Posts Tagged ‘Luke 21:27-28’

What’s going on: More signs of the times

September 9, 2017

Matthew 24--3

Late Thursday, September 7, 2017, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, the most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in a century, struck off the southern coast. US Geological Survey (USGS) predicts “High casualties and extensive damage are probable, and the disaster is likely widespread, requiring a national or international response.”

This recent quake occurred while the US was still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, followed closely by the threatening dangers of Hurricane Irma.  This horrifying sequence of events continues to rivet the attention of the world, as many echo the sentiments of Marvin Gaye, asking, “What’s going on?” Others observe the news and comment, “These are just signs of the times,” recalling the remarks made by Jesus Christ when asked about the days before His return to Earth.

In Matthew 24, known as the Mount Olive Discourse, and in Luke 2, we find a list of signs said to occur before Christ returns. Indeed, one of the last signs involve “the sea and waves roaring”: [there will be] distress and anguish among nations, in perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea and the waves.  The recent spate of hurricanes would certainly qualify as one of the signs.

Other “signs of the time” include the following:

Earthquakes in various places

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. In actuality, Jesus Christ indicated that earthquakes would occur in various places, nothing more.

“Wars and rumors of wars”

Jesus spoke of increasing conflict when he said, “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 that is determined 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.”

Famine.

According to the Food Aid Foundation, about 795 million people in the world are suffering from chronic undernourishment. Almost all the hungry people live in developing countries, representing 13.5 percent, or one in eight, of the population of developing counties. Estimates indicate that one in every eight people on Earth goes to bed hungry each night.

Pestilences

The global health crises such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the threat of the Zika virus have captured the attention of world. Other infectious diseases, such MRSA, (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus infection) and other drug-resistant infections, along with flesh-eating diseases and sexually transmitted diseases fall into the category of “pestilences.” Previous epidemics of contagious diseases have included Hepatitis C, HIV, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), Mumps, and Measles. Some would say that such outbreaks might refer to the “pestilences” that Jesus Christ spoke about.

Cosmic phenomena: “signs in the heavens above”

On August 21, 2017, the nation watched with wonder the solar eclipse of the sun, described as “the sight of a lifetime.”  Many observers also recognized this astronomical occurrence as prelude to another intersection of stars and planets that will be seen as ‘The Great Sign” spoken of in Revelation 12:1-2.  Projected to occur 33 days after the total eclipse on September 23, 2017, this rare cosmic conjunction is also are designed to display Jesus Christ and the glory of his second coming.

With the increasing frequency of these recent events, many recognize them as so-called “signs and wonders” spoken of in Luke 21:25-28. In addition, the hearts of people will fail because of fear, for “the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

As the nightly news reports earthly and heavenly phenomena amidst escalating conflict among nations, along with increasing earthquakes and other natural disasters. In addition, famine continues to be a global issue of great concern, not to mention deadly diseases that threaten civilization. To many observers, the culmination of these “signs of the times” appear to indicate the return of Christ draws closer and closer day by day.

Luke 21:27-28

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.”

The lyrics of “Redemption Draweth Nigh” reinforce this message”: