I have personally been searching the Bible for years in an effort to identify all the signs that show we are living in the end times and soon return of Jesus Christ. It has not been an easy task to get a hold on them. That's because there are so many of them, both in the Old and New Testaments. I have found that the best way to deal with them is to put them in categories, and in doing that, I have come up with six categories of end time signs. The following are the first two categories.
1) The Signs of Nature
"...and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven." (Luke 21:11)
This category of signs has always been the least respected, even among believers. The mere mention of it usually evokes a sneer accompanied by the words, "Come on, what else is new? There have always been earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes." But those who have this attitude forget that Jesus said the signs would be like "birth pangs" (Matthew 24:8). That means they will increase in frequency and intensity the closer we get to the Lord's return. In other words, there will be more frequent natural disasters and more intense ones.
And that is exactly what has been happening. For example, between October of 1991 and November of 2004 — a period of 13 years — the United States experienced:
- 9 of the 10 largest insurance natural disasters in history.
- 9 of the 10 greatest disasters as ranked by FEMA relief costs.
- 5 of its costliest hurricanes in history.
- 3 of its 4 largest tornado swarms in history.
And keep in mind that these statistics were complied before the Hurricane Katrina disaster in August of 2005!
2) The Signs of Society
"Realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..." (2 Timothy 3:1-4)
This passage sounds like a typical evening newscast today! Notice the three things it says people will love in the end times: self, money, and pleasure.
The love of self is Humanism — the belief that Man can accomplish anything on his own. The love of money is Materialism. When Humanism is your religion, your god will always be money. The love of pleasure is the third love that is mentioned. This is Hedonism, the lifestyle that is always produced by Humanism and Materialism.
But God cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7). He therefore sees to it that when people chose Humanism, Materialism, and Hedonism, the payoff is always Nihilism — which is a fancy philosophical word for despair.
Need I emphasize that our world is wallowing in despair today? We live in a society plagued by abortion, homosexuality, domestic violence, child molestation, blasphemy, pornography, alcoholism, drug abuse and gambling.
Like the days of the Judges in the Old Testament, people are doing what is right in their own eyes, and the result is that people are calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).
We'll look at the third category — Spiritual Signs — in Part 3 of this series.