The Bible says we cannot know the time of the Lord's return (Matthew 25:13). But the Scriptures make it equally clear that we can know the season of the Lord's return (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6):
"You yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night... But you brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober."
This passage asserts that Jesus is coming like "a thief in the night." But then it proceeds to make it clear that this will be true only for the pagan world and not for believers. His return should be no surprise to those who know Him and His Word, for they have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to give them understanding of the nature of the times.
Furthermore, the Scriptures give us signs to watch for — signs that will signal that Jesus is ready to return. The writer of the Hebrew letter referred to these signs when he proclaimed that believers should encourage one another when they see the day of judgment drawing near (Hebrews 10:25-27). Jesus also referred to the end time signs in His Olivet Discourse, given during the last week of His life (Matthew 24 and Luke 21). Speaking of a whole series of signs which He had given to His disciples, He said, "When you see all these things, recognize that He [the Son of Man — that is, Jesus] is near, right at the door" (Matthew 24:33).
Since the time of the Balfour Declaration, we have witnessed sign after sign pointing to the Lord's soon return. There are so many of these signs today, in fact, that one would have to be either biblically illiterate or spiritually blind not to realize that we are living on borrowed time.
I have personally been searching the Bible for years in an effort to identify all the signs, and it has not been an easy task to get a hold on them. That's because there are so many of them, both in the Old and New Testaments.
I have found that the best way to deal with them is to put them in categories, and in doing that, I have come up with six categories of end time signs: the Signs of Nature, the Signs of Society, the Spiritual Signs, the Signs of World Politics, the Signs of Technology, and the Signs of Israel. (You can learn more about these six categories by watching this week's episode of Christ in Prophecy or reading the full article on our website.)
Each category contains many prophecies concerning the end times, all of which are being fulfilled before our very eyes. Here specifically are listed 50 of those prophecies:
- Increasing instability of nature. (Matthew 24:7 & Luke 21:11)
- Increasing lawlessness and violence. (Matthew 24:12)
- Increasing immorality. (Matthew 24:37)
- Increasing materialism. (2 Timothy 3:2)
- Increasing Hedonism. (2 Timothy 3:4)
- Increasing influence of Humanism. (2 Timothy 3:2)
- Depraved entertainment. (2 Timothy 3:4)
- Calling evil good and good evil. (2 Timothy 3:3 & Isaiah 5:20)
- Increasing use of drugs. (2 Timothy 3:3)
- Increasing blasphemy. (2 Timothy 3:2)
- Increasing paganism. (2 Timothy 3:1-4)
- Increasing despair. (2 Timothy 3:1)
- Signs in the heavens. (Luke 21:11,25)
- Increasing knowledge. (Daniel 12:4)
- Increasing travel. (Daniel 12:4)
- The explosion of cults. (Matthew 24:11)
- The proliferation of false christs. (Matthew 24:5)
- Increasing apostasy in the Church. (2 Timothy 4:3-5)
- Increasing attacks on Jesus. (Romans 1:18-19)
- Increasing attacks on the Bible. (Romans 1:18-19)
- Increasing persecution of Christians. (Matthew 24:9)
- Increasing occultism. (1 Timothy 4:1)
- Wars and rumors of wars. (Matthew 24:6)
- Weapons of mass destruction. (Luke 21:26)
- Increasing famine. (Luke 21:11)
- Increasing pestilence. (Luke 21:11)
- Computer technology. (Revelation 13:7)
- Television. (Revelation 11:8-9)
- Satellite technology. (Revelation 11:8-9)
- Virtual reality. (Revelation 13:14-15)
- Unification of Europe. (Daniel 2 & 7)
- Far Eastern military powers. (Revelation 9:16 & 16:12)
- Movement toward world government. (Daniel 7:23-26)
- Regathering of the Jews. (Isaiah 11:10-12)
- Re-establishment of Israel. (Isaiah 66:7-8)
- Reclamation of the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 36:34-35)
- Revival of Biblical Hebrew. (Zephaniah 3:9; Jeremiah 31:23)
- Re-occupation of Jerusalem. (Luke 21:24)
- Resurgence of the Israeli military. (Zechariah 12:6)
- Re-focusing of world politics on Israel. (Zechariah 12:3)
- Russian threat to Israel. (Ezekiel 38 and 39)
- Arab threat to Israel. (Ezekiel 35 and 36)
- Denial of the Second Coming. (2 Peter 3:3-4)
- Denial of creation by God. (Romans 1:18-22)
- Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Joel 2:28-29)
- Translation of the Bible into many languages. (Matthew 24:14)
- Preaching of the Gospel worldwide. (Matthew 24:14)
- The revival of Messianic Judaism. (Romans 9:27)
- The revival of Davidic praise worship. (Amos 9:11)
- The understanding of Bible prophecy. (Daniel 12:8-9)
This list could be greatly expanded, but the 50 examples above should be sufficient to show that we are living in the season of the Lord's return.
The Bible clearly teaches that God never pours out His wrath without warning for He is a just and loving God who does not wish that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). That's why He has provided so many signs to alert us to the fact that we are living on the threshold of the Tribulation.
The bottom line message of the signs is that we are living on borrowed time. And the crucial question for every human being is "Are you ready?" Are you ready for the return of Jesus? Will He come as your Blessed Hope or your Holy Terror?
It will be one or the other, for God is determined to deal with sin, and He does so with either grace or wrath (John 3:36). If you have put your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are under God's grace. Your sins have been forgiven and forgotten, and you can look forward with confidence to that glorious day when Jesus will appear in the heavens.
But if you have never received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are under the wrath of God, and you have nothing to look forward to except the terror of His wrath.
The choice is yours. I personally cannot understand why anyone would turn their back on God's free gift of grace through faith in His Son. I have placed my faith in Jesus, and I therefore am able to look forward to His soon return with great anticipation and expectation. All that is within me cries out, "Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus" (1 Corinthians 16:22).