How Close is the Second Coming? :: By Britt Gillette

The past year has been a wake-up call for many people. A global pandemic… Riots and social unrest in countless nations… Fractures in the global economy… And now Israel and Hamas at war. Everywhere you look, it seems as though the end is near. Is it? What does the Bible say? Are these signs of the Second Coming? Are these events pointing to the soon return of Jesus Christ?

Fortunately, we don’t have to guess. Jesus Himself told us how to recognize the general timeframe of His return. When the disciples said, “Tell us the signs of your coming and the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3), Jesus told them a number of things to look for. He then said, “When you see all these things, you can know my return is near. I’m right at the door” (Matthew 24:33). He also said, “When all these things begin to happen, look up, for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:28).

This means the #1 indication Jesus will return soon is all the signs appearing together. Both Jesus and the prophets told us what signs to look for, and the appearance of just one is reason enough to take notice. But the arrival of one sign after another demands your attention. It’s the sign Jesus said to look for. This convergence of signs is confirmation our generation will witness the Second Coming – not according to me, but according to Jesus.

The Convergence of Signs

So, what are these signs? Jesus and the prophets pointed to dozens and dozens of signs. This article will only cite a few, but the reality of each one of these signs is undeniable. And their convergence should convince you the return of the Lord is close at hand. These signs include:

Israel Back in the Land – God promised to bring the Jewish people back into the land of Israel before He returned (Jeremiah 23:7-8). He said He would call them from “among the nations” (Ezekiel 39:28), from “the farthest corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12), and from “north, south, east, and west” (Psalm 107:3). He promised to welcome them home from the lands where they were scattered (Ezekiel 20:34). When they did, He promised to return and establish His everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 11:11-12).

The Jewish People in Control of Jerusalem – Jesus said armies would surround Jerusalem, destroy the city, and enslaves its citizens. The Roman legions fulfilled this prophecy in A.D. 70. Jesus then said people other than the Jewish people will control Jerusalem for a time, until the Jewish people once again control Jerusalem. When they did, Jesus promised to return (Luke 21:24-28). Since 1967, the Jewish people have controlled Jerusalem.

The Gospel Preached Throughout the World – When asked about the end of the age and the signs of His coming, Jesus said to look for a very specific sign. He said the Gospel will be preached throughout the entire world. Every nation will hear it. And then? And then, the end will come (Matthew 24:14). For centuries after the crucifixion, the Gospel was confined to a small area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. In the past two centuries, Christians have brought the Gospel to every nation in the world. Today, missionaries are in every nation. The Bible is translated in hundreds of languages, and the message of Jesus is sent around the world by radio, TV, satellite, and the Internet. This generation is on the verge of spreading the Gospel to every last person on earth.

An Increase in Travel and Knowledge – Six hundred years before Jesus, an angel gave Daniel a special message. He said “travel and knowledge” will increase in the end times (Daniel 12:4). For centuries of human history, dramatic gains in travel and knowledge did NOT take place. Yet the last two hundred years have seen explosions in the speed and frequency of travel as well as the amount and availability of knowledge.

Arrival of the Exponential Curve – Jesus said a variety of global signs will come before His return and the end of the age. These signs will be spiritual, natural, societal, and political in nature. He said they will appear in a distinct way – “like birth pains” (Matthew 24:3‐8). This means the frequency and intensity of these signs will increase as we near His return. Our generation has seen the exponential increase in war and famine Jesus said to look for. In the 20th Century alone, more people died from war and famine than lived on the earth when Jesus spoke these words.

Israel Surrounded by Enemies – The Bible says enemies will surround Israel in the end times. Those enemies will say, “Come, let us wipe away the nation of Israel. Let’s destroy the memory of its existence” (Psalm 83:4) and “Let us take for ourselves these pasturelands of God” (Psalm 83:12). Ezekiel said Israel’s neighbors will say, “God has given their land to us” (Ezekiel 11:14‐17), and “Israel and Judah are ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care if their God is there?” (Ezekiel 35:10). Ever since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the daily headlines have included these Bible verses. Israel’s Muslim neighbors claim the land of Israel for themselves, and they have no regard for the God of Israel.

Israel’s Exceedingly Great Army – Ezekiel said, in the end times, Israel will field “an exceedingly great army” (Ezekiel 37:10). Zechariah said Israel will be like a fire among sheaves of grain, burning up the neighboring nations (Zechariah 12:6), and even the weakest Israeli soldier will be like David (Zechariah 12:8). Since 1948, Israel has fought no less than four conventional wars against its neighbors. Despite being outnumbered more than 50 to 1, Israel has achieved overwhelming victory every time.

Rise of the Gog of Magog Alliance – The Bible says a military alliance that includes Russia, Iran, Turkey, and a number of Muslim nations will attack Israel “in the latter days” (Ezekiel 38:8) when God brings His people home from among the enemy nations (Ezekiel 39:27). Today, we see those very nations coming together for the first time – an alliance that has never existed in world history.

Rise of a United Europe – The Bible says a revived Roman Empire will come to power in the end times (Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 17). According to Daniel, it will be a ten-nation alliance of weak and strong nations. Some parts will be as strong as iron, while other parts will be as weak as clay (Daniel 2:42). We see the beginning of this alliance in the European Union – a coalition of weak and strong nations struggling to stay together.

The Rise of Global Government – The Bible says a single government will rule the world politically (Revelation 13:7), religiously (Revelation 13:8), and economically (Revelation 13:16‐17) in the last days. It will rule over “all people, tribes, and languages” on the face of the earth (Revelation 13:7). Its authority will be so complete that no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:16‐17). For centuries, a true global government was impossible. Today, world leaders openly discuss it.

Denial of the Signs – Almost two thousand years ago, Peter issued a warning. He said in the last days, people will mock the idea of Jesus returning. They will make fun of those who believe in the Second Coming and say exactly what we hear today – things like, “I thought Jesus was coming back? What happened to His promise? Generation after generation has said He’s coming. Yet, since the beginning of the world, everything has remained the same!” (2 Peter 3:3‐4).

The Hour is Late

Keep in mind, these signs haven’t always been present. Generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing any of these signs. For centuries of Christian history, none of these signs were present. Today, they all are. Jesus said when you see these signs, you can know His return is near. He’s right at the door (Matthew 24:33). In fact, Jesus said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34). So despite the skeptics and naysayers, Jesus is coming, and ours is the generation that will witness His return. The convergence of all these signs confirms it.

How many generations of Christians longed to see what we see? Yet, there’s a strange silence in the church. Why? The appearance of all these signs after centuries of waiting should motivate every Christian on earth to make the most of what time we have left.

Jesus commanded us to watch for these signs (Matthew 24:42). He scolded the Pharisees and religious leaders when they failed to recognize the signs of His first coming (Matthew 16:3). Will He do any different for those who fail to recognize the signs of His second coming? Jesus warned us not to be caught sleeping when He returns (Mark 13:36).

If you’re a Christian, God expects you to point out these signs to others and warn them the end is near. If the world ignores you, so be it. But if you recognize the signs of the times and don’t tell others about them, you’re no different than a watchman who sees an invading army and doesn’t sound the alarm. If you fail in your role as watchman, God will hold you accountable for all those who perish (Ezekiel 33:1-6).

Have no doubt. The signs of His return are all around us. Jesus is coming. If you’ve been waiting to share the Gospel with someone, don’t wait one minute more. You may not have another opportunity. The hour is late. The signs are present. Now is the season of His return.

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

A Geopolitical and Economic Crisis Is On the Horizon :: By Britt Gillette

If you listen to the mainstream media, you’ll hear a repeating narrative. You’ll hear we’re nearing the end of the pandemic. Just a few more “COVID jabs,” and restrictions will ease. Pent-up demand will explode throughout the world, and the global economy will be off and running. Record high stock markets, a hot housing market, and positive government economic data prove the economy is now roaring. That’s the belief. The pandemic is ending. The economy is growing. Everything is wonderful, and soon we’ll return to “normal.” That’s what’s happening, right?

