The Bible, also known as “the Word”, has much to say about the “end times”, or eschaton. Typically, when people talk about the end times, they are referring to the time from the beginning of sorrows through the 70th week of years and the destruction of the beast’s (Antichrist’s) kingdom when Jesus Christ returns to establish His eternal kingdom.
In the Olivet discourse Jesus Christ told us to watch for certain signs that would indicate when the end times would occur. One of the key signs is that “nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6-7).
The only other place in the Bible where similar language is used is in Isaiah 19:2:
And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, [and] kingdom against kingdom. (Isaiah 19:2)
End times events will happen throughout the world, so using Isaiah 19:2 as precedent, Jesus is describing a war that will impact the entire world. The first world war was fought between 1914-1918.
A Closer Look
Looking more closely at Matthew 24:6-7 Jesus mentions “wars and rumours of wars” in general terms, and uses the conjunction “For” to link verses 6 and 7. “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” more specifically describes “wars and rumours of wars”.
Jesus also said not to be “troubled” or “terrified” by these types of wars (plural). As this video describes, World War I (WWI) was the first war that used technology like airplanes, tanks, Gatling guns, submarines, and chemical warfare on a massive scale. World War II (WWII) used atomic weapons that killed at least 115,000 people instantly. Wars have been fought for millennia, but WWI and WWII were different and could be very “troubling” and “terrifying”.
Jesus also said that these wars must first take place. All three Gospel writers mention “nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom” first. Earthquakes, famines, and pestilences follow, and in a different order depending on what Gospel account you read. (Luke 21:9-11; Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8)
Fulfill the Great Commission
Jesus also said that the end would not immediately follow these wars (Matthew 24:7). WWI happened 100 years ago and WWII 75 years ago and the end did not immediately follow. Jesus told us how to recognize the “end”:
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)
Possible in This Generation
In this video the Southern Baptist Missionary organization stated that for the first time in history this generation possesses the knowledge and tools to complete the great commission.
Wycliffe Bible Translators has adopted Vision 2025 to begin Bible translation in every language. At one of their conferences attended by my friends in November 2016, it was stated that portions of the Bible could be translated into every known language by 2024! In the November 2011 Billy Graham Decision magazine it was stated that it is possible to see the great commission fulfilled by 2026!
The Great Harvest
The acceleration of Bible translations and having the Gospel proclaimed to all people groups will continue and culminate with a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, kindreds, peoples, and tongues standing before the throne and before the Lamb and clothed with white robes (Revelation 7:9). This great multitude comes out of great tribulation (Revelation 7:13-14).
This is the greatest harvest in church history and it is beginning to happen now! As followers of Jesus Christ, this should be our primary focus in obedience to the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
All in One Generation
In the context of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus said that the generation that was born when the first sign of “nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom” takes place will still be alive when He returns (Matthew 24:34). Today a generation can live to be about 120 years old. If WWI marks the start of the signs Jesus mentioned then that means He could return by 2034! Organizations stating that it is possible to preach the Gospel to all people groups by around 2026 fits in that one generation and confirms the signs Jesus mentioned.
Jesus said that great earthquakes, famines, and pestilences would follow these wars. Research and the evidence given below indicates that the pain and sorrow caused by these signs have increased in the 20th century, especially after WWI. This strongly indicates that we are living in the beginning of sorrows time period. Seeing all the signs fulfilled and having the Gospel preached to all people groups in a single generation is the primary reason that I believe Jesus Christ is returning soon to establish His eternal kingdom!
But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end [is] not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: (Luke 21:9-10)
And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven (Luke 21:11).
Revelation 11:13 mentions a great earthquake that will occur during the end times that will kill 7,000 people. There also needs to be more than one earthquake in this time period, and they need to occur in various places. The following chart and map were compiled using data that originated with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for earthquakes that caused at least 7,000 deaths.
The turn of the 20th century marked a significant increase in the number of deaths caused by great earthquakes, thus sharply increasing the sorrow and pain inflicted. About 1.3 million people died from great earthquakes in the 1900s. That trend has continued into the 21st century with almost 800,000 deaths in just the first 16 years of this century.
When Jesus said that there would be earthquakes in “divers” places, He meant “various” places. This map shows where earthquakes that killed over 7,000 people since 1900 have occurred and is evidence of what Jesus said. Yellow markers indicate earthquakes between 1900 and 1914 and red markers indicate earthquakes after the start of WWI.
The ‘20th Century Death’ infographic estimates that a staggering 4.2 billion people died from some type of disease in the 20th century! Not all of those diseases would match the characteristics Jesus gave. Where to draw that line is not clear, so let’s just consider the 5 mentioned above that would fit the definitions and account for about 1.9 billion deaths in the 20th century, mostly after WWI.
Spanish Flu (1918-1919)
The Spanish flu lasted about 1 year. In that time an estimated 500 million people (about 20-40% of the world’s population) became ill and about 50 million died. The chart below shows the spike in deaths that occurred within a two-month period.
Overweight and Obesity
The World Obesity Federation states that ”The epidemic of obesity is now recognized as one of the most important public health problems facing the world today. Tragically, adult obesity is more common globally than under-nutrition. ”. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports these statistics:
Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese.
WHO reports that ”Worldwide, at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that ”Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.”.
