7720 - Signs of the End


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A day or so before Jesus was arrested by the police of the Sanhedrin Jesus entered into discussion about future events with his disciples. Among other things Jesus told them these words from Lk. 21:9-11:

When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Prior to these words Jesus had shared that the beautiful temple would one day be destroyed. The disciples asked Jesus what would the signs that these things would take place? Jesus here shares more with his disciples than information about the temple’s destruction. He gave them what is commonly referred to as the signs of the “End of the Age.”

Jesus tells the disciples that these things would not come about in the near future. Little did the disciples comprehend, as well as the leaders of the church in early centuries, that Jesus would not soon be returning as the conquering king. Even New Testament writers of later decades gave expressions that indicate they expected the Lord’s soon return.

This expectation has been evidenced through the writings within the church in past centuries.

From time to time some announcement by misinformed people set dates and times for this to happen. None has been accurate.

Just as the first advent of Christ occurred at God’s chosen time; likewise, the second advent will occur at God’s chosen time. No man has been given knowledge of this time. We must await God’s announcement and fulfillment.

However, first there would come wars and revolutions. These kind of events have been common in the history of the world. They give no certain indication.

But as precursors to the Lord’s return as the conquering king, at “the End,” certain things will take place. Look at the list:

Nations will rise against nations. This is talking about two individual countries meeting in open hostility without drawing others into their war.

Then Jesus points out there would come times when kingdoms would face off with kingdoms. A kingdom implies an alliance of many people and tribes. Even the union of allies has been viewed as kingdoms; such as the two opponents, who faced each other in World War II.

Earthquakes and upheavals within the crust of the world have occurred and caused movement and change on the face of the earth. Scientist report that the frequency and severity has increased within the past century.

Famines are foretold, so people could expect there would be drastic shortages of basic food items over wide ranges of area. Hunger and starvation has been a part of history.

Another sign is pestilence. This announces there would be epidemics of fatal diseases, such as bubonic plague upon the earth. Many such events have been recorded in history.

Another sign given by Jesus are ‘fearful events’. This encompasses a great range of events which could bring fear to the hearts of the people involved, as well as those who hear reports and become afraid they might be involved.

Jesus also mentioned great signs from heaven. This involves unusual displays by spatial bodies such as asteroids and meteorites, unusual darkening of the sun or eclipsing of the moon.

One may conclude that the Lord could return at any moment, since all these have occurred in some degree. In many centuries scholars have believed that the return of Jesus was emanate.

We should live with expectant hearts, but at the same time persevere in living godly, obedient lives and continue to share the gospel as though Christ may not come for decades or centuries. Let us not grow weary.