Whether you think of it as a joke or take it seriously, people ranging from doomsday prognosticators, Nostradamus followers, MIT grads who have build end-of-worlds computer predictive models, to climate-change-fatalists, there is intense interest in the End of the Age and the Last Days of earth. The most reliable source in terms of up-to-date accuracy and detailed prophecies, however, is the Bible. For example, the Bible tells that in the coming decades, there will be events which are harbingers to the end of this earth age. These events will occur in sequence, then begin to overlap and increase in intensify until a great cosmic cataclysm will occur, wiping clean the face of the earth and eventually, the both the heavens and the earth will be consumed in a fervent heat.
I have prepared this essay in 5 parts.
The Bible tells of the harbingers to watch for and of the events that will lead up to the End of the Age:
- False Christ’s and false Messiah’s,
- Hatred, persecution and martyrdom of Christians,
- A great falling away from the Christian faith.
- The appearance of a charismatic leader who will seem able to solve the world’s worst problems, only to become a vile person of unimaginable evil, creating a global nightmare of unrivaled carnage, death and destruction.
- Cataclysmic cosmic events.
- Cataclysmic terrestrial events.
Here is the beginning of the discourse of the End of the Age between Jesus and his disciples:
Matthew 24:3 says, “As He, (Jesus), was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Verse 4, And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.
Verse 5, “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.
Verse 6, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
Verse 7, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
Verse 8, “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Verse 9, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”
So, when will these things happen?
Many of these harbinger events began as early as B.C. 2 and have progressively appeared, overlapping one another and increased in intensity and frequency:
I. Many will come IN MY (Jesus’) NAME:
This can be someone literally saying ‘I am the Christ’, but it is proving to be those who consider themselves as an emissary of Christ – such as ‘ordained pastors’ – who speak for Christ, but are blindly following ‘new age’ or errant doctrines; or, as we are clearly seeing, now, in our day, ‘institutional deception’, where entire denominations fall away from the clear teachings of Jesus and lead millions astray. (Also see“Shipwrecked”).
So, how can we know ‘which of the false Christs‘ Jesus is referring to, WHICH WILL MARK THE ‘END OF THE AGE’? Keep reading!
II. WARS and rumors of war:
There have been thousands upon thousands of wars and conflicts since the time of Christ. Most notable for their scope and breadth are the
- Religious Crusades (1095 – 1291, Muslims vs Latin Church, almost 2 million dead),
- WWI (1914 – 1918, 17 million dead), and
- WW2 (1939 – 1945, over 70 million dead).
Current wars and conflicts 2018: Interactive global conflict tracker.
So, how can we know ‘which wars and rumors of wars‘ Jesus is referring to, WHICH WILL MARK THE ‘END OF THE AGE’? Keep reading!
III. EARTHQUAKES & VOLCANOES:
Earthquakes are nothing new. In fact, they are so numerous that I can only give you a web link by period of time and let you view what has been recorded. But, Jesus did warn they would come.
Lists of earthquakes by period
Volcanoes are nothing new, either, but it would seem that seismic events (volcanoes) are on the rise.
Figure 1. Graph showing the number of volcanoes reported to have been active each year since 1800 CE. Total number of volcanoes with reported eruptions per year (thin upper black line) and 10-year running mean of same data (thick upper red line). Lower lines show only the annual number of volcanoes producing large eruptions (>= 0.1 km3 of tephra or magma) and scale is enlarged on the right axis; thick red lower line again shows 10-year running mean. See text for discussion.
Figure 2. Graph showing known historically active volcanoes, number of volcanoes reported to be active each year, and population. The line labeled “Known Historically Active Volcanoes” (right scale) is the cumulative number of volcanoes with an historically recorded eruption by that year. “Volcanoes Active Per Year” since 1400 CE (black line) and 10-year running mean of same data (thick red line) is also based on reported eruptions (those with uncertainty dates greater than 1 year are not included, nor are uncertain eruptions). “Population” (right scale) is the world’s estimated human population; data from McEvedy and Jones (1978) and (since 1750) Population Reference Bureau, Washington, D.C. See text for further explanation.
