By Nathan Jones
What did Jesus say in Luke 21 concerning weather in the last days?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the seventh and eighth end times signs of great signs from the sky and the sign of Christian persecution prophesied by Jesus in Luke 21:11-19.
Great Sky Signs During Bible Times
Nathan Jones: Now we get up to the seventh sign, which is Great Signs from the Sky. There would be signs in the heavens that would point to the soon return of Jesus Christ.
Vic Batista: The Bible tells us the people in a sense, as we might use today's word, will be "freaking out" because of these terrible things which they're going to see.
Nathan Jones: Freaking out is right! There are a lot of frightening things packed in verse 11, about how there will be great earthquakes in various places and famines and pestilence, and how there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
We can know for sure that we are truly living in the last days, for it is a time when we are seeing quite a number of these amazing signs in the sky, both from outer space and also in the atmosphere around the world.
Before the Temple fell in 70 AD, there were some signs in the sky that caused some panic. The Jewish historicist Josephus records the First Century time period. In 66 AD, at the Passover, there passed by what we know today as a comet. Halley's Comet came through, and Josephus reported that the people were "freaking out" as you say. They didn't know what it was at all.
Vic Batista: I remember a modern day comparison. It was kind of like a joke by the end. Do you remember Comet Hale-Bopp? Some groups thought it signified the end of the world.
Nathan Jones: Yes, I remember. Some people actually thought they were going to be taken off this planet by Hale-Bopp!
But, yes, there were some signs in the sky at the time just before the Temple fell. Certainly, some could have remembered Jesus' star — the Star of Bethlehem. It too was a sign in the sky.
Great Signs from the Weather
Nathan Jones: Today we have so many signs in the skies as it relates especially to weather. As we get closer to the end of this age, just before Jesus comes to rapture the Church, He tells us that these signs will come more frequently and more intensely, rather like birth pains. Remember how before a child is born the mother experiences increasingly more frequent and intense birth pains? The signs will behave just like that.
Let's look at tornadoes, for example, especially in 2011. That that year alone there were 1,691 tornadoes. In April of that year, 758 struck in just that one month. That was the single largest month of tornado. recorded. People are looking up at the skies and they're seeing tornado. all over the country. Tornado. have died down a little this year because of the various droughts, though. Without a lot of water there are not a lot of tornado. We are still suffering from terrible droughts, which fall under the sign of famines.
Then there are hurricanes. Hurricanes especially as we get closer to Jesus' return will strike more frequently and intensely. Back in 2011, we had Hurricane Irene which killed 48 people and cost $15.8 billion in damage. Hurricane Andrew was the third most powerful at $40 billion in damage and 61 people died.
You probably remember Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 since you live in Florida, Pastor Vic? It was reported that 1,833 people died and cost $133.8 billion in damages.
And so, people are looking up and they are seeing these frequent hurricanes, and they are seeing tornadoes, and they are seeing signs in the sky. Some people are even looking at the eclipses and wondering if they have anything to do with anything. So, there's a lot going on.
But, the weather we are experiencing today is nothing — nothing — compared to the signs in the sky that will happen during the Tribulation. That seven years of wrath which according to the book of Revelation will befall the earth before Jesus' Second Coming will rock the world to its foundations.
Vic Batista: This is why individuals need to pay attention to the signs around us. We should recognize the significance to these big numbers when we are talking about today's disasters.
I do remember Hurricane Andrew when it came through Florida and the devastation it left. The area of Homestead in South Florida, I mean, it looked like a wilderness. Everything was gone! And yet, that disaster was just a drop in the bucket in a sense compared to what the Bible says is coming during the terrible time of the Tribulation.
Nathan Jones: So sorry, Pastor Vic, that I totally forgot you had lived through Hurricane Andrew. How badly did it effect folks in Miami?
Vic Batista: It was like a little mini nuclear bomb that was dropped on this area. It was just intense, amazing, and incredible to experience! I'd moved to Florida only a few months after Hurricane Andrew hit, so fortunately I just missed it. I only saw the aftermath when I moved here. I couldn't even find a place to live because the whole area had been devastated.
Nathan Jones: Wow, that's amazing! When I moved to Dallas I found out that it experiences one of the worst storm systems in all of the country. The reason is that the area sits in the apex of three different weather patterns. When those weather patterns mix, we get terrible tornadoes. Right now we have been going through a multi-year drought. So, it can be tough living here weather-wise.
The Bible says that the closer we get to the last days, and I believe we are now in the last days, that storms will get much worse. Just think of the devastation Hurricane Andrew caused. I remember pictures of it and of Hurricane Katrina. The affected areas looked like a bomb had gone off, and everything was flattened.
In the third segment of our discussion on the end times signs in the sky and Christian persecution, Vic and I will go into detail about those signs seen in the sky originating from outer space.