by Steve Wohlberg
Will there be an "end of the world," or is such an idea simply the opinion of kooks who stand on street corners waving signs reading, "The End Is Near"? Believe it or not, according to the Bible, yes, there will be an end. Jesus Christ promised His followers, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20).
Are there any legitimate and observable "signs" indicative of this approaching finale? Once again, the answer is yes. While many supposed "signs" appear daily on the covers of our nation's tabloids, here are seven true biblical signs worth listing:
* 1. Global Environmental Crisis: The Bible reveals that when God finally drops the curtain on human history, He will finally "destroy them that destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18). In other words, before the end, mankind will be destroying the very planet we live on. This implies a global environmental crisis resulting from the growth of mega-cities, deforestation, a disappearing ozone layer, and earth-damaging man made pollutants.
* 2. Out-of-control Violence: Jesus Christ said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be before the coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24:37). What was it like in Noah's day before the flood? Here's the answer: "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence" (Genesis 6:11). "And God said to Noah, the end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth" (Genesis 6:13). Thus "violence" was rampant in Noah's day, just like today.
* 3. Out-of-control Sex: Again, Jesus Christ said, "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot...Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed" (Luke 17:28, 30). What was it like in Lot's day before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? Here's the answer: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7). Thus "fornication" (sex outside of marriage), and "going after strange flesh" (homosexuality), were the primary sins of those ancient cities. It's a no-brainer that through television, Playboy, Internet pornography, etc., our world is experiencing an unprecedented deluge of sexual perversion.
* 4. Increasing Stress, Confusion, Heart Disease: Jesus also declared, "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things that are coming upon the earth" (Luke 21:25, 26). People are stressed-out everywhere, confusion reigns, and the Number 1 cause of death is heart disease. Jesus Christ saw it coming, that's why He predicted global "distress," "perplexity" and "men's hearts failing them for fear." Fear also raises blood cholesterol.
* 5. Increasing Knowledge: The prophetic book of Daniel declares, "But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4). This passage reveals planet Earth will enter its "time of the end." Then, "knowledge shall be increased." In our modern era - more than any time in recorded history - knowledge has increased beyond previous generations.
* 6. False Teaching and Global Religious Confusion: Paul predicted "the time will come" when the majority "shall turn their ears away from the truth and shall turn to fables" (2 Timothy 4:4). God's final book - the Revelation - predicts the rise of a global, multi-layered, conglomerate religious system called "Babylon," which literally means, "confusion." Heaven's end-time message proclaims, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Revelation 14:8). This mysterious, highly symbolic prophecy reveals that "all nations" will become drunk with "Babylon's wine" - meaning the worldwide false teachings of deceptive religions which lead away from the simplicity of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ.
* 7. The Global Preaching of the Gospel: "And this gospel [the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ] shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14). With the aid of radio, television and satellite networks, God's message of salvation through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is now spreading around planet Earth. Thus, in the midst of Bad News, there's Good News! We have a Savior who loves us, gave His life for us, rose from the dead for us, and will someday return to take us home.