There are so many end times signs around us, that it is easy to get caught up in the details and neglect the big picture. By taking a step back, and viewing the overall picture, one can easily see how close we are - close to seeing "this generation" concluding - and close to seeing the final seven years (aka the Tribulation) beginning. Lets not forget, that the signs given by Jesus are events that the world could witness and things that would be newsworthy (if these "signs" weren't newsworthy, they wouldn't even be in the public's eye, and would be irrelevant).
- Earthquake signs are all around us. Jesus informed us that there would be earthquakes in diverse places.
- The EU, known biblically as the Roman Empire of end times - is growing and becoming more powerful by the day. Now we see them under one "treaty" (aka constitution), with two incredibly powerful positions created. The book of Daniel devotes two entire chapters to this evolution, and we are witnessing it right before our very eyes. Now, the EURO is more stable than the dollar. Who would have ever thought...
- Pestilence is in the news daily. From the swine flu to AIDS, to the resurgence of ebola, tuberculosis, bird flu, etc., we read about ominous threats to society from pestilences almost every day. Certainly a "sign".
- Wars and rumors of war. This too is part of daily news. Pick a world region: Middle East, China's arsenal growing, China threatening Taiwan, Russia involvement in Ukraine, Russia involvement in Georgia, the "Gog-MaGog" alliances consolidating, Afghanistan, Pakistan, nuclear weapons proliferation in terrorists states, fighting throughout northern africa, constant threats of terrorism, etc... Potential war is a daily part of our news cycle.
- Persecution stories are seen throughout the world - 'Voice of the Martyrs" carries stories on a weekly basis of Christian persecution world-wide in numbers never seen before in history.
- Famine is occurring throughout the world, as food supplies dwindle, resulting from severe droughts in some areas of the world, while flooding contributes elsewhere.
- Discussions for a single, world currency fills the news now - barely raising eyebrows as it has become a commonly discussed item at the UN, and the powerful G20 meetings.
- Discussions of a world governance of money, or a global financial system, all due to the current "financial crisis".
- Israel regathered in the land of Israel.
- Israel's land restored.
- Israel surrounded by, and threatened by her enemies.
And this is just a small sample of the signs given.
Then there are the rumors. Rumors everywhere. Rumors that the US will impose martial law on its citizens, resulting from the swine flu (or pick any potential crisis), rumors that there will be a North American Union, rumors that terrorists will hit the US with a nuclear weapon, or dirty bombs, rumors that Israel will strike Iran, leading to epic warfare in the Middle-East with resulting gas shortages, rumors that the dollar will collapse leading to a 1930's type of depression, rumors that the US will lose its sovereignty at the upcoming Copenhagen meeting if our president signs off on the treaty for mythical global warming, and even recent rumors that world leaders will make an announcement of UFOs and "extraterrestrials" (the great deception?).
The signs are all around us - and these signs are constantly in the news. Jesus painted a portrait of what this last generation would look like - and His accuracy in these signs is beyond amazing. The same can be said for God's prophets, namely Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and the apostles John, Peter and Paul.
Many of these signs can evoke fear, for obvious reasons. During this season, more than ever - we have to cling to our faith, and to the holy scriptures: the only truth that we have in this generation. There is so much deception and lies - coming from various governments, from the news, from world leaders, from reporters with an agenda - almost everywhere - we see nothing but lies and distortions. In my opinion, the ONLY truth that we have right now - is the TRUTH offered by the bible. It needs to be our compass and our map. Its the only thing we can fully trust if one is seeking truth.
Jesus knew this. Jesus informed us of this.
"For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect - if that were possible. SO BE ON YOUR GUARD; I have told you everything ahead of time." (Mark 13:22-23).
"Watch out that you are not deceived...do not be frightened. These things must happen first..." (Luke 21:8)
We may see these false "miracles" before the rapture of the church. I used to believe that this particular warning was only intended for the tribulation period, but these days I'm not so sure. We actually may witness some of these false miracles. That is why it is SO important to ONLY trust the holy scriptures. If we witness things that are inconsistent with the scriptures, even if something seemingly "miraculous" - we should be able to discern truth from deception - because, as Jesus said, we have been told of "everything ahead of time".
Our bible provides the only truth for our age; an age filled with deception, distortion and lies.
"...but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come." (Matthew 24:6)
Jesus provides the truth - the only truth for this generation. A truth that is filled with hope and great anticipation - because we know that His coming is near:
"Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door." (Matthew 24:33)
"Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:31)
And as Paul stated - we wait for Jesus' return:
"and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, WHO RESCUES US FROM THE COMING WRATH." (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
This wrath, also known as the Tribulation isn't here quite yet, but we see it approaching rapidly. But we have a promise to look for - a promise that Jesus will come for His bride before that period begins.
Its the truth.