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Watch the Signs

Updated: Feb 3

March 27, 2022—Sometime in 33AD, several men had arrived in Jerusalem from Galilee. The timing of this was no coincidence as they would arrive around the time that one of the men knew He was to be arrested. Before His arrest, Jesus would teach in the temple. His teachings were focused on several topics such as the kingdom of God, the importance of repenting from sins, and a warning of how God’s kingdom would be taken from the chief priests and the elders and given to other nations. You can read about these in Matthew 21-23.

However, after Jesus departed from the temple, His disciples showed Him the buildings of the temple. Jesus told them “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:2). As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, His disciples approached Him asking about the sign of His coming, and “the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3). Jesus responded to them forewarning them of specific signs.

The Signs

Jesus said that the beginning of sorrows would start with the following signs (Matthew 24:4-7, and Mark 13:5-8):

1. Many people will deceive the believers of Christ

2. Wars

3. Famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

After this, further signs would follow, which Jesus explained (Matthew 24:9-14, and Mark 13:9-13):

4. The believers of Jesus Christ as their savior would be persecuted

5. People will be offended and will hate one another.

6. False prophets will rise and will deceive many (this relates to point one in above).

7. People’s love will grow cold

8. Those that will endure to the end will be saved.

9. The gospel will be preached in the entire world.

Once these things have happened, as Jesus Christ had mentioned, “the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14).

Which Signs have Happened?

Some of the signs have already happened or are taking place now. These signs are further discussed below:

1. The Destruction of the Temple

The Romans had occupied Jerusalem in 63 B.C. and left in 70 A.D. A riot had formed that began in 66 A.D. This riot would consist of Jewish people. The Roman emperor, Nero then ordered the destruction of Jerusalem. Titus a Roman commander in the military (and emperor later) then destroyed Jerusalem, burned the temple, and put up an idol to mock the Jewish people in 70 A.D. This is the brief history, but the fact is that this fulfilled biblical scripture.

2. Deceit

People have lied, cheated, manipulated, and stolen from other people since sin was brought into the world. The snake (the devil) deceived Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. By eating the fruit, Eve’s eyes were opened to knowing good and evil (Genesis 3). When she ate the fruit, she gave it to Adam, and his eyes were also opened. The Holy Bible says that Adam told God that Eve had given her the fruit. It does not say that Eve told Adam where it came from. Therefore, Eve had deceived Adam.

In terms of people deceiving others in the New Testament, Jesus and His disciples forewarned of false prophets and the spirit of the antichrist. 1 John 2:18 says that “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” This verse tells us that the spirit of the antichrist and false prophets have been around since the time of the disciples after Jesus had ascended into heaven. At the same time, we learn of false prophets throughout the Old Testament, and God had punished them all, putting an end to them and their households.

3. Wars

The history of civilization speaks of many wars. Some local, and some global. To the extent of my knowledge, global wars did not happen until World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945). Wars are constant. Recently, we saw Russian forces invading Ukraine. So long as there is sin, which there always will be, there will be wars.

Dessert, Army, Helicopter
Photo Credit: Wix Media.

4. Famines, Pestilences, and Earthquakes

Famines occur with man-made disasters like wartime, and natural disasters like droughts. The most recent famine occurred in 2011 and 2012 in the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya in Africa. It affected 13 million people that needed emergency assistance, and it killed 250,000 people.

Diseases have been among humanity for as long as we have been keeping records of it. In recent years, we had COVID-19, but before that there was Ebola, Zika virus, Avian Flu, and Nipah. There were more, but these are what I can recall.

In terms of earthquakes, the rate of earthquakes having a magnitude of 8.0 or higher has increased. One news report at NBC News reported 18 major earthquakes between 2004 and 2014 around the world. The report had stated that this was an “increase of 265% over the average rate of the previous century, which saw 71 great quakes, according to a report to the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America this week in Vancouver, British Columbia.”

Yet, despite these signs, Jesus said that these were the beginning of sorrows. So, what about the other signs?

Ongoing Signs or Signs Happening Now

I researched the Holy Bible, historical articles, and modern articles to determine which signs are occurring now. What I have noticed, is that some of these signs are ongoing. Below is a brief description of the rest of the signs.

5. Persecution

Christian persecution was high after Jesus Christ was crucified. In modern times, one in seven Christians live in countries where they may face persecution. This is according to Open Doors’ website. Putting that in perspective of population, which is 360 million Christians that reside in geographies where they face high levels of persecution for believing in Jesus Christ.

According to world population review, Christians face harsh persecution in terms of discrimination, kidnappings, murders, arrest and forced labor in the following countries:

· Afghanistan

· China

· Iran

· Iraq

· Laos

· Nigeria

· North Korea

· Pakistan

· Somalia

· Syria

· Yemen

6. Discrimination

Discrimination toward any social, racial, and religious groups happens everywhere, but discrimination leads to misunderstandings and resentment. When Christians talk about sin and about particular sins, the people they are speaking to will either feel remorse and guilt, or offense and resentment. The people that fall into the latter category will turn from their ways only if someone prays for them. The Holy Bible says that God hears the prayers of the righteous (Proverbs 16:29). Jesus encouraged us to constantly ask, seek and knock. Do not give up!

7. Lack of Love

When is the last time you felt loved by people? When is the last time you gave love to others? How many times do people ignore someone in need? Jesus never turned anyone away. Why are we?

8. To be Saved Jesus Christ said that “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” This verse, however, refers to the end of the age just before Jesus Christ returns to gather the elect (the believers).

9. Preaching of the Gospel in the World Smart phones, computers, tablets, and the internet have made it possible to reach the entire world. Christians have been using social media, and YouTube to preach the gospel and talk about Jesus Christ. At the same time, Christians in America have come forward saying that their content has been shadow banned on TikTok’s platform. Shadow banning is an algorithm used to protect users by limiting another user’s content from showing up in feeds. If your account has been shadow banned, you stop receiving likes, views, and traffic on your page.

End of Tribulation

God is not going to let His people suffer forever. He will put an end to persecution. For God will send His Son one more time. In Matthew 24:29-31, Jesus Christ tells us that:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

When that day comes, will you be ready? To understand this, I recommend that you spend some time in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 17, and 30. Pray to God for wisdom and understanding, and pay attention to the signs that you see and hear.

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