Seeing the Signs

Lesson

2

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Early on the morning of December 7, 1941, two United States servicemen reported for duty at a mobile radar unit on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. They were to scan the skies for anything that seemed to be out of the ordinary. At 7:02 a.m., the radar screen revealed that a squadron of at least 50 planes was heading toward Oahu.
Sharing their concern with their superiors, they were assured they had no reason to worry. But less than an hour later, bombs were falling on Pearl Harbor, and more than 2,400 military personnel were dead—1,177 of whom died when the battleship USS Arizona sank.
For 51 minutes before the attack commenced, there was clear evidence that an attack was about to take place. Yet that clear evidence was missed—or ignored— and disaster was the result.
The Bible contains clear evidence that the end of the world is near and that Jesus is soon to return. These unmistakable signs are signs you do not want to miss!
 
The signs Jesus shared with His disciples were signs of what great event?

Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of __________ _____________, and of the end of the age?
Hint

The disciples correctly saw the Second Coming of Jesus and the end of the world (or age) as virtually the same event. They asked Jesus to tell them about the signs—or signals—that would indicate when this event would be near.
Does anyone know the exact date of Jesus’ return?

But of that day and hour no  knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
Hint

Jesus said that no one knows the date of His return except for God. Predicting dates not only results in disappointment and discouragement, but it also encourages people to disbelieve and ridicule the Bible.
Hint

Although Jesus warned us against setting dates for His return, He did tell us to investigate Bible prophecies and world events in order to see when His coming is near. Just as there were many prophecies regarding the First Coming of Jesus, there are also clear prophecies relating to His return.
What illustration does Jesus use when describing the signs of the Second Coming?

All these are the beginning of .
Hint

After outlining a number of prophetic signs, Jesus called them the “beginning of sorrows.” The word “sorrows” comes from the Greek word odin, which  iterally means “birth pains.” Jesus used the illustration of childbirth as an example to describe the signs of His return. Just as birth contractions increase in frequency and intensity as a mother gets closer to the birth of her child, so the signs of Christ’s return become more frequent and intense as we near the end of time.
Hint

Jesus pointed to international warfare as one of the signs of earth’s last days. In the 20th century, there were two global wars, with multiple other conficts claiming millions of lives. War and terrorism continue to destabilize planet Earth and cause massive destruction and death.

Recent major wars include:
» American Civil War — more than 600,000 deaths
» World War I — more than 16 million deaths
» World War II — more than 60 million deaths
» Korean War — more than 1.2 million deaths
» Vietnam War — more than 1 million deaths
Hint

Each year, there are approximately 500,000 detectable earthquakes, and several of these cause enormous damage and claim many lives. As populations increase, the potential for massive loss of life increases.
An increase in earthquakes (and at times, related tsunamis) is another sign that Jesus is coming back soon. Additionally, 1 billion people do not get enough food daily, and 500 million are chronically malnourished. It is said that population increase and a lack of fresh water will cause immense problems in the world in the near future.
Pestilence—or disease—is also a sign of the end. A growing number of unusual diseases are threatening an increasing number of people around the world.
Increased knowledge and technology:

But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and shall increase.
Hint

While Daniel was likely also referring to an increase in spiritual knowledge in earth’s last days, the dramatic increase in secular knowledge and technology is also a sign that we are in earth’s final days. Recent technological changes have been so rapid that we have become accustomed to innovation and advancement. Several decades ago, there was no Internet! The pace of technological change in recent years has been staggering.
Hint

Jesus said that, just before He returns, the earth will be in the same moral state as it was before the Flood in Noah’s day. Social conditions in modern society indicate we are nearing the time of the return of Jesus. Immorality and violence continue to spiral out of control.
Breakdown in relationships:

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow ___________.
Hint

Marriages today are falling apart at a dramatic rate. The breakdown of the family is a key sign of the last days.
Hint

Although Jesus promised us He would return (John 14:1–3), many people do not take the Second Coming of Christ seriously. Organized atheism and opposition to established Christian beliefs—including the prevalence of evolutionary theory—suggest we are living in earth’s last days.
Hint

Four times in Matthew 24, Jesus warns against religious deception. The Apostle John also wrote regarding false religion: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

The Bible gives us a means by which we can evaluate the validity of a message or messenger: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20) In a world rife with religious confusion, the standard of truth is the Word of God.
Hint

Evil spirits will deceive people through signs and wonders. Spiritualism— mediums, witches and communication with the dead—is now viewed as mainstream.
Decline of genuine faith in God:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves . . . having a form of godliness but denying its __________.
Hint

Paul predicted that in earth’s last days, much of what passes for faith in God will be faith in name only. A “form” of godliness will often not be accompanied by real spiritual power.
The gospel preached all over the world:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Hint

A hopeful sign of Jesus’ return is that the gospel (the “good news” of salvation through Jesus) will be proclaimed around the world. This hopeful prophecy is in the process of being fulfilled!
What warning did Jesus give regarding His Second Coming?

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not ______________.
Hint

Even though we don’t know exactly when Jesus will return, Jesus urged us to live in a state of constant readiness, in order to be prepared for the day He comes back to the earth.
 

 
Hint

First, listen constantly to hear Jesus knocking at the door of your heart, asking if He can enter your life. Second, open the door and ask Jesus to come in. Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior and asked Him to become an important part of your life?
Hint

While the signs of the times reveal that the return of Jesus is near, it is important to recognize that an understanding of the nearness of Jesus’ coming is of little use without a personal readiness for His coming! Along with “watching,” Jesus urged us to “pray”—to have our hearts open to God and to communicate frequently with Him.

Personal spiritual growth should be the aim of every believer in Jesus. A vibrant devotional life—including daily prayer and Bible reading, and sharing one’s faith with others—is vital for those who desire to honor God and intend to live forever!

Three points to remember:

1) No one knows exactly when Jesus will return.
2) The signs indicate Jesus is coming soon.
3) We can be ready to meet Jesus by allowing Him into our lives today!

Is it your desire to prepare now to be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus? Will you ask Jesus now to be your personal Savior and trust Him to guide and direct your life?



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