By Nathan Jones
Is the end times sign of fearful events occurring today?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the fifth and sixth end times signs of pestilence and fearful events prophesied by Jesus in Luke 21:11.
Sign #6 — Fearful Events
Vic Batista: Another fearful event that the Bible warns us about is fearful signs. I read in Luke 21:11 that there will be great earthquakes, famines, and pestilence and there will be fearful signs and great signs from heaven. Can you tell us more about that end times sign, Nathan?
Nathan Jones: Sure. Jesus bundled a few of these signs together there in Luke 21:11. We are now answering the third question that the Apostles asked Jesus, "What will be the signs before Jesus' Second Coming?" We know that Jesus' Second Coming happens at the end of the seven-year Tribulation, which is a time of wrath that will come upon the world. People will be begging God to end all this suffering in the world, and He does, but He returns in judgment.
As always, God allows and even causes the fearful events of the Tribulation in order to get people on their knees, asking for forgiveness of their sins, so that people turn back to Him.
During the Tribulation, God steps back and lets people have their way. He takes away His restraining influence — the Christian influence — which is the Holy Spirit's work through the Church. We read in Revelation 6:5-8 that a fourth of the world will then die from the judgments of the plagues and the famine.
We also read about the First Bowl Judgment in Revelation 16:2 where ugly festering sores break out on the people who have the Mark of the Beast and worshiped him. The Antichrist will be worshiped during the Tribulation by those who will reject Christ and His salvation. The people who worship him will take his loyalty mark, which is the number or his name on their right hand or forehead. Those people are the ones who will take the Mark and so break out in ugly, festering sores.
Then the Fifth Bowl Judgment occurs near the end of the Tribulation. That judgment causes people to have pains and sores all over their bodies. The description is very much like what's caused by nuclear radiation. We know from passages such as these that there will be nuclear war going on during the Tribulation.
And then there will also be the sixth end times sign that Jesus gave us in Luke 21, which is fearful events. These cover both social and economic problems.
Vic Batista: Of course, there were these types of signs even in Jesus' time, but we are going to see these increasing more so in our time as we approach Jesus' return.
We are frequently hearing in the news about asteroids, meteorites and meteor showers. Not that long ago a meteor actually hit an area of Russia, right?
Nathan Jones:Yes, and there was talk of one hitting recently down in Managua, Nicaragua, which is their capital. Those are indeed fearful signs from the skies.
For the Jews who lived before the Temple fell, they knew fearful social and economic problems. After all, the Romans came in and they annihilated the nation of Israel. They scattered the Jews to the four corners of the earth. For almost 1,900 years the Jews have lived in exile, strangers in foreign lands, with no Temple to worship God in. They knew fearful social and economic times.
But, as we get closer to Jesus' rapturing the Church and then seven years of Tribulation before His Second Coming, there will continue to be fearful social and economic problems, but in even greater frequency and intensity than before the Temple fell.
Financial Fearful Events
Nathan Jones: We could cover many different areas concerning fearful events, but let's just take financial for now. Now and then we have these terrible stock market crashes. It gets people thinking about whether money is truly our God. We worship money and what it can do for us. Sometimes God kicks the money out from underneath us and says, "No, I am your source. I am your strength and your shield. You need to turn to me and not turn to money for sufficiency."
Vic Batista: That's a very important point you are making, because it seems to be one of the problems today in the business world, that it's all about money. To all these companies and people, money is their God. We saw what happened when the stock market crashed. People lost all of their money and then even committed suicide.
Nathan Jones: There's a fascinating article titled, "The 10 Worst Stock Market Crashes in U.S. History." It's a fascinating read. For instance, did you know that 2000-2002 was the tenth worse stock market crash in U.S. history? It lasted almost 999 days with a 37.8% loss in income.
The seventh worst crash was during the Vietnam War in '73-'74, with a reported 45.1% loss of income.
The Great Depression, believe it or not, actually happened in stages, so you could say there were a few stock market crashes wrapped up in a big title. The major crashes during the Great Depression occurred in 1929. For 71 days it lasted with a 47.9% loss in income.
