Summary: Part two in a study of Bible Prophecy and the End times dealing with the signs of Jesus imminent return.
Ever since Jesus Christ warned His followers that He would leave them to go to His Father’s house in heaven and promised that He would “come again and receive [them] to [Himself]” (John 14:1-3), Christians have asked the million dollar question: “When will you return, and what will the sign of your coming be?” The very fact that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for asking that question, I believe indicates that He approves of our watching for signs of His return.
Last week we started our prophecy study series with an exploration of the Rapture of the Church. I explained to you exactly what the rapture was and what it will look like. It’s a future event where Christ will return and take his children home to be with Him forever. This morning we are going to start part 2 of our series entitled “Signs of the Times” in which we are going to take a look at legitimate Bible-based signs that point to Christ’s return to earth.
The Bible gives many examples of signs that should warn us of Christ’s coming. Four such signs are given by Jesus, two characteristics of the time period preceding His appearance are given by the apostle Paul, and other events are given by the prophets as occurring prior to or soon after the end of the age. Let’s start our study by looking at the signs given by Jesus Christ Himself.
I. Four Signs Given By Jesus To Indicate His Coming And The End of The Age
In Matthew 24:3 Jesus was asked, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming, and the end of the age?” Jesus told His apostles to look for the following signs prior to his Second Coming and the end of the age.
A. False Prophets and Christs
Let’s look at Matthew 24:5 and 11:  For many will come in my name. Saying, I am the Christ, and will mislead many.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Of course, there have always been false teachers, for that is Satan’s way of distorting the truths of God. That is why we have so many cults, religions, and other –isms that claim a Christian basis for their beliefs. If Satan cannot get people to disbelieve or rebel against God altogether, he will get them hooked on some false doctrine to lead them astray.
Who can deny that everywhere we look today, we find deception growing stronger and more prevalent. It has been said that a new cult springs up at least once a month in the United States, and that no matter how fantastic and fanciful its teaching may be, or how wild its claims, there are always those who are willing to be deceived.
A few years ago, evangelists were quick to point out how Jim Jones fulfilled the prophecy when he led almost 1,000 people to commit suicide in Guyana and how the leader of Heaven’s Gates invited 36 people to follow a comet to another galaxy. But, the explicit fulfillment of this sign today can be seen in the many radical followers of Mohammed believing they will be rewarded for killing Christians and others they call infidels.
The next sign can be found in Matthew 24:6 and 7.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…
Rumors of wars in all areas of the world now occur frequently thanks to instant media coverage and the availability of a multitude of 24-hour news sources. Just this week we have seen the results of terrorists capturing Israeli soldiers and Israel’s response. War has been declared and we may see just how easily the entire world may become involved in what is happening thousands of miles away.
Iraq has civil infighting among religious factions that threaten the stability and future of their country. North Korea is testing the world’s response by experimenting with its intercontinental missiles. Syria is blaming Israel for the fighting that is occurring in Lebanon, and Iran is on the brink of developing and using its nuclear weaponry. Not to mention the civil unrest in Mexico over the close election for their presidency, the Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan, and the terrorist plots that are being uncovered in our own country. I think it’s safe to say that this sign of the end can be easily seen as occurring even as we speak.
C. Famines and Pestilences
Next Christ mentions famines and pestilences in Matthew 24:7. …And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.