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. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
Jesus had a lot to say about His second coming. In Matthew 24, He mentioned several signs would precede His visible return to earth. As we look at these signs, we must understand that in one sense many of these things are taking place right now. Throughout history, many of these signs have taken place. But Jesus said before He comes, these things will increase in intensity and frequency.
What are the signs? The first sign He mentions is spiritual deception. Jesus said, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many” (v. 4). Now, in every age, there have been religious charlatans. Think about James Jones and David Koresh. But as we get closer to the end, the number of these false teachers will increase. In fact, toward the end, many people will claim to be the Christ. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:1, “The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” Toward the end, we will see a rise in Satanism and the occult. And we are seeing that right now.
The second sign of the end times is international conflict. In Matthew 24:6-7 Jesus said, “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. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Leon Trotsky, a Marxist philosopher and revolutionary, is credited with saying, “Whoever longs for a quiet life has been born in the wrong generation.” He wrote those words almost 100 years ago. The world wasn’t peaceful in his day, and it is not peaceful today either. See if any of these places sound familiar to you: Iraq, Syria, the Ukraine, Hong Kong, the East China Sea, Crimea, Chechnya, Serbia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Kashmir, Somalia, Yemen, Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. These are just a few of the hot spots in the world. Think about it: 70 years ago American troops were fighting in Germany and Japan. Then they moved to Korea. Then Vietnam. Then they moved to the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. We can add to the list of countries Afghanistan and Pakistan, and who knows how many other Middle Eastern countries will be added to the list.
We are seeing international conflict on an unprecedented scale around the world. Jesus said this is a sign of His soon return.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Jesus on the End Times” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Leon Trotsky, quoted in David Jackman, “Joshua: People of God’s Purpose” (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014), 103.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.