The worst Great Depression stock market crash ever occurred in '30-'32 and lasted 813 days. There was an 86% loss of income. So, picture this. You have $1,000 on September 3, 1929. That money would have gone down in value to only being worth $108 dollars. You'd have went from $1,000 to $108. To recover from that kind of loss, your portfolio would have to go up 825%. As a matter of fact, no one recovered from the Great Depression fully until 1954, which was a full 22 years later.
Vic Batista: That's incredible! That's a good reminder of Matthew 6:19-21 where the Bible says, "Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Nathan, what you are telling us is so important, because when these fearful signs come, if our foundation isn't Jesus Christ, then we'll lose what matters to us. That's where our treasure is, and if it isn't Jesus Christ, it can easily be lost. But, when Jesus is our foundation, then whatever comes, we are going to continue to just trust Him and we won't fall apart, right?
Nathan Jones: Exactly. Just look at the stock market crash of 2008. Our stock market dropped drastically when the housing bubble burst. The loss was $1.2 trillion! What's interesting, and I don't know if this has a special meaning but it certainly does to me, is that the stock market dropped 777 points. That's the number of God. Was He trying to tell us something? I think He was.
Vic Batista: That's amazing! I didn't know that, Nathan.
Nathan Jones: Yes, 777 points. Was God telling us, "Wake up, people?" Of course, that drop started the Great Recession that we are just pulling out of, although there are still a lot of people unemployed.
God uses fearful economic events to say, "Wake up! Money can never by your real God." Money buys pleasure, so really it is pleasure for self that we are buying. You are not your own god. God would say, "I'm God I'm in charge. And, if you follow my statues, for I built the universe so I know how it works, and if you follow my plan, your life will work for you. When you don't follow my plan, your life will fall apart."
Vic Batista: God is going to shake the world us so that people will turn to the Him and follow His plan and not continue to go down this train wreck sort of lifestyle that's leading nowhere. It's incredible how all these events and signs have developed.
Nathan, it seems that things are actually going to get even worse with the economy and not better, right?
Nathan Jones: Yes, I believe you are right. Certainly we are seeing a temporary bounce back, but prophecy foretells an eventual worldwide collapse. Look at what happens during the Tribulation. We read in the Third Seal Judgment of Revelation 6:5-6, "Two pounds of wheat for a day wages, and six pounds of barley for a day wages, and do not damage the oil or the wine." The Bible there is talking about a worldwide economic collapse.
What would cause a worldwide economic collapse? The United States cannot sustain the debt that we've got. We're nearly $17 trillion in debt! All the other countries of the world are dependent on our economy and the dollar. When we inevitably collapse, it could cause a chain reaction that wipes out the finance of the world. The Bible says a worldwide economic collapse will eventually come, and that of course in part will cause a lot of the starvation and diseases and death that follow.
Out of that global financial disaster, a one-world ruler will come and promise to fix the world system, especially the economic system. He and his False Prophet, who is like his own PR man, will create a financial system whereby people cannot buy or sell unless they have taken his Mark. You can read about that in Revelation 13.
We know from Bible prophecy that the dollar and all the other currencies will go away one day. There will be a one-world, cashless economic system where you cannot buy or sell unless you've sworn allegiance to this one-world ruler. If you don't, then you will starve. So, it's coming, it's coming. This debt that we have is unsustainable. The Bible says the world economy will collapse which will send the world towards a one-world financial system in order to try to fix the problem.
Never Fear When the Lord Is Near
Vic Batista: As we have been talking about famines, plagues, and fearful signs, there are likely those who are fearful. They are fearful because these things are inevitably going to come. But, Nathan, there is hope, right? There is hope. For those who are fearful, there's still time for you to turn to the only One who can give you that hope, and that is Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: I don't know how much time we have left before the Rapture of the Church, as it's an event that could happen at any time. No signs or prophecies have to be fulfilled in order for it to come. But, we know from the signs of the end times that because they are so prolific, they point to Jesus' soon return.
Knowing this, you have to ask yourself, "What is my heart condition? What is my relationship with Jesus?" Have you accepted Him as your Savior? Has He forgiven you of your sins because you asked Him to? Do you now walk in new life with Him, or are you still in rebellion against God and trying to do things your own way?
Maybe you are looking at your life and wondering why it's such a mess. How do you fix that? Well, you fix your life by surrendering it all to Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for you because He loves you and wants you to be saved. You just have to surrender and ask.
Vic Batista: Nathan, thank you for those encouraging words!