I am generally not one to point to things going on and say that they are signs that we are in the End Times. I don't do that because, as a pastor, I really don't want people trying to interpret Scripture through watching the nightly news. I also don't do it because these types of things have been so overblown. But . . . stuff is happening and it has me wondering.
Wars all over, riots and civil unrest, economic troubles, mass migrations, large hurricanes, earthquakes in strange places, false teachers, a large turning away from God while people on the edges of global culture turn to God, persecution of believers, strange phenomenon – there are certainly a lot of signs.
Here is what I think: whether Jesus is coming back tomorrow or two thousand years from now, the signs that accompany the end are upon us. God is real and Jesus is coming back and there will be a Day of Judgment where God will judge the quick and the dead and the sons of men. So, when you see these things happening, they should cause you to pause and think about your own mortality and if you are ready to meet God. The Bible says that the end will come quickly and many will be unaware. It will just come upon us. But, if we know the signs, we will be ready. I don't get into trying to predict the return of Christ – no one can know the day or the hour. But, when an earthquake or hurricane hits the East Coast or a tsunami hits Japan or there is civil unrest and war in the Middle East – I stop and remember that Jesus said that these were signs of the end and I prepare my heart to meet my Maker. It causes me to repent and to turn to God in that moment so that I will be ready whenever the day comes that I meet God either through death or the return of Christ.
The real question is not if all of these things mean that Jesus is about to return. The real question is, "Are you ready to meet Him when he does come back?"
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.