Some time back I was talking with my grandfather about all the signs of the times that abound today. We talked for a good while and he ended up giving me an interesting history lesson as he remembers it. The 20th century was one of great changes, many of biblical proportions. It is clear that many signs abound, and we should clearly keep looking for our soon to arrive Redeemer.
However, God’s timing often seems to move rather slowly compared to ours, and His Word even cautions us against running ahead of Him. Below are some very interesting, even biblical, signs that appeared to each of my family’s generations dating back to my great-grandfather who was born in the 1880s but came of age around 1900. The below time-frame applies to my family’s lives in the 20th century. (Your mileage may vary.)
My Great-Grandparents era (1900 – 1930)
- Great Quake of 1906 (There will be earthquakes).
- WWI (global war, birth of chemical warfare).
- Spanish Flu (global pandemic kills tens of millions).
- Armenian genocide (Christians being killed, even crucified for their faith).
- Balfour Declaration (beginning of the re-establishment of Israel in Holy Land).
- League of Nations (birth of global government).
- The Great Depression (economic collapse).
- Birth of powered flight and personal automobiles (people moving to and fro).
- Major leaps in science e.g. the Theory of relativity, electricity harnessed (explosions of knowledge).
- Clearer understanding of Scripture e.g. Rapture understanding spreads, and prophecy students abounding (explosion of knowledge).
- Telephone systems becomes widely available (global communication at speed of light – explosion of knowledge)
My Grandparents Era (1930 – 1960)
- Born into a depression (economic hardships, work all day for a loaf of bread).
- Social Security numbers (mark of beast technologies).
- Polio (outbreaks and pandemics).
- WWII (global war).
- Hitler attempting to exterminate Jews (A potential type of anti-Christ arises)
- Birth of nuclear potential means destruction of world is now possible (men being fearful for future of world, and pardon the pun, explosion of knowledge).
- Birth of Israel (dried bones come to life, and birth of a nation in a day).
- United Nations, and other globalist think tanks emerge (global government).
- Jet aircraft travel goes mainstream (moving to and fro at faster speeds).
- Radio becomes widely available (taking the gospel abroad, and knowledge increases).
My Parents Era (1960 – 1990)
- Cuban missile crisis, Nuclear WWIII rumors (legitimate fear of global destruction, rumors of wars).
- Mainstream commercial air travel, Space travel (people moving to and fro – explosion of knowledge).
- TV becomes widely available (taking the gospel abroad, and the ability for the world to watch live event i.e. the future Two Witnesses of Revelation).
- Israel’s Six Day War, at war with many Arab nations.(Israel being surrounded by enemies).
- Free Love, explosion of drug use, beginning of homosexual acceptance, abortion becomes a right, prayer removed from schools (moral decay).
- Birth of Jesus movement (taking the gospel to the ends of the earth before the end comes).
- Aids (global pandemic kills tens of millions).
- Jim Jones etc… (false Christs arise).
- Europe united via trade agreements (global governance and possible 10 kingdoms).
- Fall of communism (peace and security).
- Birth of the computer age, barcodes and credit cards (mark of Beast technologies, explosion of knowledge).
My Era (1990 – Present)
- Internet becomes widely available (explosion of knowledge – ability for anyone, anywhere to easily watch live global events i.e. two witnesses)Birth of cashless society (mark of beast technologies, global currency).
- The great global recession (economic hardship, loaf of bread for a day).
- Russia and Middle East players lining up against Israel (Psalm 83, Ezekiel 37 & 38, etc).
- David Koresh etc… (False Christs).
- Strange weather phenomena i.e. floods, hail, major earthquakes and volcanic activity (roaring of waves, columns of smoke).
- Christians being ostracized for expressing anti-Gay and pro-life beliefs (moral decay).
- Christians being arrested, fined (killed in some countries) for holding studies at home (the world will hate you).
- Swine flu, SARS etc (outbreaks and pandemics).
- The rise of ISIS, Arab spring (beheading of Christians, Israel surrounded by enemies).
Each of these eras looked around and saw the ‘signs of the times’ as they interpreted them…just as we do today. Each era has dealt with:
1) Global wars and rumors of wars.
2) Explosions of knowledge that lead to a faster spread of information and communication.
3) An increase in travel speeds and distances.
4) Health outbreaks and pandemics.
5) Issues with Israel (re-establishment and problems with neighbors).
6) Pushes towards global government.
7) Economic hardships and collapses
8) Mark of beast technologies.
9) Scoffers saying that prior generations saw and felt the same things.
Now, I was recently watching an old movie from 1972 titled, Thief in the Night. It is about the end
times and I found it interesting that the folks in this movie were certain that the end was any day now.
I don’t believe they were wrong in making this assumption. All the signs were present, yet almost 50 years later we are still here. They weren’t wrong in assuming the end is close; they simply got caught up in the moment and ran ahead of God. I truly feel bad for the folks that gave up careers, families, education and didn’t bother planning ahead for retirement because they were certain the end was within days — after all, they saw signs. I believe we have misinterpreted some ideas as we have run ahead of God in our limited understanding.
For instance, for years we would watch end-times movies and they would show Christians being beheaded by guillotine for not taking the mark of the beast. Well, I think we may have missed the point on this one, as we could never imagine the reemergence of actual beheadings like we see with ISIS today.
We shouldn’t wait to see guillotines going up before we understand that the Christians are being beheaded (and even crucified) for their faith today. The bottom line is this: I know this world is tough, and downright unbearable at times, but escapism doesn’t change the facts. We must not lose sight of God’s timing versus what we want or think we see.
The end might truly be near, and I sure hope it is, but like the folks who went through this in the 70s, the 50s, the 30s and even earlier, where will you be in 40 years (or longer) if the Lord tarries further? His plans just might be bigger than we realize and may encompass more than we currently understand.
I firmly believe that Jesus is returning soon, hopefully in our lifetime. However, history has provided us with more than one “great disappointment” and we shouldn’t run ahead of God or his timing. Remember the words of Jesus, “Occupy until I come.” Stay busy doing God’s work and let him work out the timing, but as you see the signs begin to come to pass, look up and know your redemption draws nigh!