At first glance the nearly exponential increase through recent centuries suggests that the planet may soon be overwhelmed by volcanic activity, but this increase tracks the striking growth of global population (dashed line on figure 1) that has spread potential observers of eruptions over much of the Earth and the technological advances that have facilitated reporting of those eruptions. Another indicator of the growth of the record is the increase in the total number of known historically active volcanoes (upper line on figure 2). These are not newly-formed volcanoes, but already established features (or volcanic fields) that clearly had numerous previous eruptions. If a list had been continuously kept, about 2000 years ago, it would have contained only the names of nine Mediterranean volcanoes and West Africa’s Mount Cameroon. In the next ten centuries, the list would have grown by only 30 names, 18 of them Japanese. Although newly settled Iceland soon added seven volcanoes, the list totaled only 63 by 1400 CE.
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Volcanoes of the World, v. 4.8.5. Venzke, E (ed.). Smithsonian Institution. Downloaded 14 Jan 2020.
So, how can we know ‘which EARTHQUAKES‘ Jesus is referring to, WHICH WILL MARK THE ‘END OF THE AGE’? Keep reading!
Famines have taken hundreds of millions of lives since the time of Christ, so this is nothing new, either.
So, how can we know ‘which FAMINES‘ Jesus is referring to, WHICH WILL MARK THE ‘END OF THE AGE’? Keep reading!
Jesus tells us there will be a worldwide persecution of Christians. A look at history shows us that In the first few centuries, Christianity grew quickly. By A.D. 325, an estimated 7 million people were Christians, with as many as 2 million killed for their faith in Jesus.
However, according to a Christian think-tank. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) says 900,000 Christians have been ‘martyred’ in the last decade, equating to 90,000 a year and one every six minutes.
This may be the most dangerous time in history to be Christian
At least 327 million Christians face persecution, according to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which released its biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World in November 2018. That is 7 percent of the world’s 2.3 billion Christians, estimated by Pew Research Center in 2015.
245 million Christians in the top 50 countries on Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List experience high levels of persecution (i.e.: torture, rape, sex-slavery, for conversion to Christianity, murder and genocide), an increase of 14 percent from 2018. Sixty percent of those enduring persecution are children; women and girls are most violated. Release International, a UK-based human rights watchdog in operation for the past 50 years who partner with U.S.-based “Voice of the Martyrs” said they expect global anti-Christian persecution is set to rise ‘sharply’ in 2019. – (Read the report here)
So, how can we know ‘which period of Christian Persecution‘ Jesus is referring to, WHICH WILL MARK THE ‘END OF THE AGE’? Yes, Keep reading!
So, where does all of this lead?
1. You will know when ‘The End of the Age’ is near, not when one or two of these events occur, but when ALL of ‘these things’ occur and converge concurrently, as Jesus said they would; then these things are the harbinger of ‘those things’ which have come to pass. (Also, see “The Tribulation of Those Days’).
2. The phrase “the beginning of birth pangs” is a statement made by Jesus in or around the year AD 30 and is a translation of the Greek archē _ ōdin . The meaning of the phrase, translated in the KJV as “the beginning of sorrows” is a direct reference to preliminary birth pangs that ultimately lead to the full scale contractions and travail, which leads to the actual birth.
Recognizing the Old Testament reference that Jesus was hearkening to is an essential, but often overlooked, key to determining the timing of the prophecy. Jesus was pointing his disciples to two key passages from the prophet Isaiah.
The first passage is Isaiah 26, a portion of Scripture found in the middle of what is sometimes referred to as “Isaiah’s little apocalypse”. There, the Lord speaks through Isaiah, specifically contrasting the expectations of the Jewish people regarding deliverance, redemption and physical resurrection with the reality of the pain, suffering and travail that they had corporately experienced. In verses 16-18, the complaint of Israel is raised that despite having endured the great suffering of labor, the expected “birth” of deliverance, redemption and resurrection had not arrived.