There are those signs Jesus gave when His disciples asked for how they could know when the time of the end was approaching. Every generation has looked at those signs and said the end must be near. With all that is happening in the world today, so many, especially television preachers, have persuaded their followers that the world is about to end.
He gave several signs so that men could know that the end was approaching. Look at the signs He gave in Matthew 24 and Luke 21: (1) False Christs would arise; (2) There would be wars among nations; (3) There would be famine and pestilences; (4) There would be earthquakes in various places; (5) Christians would be put on trial and martyred; (6) Some Christians would lose their faith and grow cold; (7) Desolation would come to the Holy Place; (8) Disciples were to flee from Jerusalem for the worst tribulation of all times would occur; (9) Jerusalem was to be surrounded by armies.
So what is the truth about these signs? Do they show that the end of the world is approaching us? Before looking at this question, we should remember that for hundreds of years these signs have been often used to warn people that the end was at hand. In America, they were seen happening during the time of the War Between the States. Then, they were used to say the end was about to come during the first World War, then World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Viet Nam War and more recently the Iraqi War.
So where do these signs belong? What did Jesus have in mind when He gave these signs? Let the Bible answer as you read the following and note the words I have emphasized to help us see the answer. Remember His words were spoken to Peter, Andrew, James and John (Mark 13:3-4)!
Jesus told these men, “Take heed that YOU not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,‘ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore, do not go after them. But when YOU hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately. Nation will arise against nation…great earthquakes, famines and pestilences…sights and signs from heaven…YOU will be brought before kings…YOU will be betrayed…When YOU see Jerusalem surrounded by armies” (Luke 21:11-20). Then, look at the words in Matthew 24. “Pray that YOUR flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath for THEN will be great tribulation…When YOU see ALL THESE THINGS…THIS generation will by no means pass away until ALL THESE THINGS are fulfilled” (Matt. 24:20-34).