I wish it were so, but a sober look at the global economy reveals a rough road ahead. Furthermore, the odds of global war haven’t been as high as they are now in decades. To see this is the case, you only need to look past the agenda-driven news headlines and focus on what’s really happening in the world.

The Broken Global Supply Chain

A year ago, many people warned the COVID shutdowns would have serious and lasting repercussions. Our modern economy runs on a complex just-in-time inventory and delivery system you can’t simply turn on and off. Global trade is geared toward efficiency, not resiliency. And when you shut down one node in a supply chain, the entire supply chain breaks.

What the global economy experienced last year was a lot like a high-speed car crash. Sometimes, you can wreck your car, get out, and walk away without a single scratch. Every outward sign indicates you survived the crash unscathed. But your outward appearance masks terrible life-threatening injuries. This is what happened in 2020. The media narrative says the economy is in full recovery. But most of the damage is hidden by trillions of dollars in government spending.

If you take a closer look, you’ll see the truth. The global economy is on life support, and nothing indicates this more than the broken global supply chain. When governments around the world shut down their economies and ordered citizens to stay home, it sparked a tectonic shift in demand. This shift in demand took place at the same time many businesses were shut down, restricting supplies of the very goods and services many people demanded. For example, demand for consumer toilet paper exploded when everyone was forced to stay home. Demand for commercial toilet paper (at offices, airports, restaurants, hotels, etc.) disappeared. Each type of toilet paper has a separate supply chain. Those chains weren’t created to be flexible. They couldn’t handle the unbalanced demand, and the result was easy to predict – widespread toilet paper shortages.

For similar reasons, we now see shortages of other products. For example, there’s now a global shortage of the semiconductor chips used in visual displays. This shortage is expected to last for the rest of the year, and the impact is widespread. Entire auto plants have ground to a halt because they lack this one component. Soon the shortage will spill over into other consumer products, such as laptops, tablets, phones, televisions, and video game consoles. As shortages in those products take hold, what ripple effects will they produce in the global economy? Compounding the problem, the ongoing chip shortage is now impacting the production of chip-making equipment itself, making the chip shortage even worse.

It’s not only semiconductors facing these supply chain woes. Other items are in short supply, such as:

  • Lumber
  • Household Appliances
  • Medical Supplies
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Internet Routers
  • Auto Parts
  • Coffee

And even Ketchup packets

The global supply chain is broken, and new disruptions could occur at any moment and make it worse. For example, when the cargo ship Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal last month, it blocked all traffic for six days. It’s estimated around 10% of global trade, including 7% of the world’s oil, travels through the Suez Canal. This only made the current situation worse. The impact on global shipping and supply chains will be felt for months. It’s the perfect illustration of the fragility of global supply chains. But a broken global supply chain isn’t the only problem.

Central Banks Have Blown Another Financial Bubble

The central bank response to the COVID crisis was swift and aggressive. All around the world, central banks lowered interest rates and purchased billions in bonds, all to prop up troubled businesses and prevent a financial collapse. While these measures prevented an immediate financial collapse, they further distorted the free market, giving rise to two simultaneous financial bubbles that make the global financial system even more fragile:

1) A Second Housing Bubble – According to Zillow, the past year has been the hottest year in real estate since 2007, with median sale prices in dozens of areas experiencing double-digit price increases. The reason? A combination of low rates, a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and in some cases, urban flight to suburban and rural areas. All these factors combined to create both a surge in demand for new and existing homes as well as a dwindling supply of listings.

The result is a housing market euphoria reminiscent of the 2002-2007 housing bubble. For instance, in January of this year, a 2,834 SF home in Toronto sold for $2,610,000 after two days on the market and 17 offers. This was $612,000 over the asking price. In Los Angeles, more than half the homes sold last month sold for more than their listing price. According to Redfin, March 2021 was the hottest month in housing history with a record high 42% of homes selling above their list price. Does this sound like a healthy, well-adjusted housing market? Or another giant housing bubble?

2) Another Stock Market Bubble – Since the March 2020 lows, the Dow is up 78%, the S&P 500 is up 81%, and the NASDAQ is up 104%. The rise in stocks since the March low is the third largest in 100 years. The only two times where the market performed better were July 1933 and March 1936 – both in the midst of the Great Depression. Just how overvalued is the stock market? The Buffet Indicator says very overvalued. Named for famed investor Warren Buffet, it measures the total market value of stocks relative to the nation’s economic output. At over 200%, the Buffet Indicator is at an all-time high right now – far higher than in 1929 and far higher than before the dot-com bubble burst. Does this sound like the ideal time to invest in stocks? Or the peak of a market mania?

Global Markets are Fragile

All bubbles eventually pop. The only question is when they’ll pop and what event will pop them. Because of the government policy response to COVID, the stock market is particularly vulnerable to collapse. And its collapse threatens the entire global financial system. Just how fragile is the system? In January, trading in a single stock almost caused a financial panic. While all the headlines at the time focused on the little guy vs. Wall Street, the big headline should have been that GameStop’s explosive stock price almost caused a meltdown of the global financial system. Not only did it destroy the hedge fund Melvin Capital, which had a heavy short position in GameStop, but it exposed brokerages like Robinhood, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab to billions in potential losses if their customers couldn’t cover their margin debt.

For those who aren’t familiar, trading on margin means buying stocks with borrowed money. This enhances investor returns when the market is going up, but it can wipe investors out if the market goes down. Margin debt was a major factor in the 1929 stock market collapse, and now margin debt is making a comeback. As a percentage of real disposable income, margin debt is now higher than it’s been in more than 60 years. It’s higher than the dot-com bubble, and it’s higher than it was before the 1929 crash.

In March, Bill Hwang of Archegos Capital Management lost $20 billion in two days when he defaulted on borrowed funds he used to speculate in the stock market. Like the GameStop episode, this too could have caused a systemic collapse of the global financial system. It’s estimated Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Nomura, and other Wall Street players lost at least $30 billion. Their losses could have triggered a crisis in the more than $2 quadrillion derivatives market, bankrupting banks all over the world and destroying the global financial system. What’s most worrying is events like these are taking place when global markets are doing nothing but going straight up. What will happen when the market finally goes down?

Rumors of War Abound

Unfortunately, we’ve seen all this before. Shrinking global trade and collapsing markets were hallmarks of the 1930s. And so were regional conflicts and the rise of imperial powers. Germany, Italy, and Japan invaded neighboring nations in the 1930s. Totalitarianism swept across the globe. Like the 1930s, we see similar developments today.

Today’s headlines tell of wars and rumors of war. For example, China recently flew more than 20 warplanes over Taiwan’s airspace. They also threatened the Philippines, anchoring several hundred ships near a Philippine reef in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, the United States and Russia threaten to go to war over Ukraine, and Israel and Iran threaten to go to war over Iran’s nuclear program. Wars and violent conflict are nothing new. But frequent high-stakes confrontations between nuclear powers are new to the post-Cold War era. Like the Cuban Missile Crisis and other Cold War moments of brinksmanship, any one of these situations could suddenly escalate into World War III.

These are Dangerous Times

Despite media attempts to assure us all is well, these are dangerous times. A single bankruptcy, and global markets could collapse like a house of cards. One wrong decision, and superpowers could unleash a global war. Like 1914 and 1939, the world is on the eve of a new world order. The stage is set for a global economic crisis. International land disputes could trigger all-out war at a moment’s notice. It’s not a matter of if these events will happen; it’s only a matter of when. When they happen and the dust of war settles, the world will look different. The global power structure will be nothing like what we see today.

None of this should surprise you. The Bible says these same conditions will be present just before the Antichrist comes to power. The Bible says World War III (Revelation 6:4) and economic collapse (Revelation 6:5-6) will precede the rise of the Antichrist’s global empire (Revelation 13:7). Reading today’s headlines, it’s clear we’re drawing closer and closer to the events of the Tribulation. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic (Luke 21:11). Israel is back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8). The Jewish people are back in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28). And the Gospel is being preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14). The end times approach. This means the rapture also draws near. So don’t despair; Jesus is coming soon!

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Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming, Racing Toward Armageddon, and The End Times. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.