While smoking has been around for thousands of years, it was in 1881 when James Bonsack invented the cigarette-making machine that cigarette smoking became widespread. This graph illustrates the rise in cigarette consumption in the United States in the early 1900s. The Tobacco Atlas reports that ”Without appropriate prevention policies, the world will lose a billion lives this century due to tobacco smoking.”
Worldwide, the National Center for Biotechnology Information website states that: ”At the beginning of the 20th century, CVD was responsible for less than 10 percent of all deaths worldwide, but by 2001 that figure was 30 percent”.
CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause.
An estimated 17.7 million people died from CVDs in 2015, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke.
However, the New Age Movement believes that the path to Christhood or Christ consciousness can be pursued and attained by anyone. The New Age teaches that the Jesus Christ of the Bible is not God, but a human being who attained Christ consciousness just like Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed.
One website states that “many people on Earth have attained some degree of Christhood”. Another website states that there are “10,000 people on planet earth who have manifested a high degree of personal Christhood at inner levels” and “millions of people who have manifested a high degree of Christhood”. These numbers would qualify for the “many” that Jesus referred to who will come in His name claiming to be Christ.
The modern day New Age movement became more prevalent after WWI. Between 1919 and 1949 Alice Bailey received teachings from the Ascended Master Djwhal Khul and published them in a series of books.
In My Name
Moses asked God what His name is and He answered “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:13-14). Following are some of the movements and organizations within the New Age Movement that use God’s name “I AM”.
The I AM Movement was founded by Guy and Edna Ballard in the early 1930s.
The Integrated Ascended Masters University, also known as the I AM University.
The Time Draws Near
When Djwhal Khul was communicating with Alice Bailey between 1919 and 1949 he said that “the time will not be long” for the outpouring of the Christ principle which he claimed was the true Coming of Christ. Edgar Cayce predicted this would reach fruition in “1998-1999”. Some now believe that the Golden Age of Christ Consciousness began in 2013.
At a Wycliffe Bible Translators conference held just before Thanksgiving 2016 it was stated that at least portions of the Bible will be translated into every known language by 2024! The Billy Graham organization indicated that it is possible to preach the Gospel to all people groups by 2026! This is God’s heart!
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14).
In the context of the Olivet Discourse, “the end” would refer to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
As Jesus destroyed the beast’s kingdom from Heaven, He warned that He would soon come like a thief (Revelation 16:15, 2 Peter 3:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:2). The day that has been foretold for thousands of years will finally come to pass with what is commonly referred to as “the second coming of Jesus Christ”, also known as the parousia!
Jesus made it clear that no one knows the exact day or hour when He will return (Matthew 24:36). Jesus also made it clear that we would know the generation in which He would return (Matthew 24:34).
God’s desire is that no one would perish but that all would believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. That is why He has not returned yet (2 Peter 3:3-9). But, the day is fast approaching when the heavens will be rolled together as a scroll (Revelation 6:14, Isaiah 34:4) and Jesus Christ will come in the clouds with power and great glory (Revelation 19:11-16, Matthew 24:30, Titus 2:12-13, Luke 17:24)!
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Matt. 24:34).
The Greek word that Jesus uses here is the word “genea” which is most often translated generation. In the context of the entire Olivet Discourse the “all things” includes everything from the beginning of sorrows through His second coming. Since a generation only lives so long, Jesus provided a time frame by which to answer the disciples’ original question: “when shall these things be?”.
The oldest verifiable person in recent times was Jeanne Calment from France who was born in 1875 and lived to be 122 years old. The list of the verified 100 oldest people reveals that several people have lived to be over 115 years old which means that approximately 120 years could elapse from the beginning of sorrows until the second coming of Jesus Christ. If WWI marked the first sign then Jesus could return around 2034!
I believe the next major event to take place is for Antichrist to sign the covenant with many that will start the 70th week of years. Watch events in the Middle East and with Israel.
The Only Way to Escape God’s Final Judgment
But the Bible also says there will be judgment and incredible destruction in the end times because of man’s sinfulness, iniquity, and arrogance:
Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces [shall be as] flames. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. (Isaiah 13:6-12)
But the physical judgment that is coming cannot compare with the eternal judgment that will follow. Eternal judgment, or the final judgment exists because God is just and there are consequences for breaking His laws. The ultimate consequence is to be separated from Him forever.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)1
His solution was to cause the punishment of all the sin of all people to fall upon Jesus. Jesus is God and had no sin of His own to pay for, so when He suffered and died on the cross He received the consequences for man’s sin, not His own. This solution enabled justice to be served and made a way for all people to be brought into right relationship with God.
God offers pardon to all people. He has given us the power to choose, and each person needs to choose to “come to repentance.”
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)1
A person escapes final judgment by turning from his sin to God and believing the good news. The good news is that although all people have broken God’s laws and have no means within themselves to bring about reconciliation with the Father, Jesus lived a life of complete obedience to the Father, and received the punishment that man deserves.
Through His death and resurrection, He offers forgiveness and reconciliation to all people who receive it. When a person believes the good news, chooses to turn from his sin to God and asks God for forgiveness, he is saved from eternal judgment.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV)1
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. (Matthew 3:8 NLT)2
The most important thing is that you know where you will spend eternity, based on what God says in the Bible. Please take a few moments to read more details about “The Heart of God in the Midst of Judgment” and know that God loves you!
The End Times
Read much more about the end times that is divided into 4 main time periods: