Since the day that Christ said He would return, Christians have been eagerly watching for the Second Coming in between arguing with each other about when it will take place. There have been innumerable sermons on the subject of the end times, and there are probably about as many blogs devoted to arguing about the Rapture as there are Christian churches. If a person types in the name of any controversial leader into Google, one of the most likely suggested searches will end with “is the anti-Christ.”
A Jewish homeland will be established in Israel.Before Christ returns, the Jews will be truly settled in their ancestral homeland. Jerusalem will once again be in Jewish hands. Many believe that this sign will come to pass soon as Israel is currently a Jewish state. Jerusalem, however, remains split between various groups. That said, with the United States finally moving its embassy to Jerusalem in order to line up with more than a decade of America’s official stance that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, Jerusalem is closer than ever to returning to Jewish hands.
The Gospel will be preached to the entire world.Christ will not return until after the Gospel has been preached to the entire world. Many people see this prophecy as being nearly fulfilled, but there is potential that this has already come to pass. When the Bible was written, the phrase “the world” meant something different than it does today. When people speak of the entire world today, they are referring to the globe as a whole and interpret this prophecy as meaning that the Gospel must be preached in every country on Earth. During the time when the prophecy was first written down, however, “the world” was used to refer not to every inch of land on Earth, but to the extent of the Roman Empire.
Worldwide communications will exist before the final two witnesses.One of the better known tales of the end times is that God will send two final witnesses to preach the Gospel. The two witnesses will be killed, and their bodies will be seen by everyone in the world. In order for this to come true, the entire world must be interconnected and able to communicate with each other in extremely rapid fashion. Once again, the conditions required for this prophecy to be fulfilled are nearly complete. With the rise of the internet, social media and smartphones, it is easier than ever for people to relay information to each other. Events that happen on one side of the world can be broadcast to the other in milliseconds. The world is also becoming more and more hostile toward Christianity. Things have not yet boiled over, but it is easy to believe that the time of the two witnesses is fast approaching.
Natural disasters will be widespread.The end times are going to be disastrous. There is a reason why the words “apocalypse” and “Armageddon” are associated with catastrophic destruction. During the end times, God will turn nature against mankind. There will be pandemics, flooding, fires, earthquakes, famines and what many scholars identify as meteorite strikes or even a comet colliding with Earth. These numerous disasters will take place all across the world and kill billions.
War and violence will run rampant.Not all of the disasters that come with the end of the age will be caused by nature. Many of them will be things that mankind brings on themselves. War and all sorts of violence will run rampant before Christ returns to Earth. Men and women will attack and kill their enemies, their friends and even their own families. Even as natural disasters raze cities, people will still continue to inflict violence on each other.
A charismatic and convincing false prophet will appear.No sign of the end times has captured the imagination of the world as much as the anti-Christ. This figure will be as charismatic as they are evil and will lead millions astray. They will cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands and turn innumerable people against God before Christ returns to Earth.
God’s people will be hunted and killed.Before Christ returns, God’s people will be hunted and killed by nonbelievers. Those who dare to cling to their faith will find themselves unable to trade or do business with others. They will be driven out, seen as outcasts and eventually, they will be hunted down and killed. Given the rising rate of lethal Christian persecution in the Middle East, Africa and Asia as well as the ever increasing ostracism and hatred faced by Christians in the West, the time when faith will once again become a matter of life and death for Christians may not be as far away as some believe.
Christians have always watched for the signs that indicate that Christ is soon to return. In the first century, Paul urged Christians to be alert and prepare themselves for Christ’s return. In the 21st century, endless blogs and websites are dedicated to predicting that incredible event. Regardless of what century Christians were watching from, the fact remains that everyone is waiting to see when the final signs will be fulfilled and Christ will return once again to His people.