Signs of the Last Days
Are we really living in the last days? When the disciples asked Jesus this question, His answer included many traits we can identify in our world today. A look at Matthew 24:4-31 reveals a list of 12 signs leading up to Christ’s Second Coming. In this article, part one of our series, we’ll look at the first four signs.
Sign 1: Claims of False Messiahs
After warning His disciples to, “Watch out that no one deceives you” (Matthew 24:4), Jesus warns against false Messiahs who will deceive many before His return. Verse 5 shares, “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.”
A quick online search can provide many examples of people who have claimed to be a Messiah or Jesus reincarnated. For example, José Luis de Jesús Miranda claims to be both Jesus and the Antichrist.
There is no doubt false spiritual leaders will continue to arise and increase in the days leading to the Second Coming of Jesus. One of the greatest spiritual deceivers among them will be the Antichrist, a global ruler who will arise during the seven-year Tribulation period that will occur prior to Christ’s Second Coming.
Sign 2: Wars and Rumors of Wars
Matthew 24:6 mentions “wars and rumors of wars” as a sign of the last days. In the twentieth century, at least 108 million people were killed in wars. Still today, our headlines constantly update us on the latest global conflicts.
However, Jesus also encouraged His followers not to be alarmed at wars. He noted, “Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Matthew 24:6). We can expect war but are taught not to let war “alarm” us or concern us in such a way that we do not live out God’s will for our lives.
Sign 3: Famine
In 2016, 11 percent of the world was considered undernourished. While this number is lower than studies from 20 years earlier, 11 percent of the world’s population represents 815 million people.
Technology has provided increased nourishment for many people worldwide, yet famine continues to plague many nations today. This sign, though a general one, could certainly fit our modern world.
Sign 4: Natural Disasters
Verse 7 notes “earthquakes in various places.” In 2017, the most recent year recorded, there were 1,455 earthquakes. The Jerusalem Post also recently investigated concerns regarding the next “big one” some experts predict could soon take place in Israel.
While there is no clear increase in the number or size of earthquakes worldwide in recent years, Jesus clearly noted there will be natural disasters or a “shaking of the earth” associated with the time just before His Second Coming.
Revelation 11 also mentions a severe earthquake that will take place at the midpoint of the Tribulation period in Jerusalem. It notes, “a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
According to Matthew 24, this may be one of many severe earthquakes during this time. An epic earthquake greater than any other is also noted in Revelation 16:18.
The Next Four Signs
These four signs are only the first of 12 mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24. In our next article, we’ll discover the next four signs that emphasize spiritual changes that will occur during the last days.
Why do these signs matter for us today? If we can see these signs already unfolding or taking place, it provides evidence that the Lord’s return is near. We are called to follow Jesus, live fully for Him, and share Him with others in preparation for Christ’s coming.
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