other natural disasters. Famine continues to be a global issue of great concern, not to mention deadly diseases that threaten civilization. The culmination of what some call “signs of the times” appear to indicate the return of Christ draws closer and closer day by day.
Taken from Matthew 24, known as the Mount Olive Discourse, and from Luke 2, the list spotlights five of the signs said to occur before Christ returns:
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven
Wars and rumors of wars
Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
At the heart of the phrase “nation against nation” is the Greek word ethnos, from which the English word “ethnic” is derived. With increased globalization, come increased ethnic conflicts which now ravage the world.
Never has there been a more revealing picture of kingdoms in conflict than with the recent focus on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its threat to the Middle East and beyond. The Islamist militant group with its determination to establish a Caliphate that will dominate the world with its ideology is a demonstration of “Kingdom against kingdom.” Caliphate is another name for “kingdom.”
Earthquakes in various places
On Thursday, September 25, 2014 a magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit south-central Alaska. Although tremors were felt throughout the region in Anchorage, there was no major damage or injuries.
In an article “Are earthquakes signs of the end times?” Steven A. Austin and Mark L. Strauss discuss the controversy generated by such Christian writers and Bible teachers who maintain that Jesus predicted that an increase in frequency and intensity of earthquakes would occur prior to his return.
According to the United Nations World Food Programs, hunger continues to be a worldwide crisis. About 842 million people in the world do not eat enough to be healthy. That means that one in every eight people on Earth goes to bed hungry each night.
The global health crisis with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has captured the attention of the world. Other infectious diseases, such MRSA, (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection), along with flesh-eating diseases and sexually transmitted diseases fall into the category of “pestilences” that some would say that Jesus Christ spoke about.
There has been a noticeable increase in meteors and other phenomena provide ample opportunities to consider the meaning of such celestial occurrences. In February 2013, a massive meteor hit Russia, causing considerable alarm. Recently Perseid meteor shower, an annual occurrence, was upstaged by a “super-moon” the fourth such occurrence with the past year, including a “blood moon” which some believe refers to the prophet Joel’s statement, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2:31)
The increasing frequency of “great balls of fire” and other cosmic phenomena cause many to wonder about these so-called “signs and wonders” which some see as more signs of the end times and point to Luke 21:25-28:
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.
With such signs and wonders appearing in the sun, moon and stars, many observers of the times and seasons believe that Christ’s return is at hand; indeed, our redemption appears to be drawing closer and closer, closer than it has ever been.
Derrick Drover sums it all up in music with “Signs of the Times.”