Jesus didn’t want us to be ignorant of His future plans or the times in which He’d return so He gave us a string of events to watch for. In fact, He commands us to watch for them! “Watch, give strict attention, be cautious, active and alert!” (Mark 13:37 Amplified) And if He commands us to do this, then it must be possible to understand the signs of the times and the nearness of His coming.
It’s true that since the days of the apostles and many times since, believers in Jesus have expected His return. And because one blog can’t possibly do this subject justice, I’m forced to write in general terms so suffice it to say there has never been a time when the string of events Jesus spoke about have been so evident or so manifold.
What are some of the things Jesus told us to watch for? Here’s a list: 1) the Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed – this happened in 70 A.D. 2) false Messiahs would come and mislead many 3) wars and rumors of war 4) nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom 5) earthquakes in various places 6) famines and calamities 7) persecution of believers 8) Gospel to be preached to all nations 9) believers arrested and tried and executed 10) Christians hated 11) The Anti-Christ will desecrate the new temple in Jerusalem 12) tribulation will occur the kind never seen since the beginning of creation 13) the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light 14) the heavens will be shaken 15) The Son of Man will come in the clouds in power and glory.
Jesus also gave us two other important clues: 1) We are to watch the fig tree and that “as soon as its branch becomes tender and it puts forth its leaves” we’ll know that the time for Jesus’ return is near. 2) And that this will all happen in one generation. So did the fig tree “put forth its leaves? Yes, in 1948 when Israel became a nation, for the fig tree in scripture represents the nation of Israel. Well, then, how long is a generation? How much more time do we have? Hard to say. Some claim a generation is 40 years, some say 70, while others say 120 and still others give different numbers. But the operative word here is “one.” One generation. It’s all going to come down to one generation, and that generation is the one that sees the fig tree blossom.
Well, we’ve seen it. Now what? Because we certainly haven’t seen all the signs Jesus spoke about. And one could even argue that many of these signs have been present throughout the ages: wars, famines, earthquakes. Yes. All true. But Mark 13:8 (Amplified) tells us that these wars and earthquakes and famines and false Messiahs are just the beginning of birth pangs. And here in is the answer. It’s not that these things in themselves herald the coming of Jesus, but like in any birth, when these labor pains become exponentially more and more severe then we’ll know time is running out. So have these things increased exponentially? The answer has to be, “Yes.” Almost every part of the globe is experiencing some form of war/terrorism/or rumors of war. Then there’s the weather. It’s going nuts, with extremes of everything, including earthquakes. Also Christians are being slaughtered around the world and false cult leaders abound. But what we have yet to see is massive global famine, the rise of a one-world government and its leader, the Anti-Christ, or the 7 years of tribulation the likes of which the world has never experienced. Nor have we seen the building of a new Jewish Temple and its desecrated, or the heavens shaken. But it’s coming my friends, and sooner than most expect.
So what now? Should we cower behind locked doors waiting for the “sky to fall in?” Of course not. But we shouldn’t be squandering our time on foolish pursuits, either, pursuits that have no eternal value. Rather we should try to live all out for the Lord and strive to fulfill our God-given destinies.
Time is short, my friends. Let’s use it wisely.
Until next time,