When the Son of God came to this earth at His first advent a
sign was given of His arrival into our world. A beautiful
star appeared that led the wise men step by step to the very
spot where the wonderful Christ child was born at Bethlehem.
So the scriptures tell of certain signs which will appear
when this same Son of God is about to make His second advent
to our world.
Let us read the words of Jesus as recorded in
Matthew 24:32, 33. “Now learn a parable of the fig
tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye
know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all
these things, know that he is near, even at the doors.”
At the close of the winter season when the bare trees begin to
leaf out, of what is this a sign? Everybody knows what this means.
It is a sign that summer is near. This scripture declares that when
the branch puts forth its new leaves you know that summer is at
Jesus Christ declares that just as the swelling of the buds is a
sign that summer is near, so the fulfilment of certain signs He has
given will show that His coming is near. He says, “When ye see
all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
Setting a Date for Christ's Return
Some have tried to set a date for the end of the world. Jesus
Christ declares that it is impossible for any man to figure out the
exact date on which he will return. You will find this in
Matthew 24:36 where He says, “But of that day and hour
knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my father.”
While it is impossible for any man to know the exact day when
Jesus will return it is the duty of every believer to know that the
coming of Christ is near, especially when the appointed signs are
seen in the world.
Signs of the Times
Jesus reproved the Pharisees for their inability to read the
signs of the times. We read about this in
Matthew 16:1-3. “The Pharisees also with the Sadducees
came, and tempting desiring him that he would shew them a sign from
heaven. He answered and said unto them, when it is evening, ye say,
it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it
will be foul weather today: For the sky is red and lowering. O ye
hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not
discern the signs of the times?”
If the Jewish people in the days of Christ had understood the
prophecies which pertained to the first advent of the Messiah, they
would have recognised Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah, the
Saviour of the world. But they rejected Him, because they did not
understand the prophecies that pertained to His first advent.
This is a warning to professed Christians today. Unless professed
Christians heed the prophecies of Christ’s Second Advent they will
be in the dark and caught unprepared at His second coming, just as
the Jews were at His first advent.
Jesus has a question for every soul. “Can ye not discern the
signs of the times?” May God help us to take His Holy Word and make
the signs of Christ’s coming stand out so plainly, that you will be
able to discern them.
God's Prophetic Clock
If you want to know what time it is, what do you do? You note the
relative positions of the hour and minute hands on the dial of your
watch. So if we want to know where we are going today, if we want to
know what is coming and where we are on the stream of time, we must
look at the hands on God’s prophetic clock.
Let’s take the Bible and read what God prophesied would be in the
last days, and then I shall leave it with you to say if this is what
you all see in our world.
Increase in Knowledge
Everybody knows that there has been a greater increase of
knowledge in the last 7 years than in all the rest of history of
mankind put together. What does this mean? You will find this
Daniel 12:4, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words,
and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to
and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
What did the prophecy say would happen in the last days? In the
end of time knowledge shall be increased. So you see the last days
of earth’s history would be characterized by an increase of
Is this true of our day? Why look at the endless list of
inventions and wonderful discoveries that are being brought out with
every passing year. Life has completely revolutionized during the
last 50-75 years. The tallow candle has become the electric light.
The horse and buggy has become the automobile the aeroplane and the
streamliner. The needle has become the electronic sewing machine.
The old fashioned broom has become the vacuum cleaner. The old goose
quill has become the computer. The messenger on horseback has become
the telegraph, the telephone and the radio. The horse drawn plough
has become the tractor. The scythe and the old-time binder have
become the modern reaper.
And so we might go on with many other items. There seems to be no
end to this increase of knowledge in our day. New wonders are
discovered and developed with almost every passing day. Little
school children today have far greater knowledge along some lines
than their grandparents when they were seventy years old. It is safe
to say that any person who is sixty years old has seen in his brief
life time a greater increase of knowledge than all the people of all
past generations put together.
What does this mean? It means that we are in the time of the end.
Daniel 12:4 says, “In the time of the end knowledge
shall be increased.” Just as surely as you know that there has
been this great increase of knowledge in recent decades just so
surely you may know that the end is near.
Many Shall Run To and Fro
Up until about a century ago men were not able to travel faster
than men before them had travelled for all past generations. Then
all of a sudden a change came. Men began to find ways of travelling
faster and during the last ten years they have been travelling
decidedly faster and faster and even faster.
How did it come about that there was no change in the speed at
which men could travel until about the last one hundred and twenty
years? Bible prophecy shows that there would be an increased speed
of travel in the closing period of earth’s history.
Daniel 12:4 indicates that in the last days men would
travel very swiftly.
In the time of the end the prophecy says, many shall run, not
walk, but run. Every aeroplane, automobile, train and steamer is a
travelling sign of the end of time.
Signs in the Business World
Let us notice two striking signs in the business and industrial
world of our day. In
James 5:3 we read: “Ye have heaped treasure together
for the last days.” The revised Version says, “Ye have heaped
treasure together in the last days.” Bible prophecy indicated
that in the last days men would pile up fortunes very quickly. Do we
see this today?
Accumulation of Wealth
Since 1900 there has been a pilling up of colossal fortunes on a
scale and at a rate that exceeds all the past history of mankind.
Here is a typical case. In 1900 Henry Ford did not have enough
money to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving Day. Forty years later he was
a billionaire. Think of it! There are hundreds of people in our day
who have made, or are making, a million or more dollars in one year.
Do you know how much a million dollars amounts to? If you saved
500 dollars per year and that would be a tidy sum for most of us to
save, How long would it take to get a million? You would have to
save $500 a year for 2,000 years in order to have a million dollars.
If you had been here on the night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem,
and had lived on every year since, and had saved $500 every year,
you would not have a million yet. Hundreds of men have made this
much or more in one year in our day. What does this mean?
It means exactly what the bible prophecy says in
James 5:3. They have heaped up treasure in the last days.
James 5:4 it is made plain that during this same period
when men will be piling up these colossal fortunes there will be a
most bitter struggle of the working man against his employer. Do we
Since 1910 there have been the most extensive and intensive
labour troubles of all past history. What does this mean? We find
the answer in
James 5:8. “Be ye also patient; establish your hearts:
for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”
This rapid accumulation of wealth and these great labour troubles
in our day are a double sign of the nearness of the second coming of
the Lord Jesus Christ.
During our day we have seen the greatest accumulation of wealth
and the greatest labour troubles in the history of mankind. As
surely as we have seen these things, we may know from the bible
prophecy that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Fear and Distress
Jesus prophesied that the fear and distress would dominate the
thinking and conditions of the people of the world just before he
would appear on the cloud at his second advent.
We find this recorded in
21:25-27: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in
the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations,
with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing
them who fear, and for looking after those things which are coming
on the earth.”
Is this what you see now?
There never has been a time when so many people have lived in
distress and fear as today. There has been distress among all
classes among all nations. Yes this is a time of great distress,
fear, and insecurity that surpasses any other time of which we have
ever heard, or seen or read. What does this mean?
Look at the very next verse in verse in this prophecy of Jesus.
27, after speaking in
how men’s hearts would fail them dor fear, how fear would dominate
the thinking of people in the last days; Jesus declares, “And
then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and
Disasters and Calamities
Bible prophecy indicated that in the last days, there would be
the worst disasters and calamities in the history of the world. We
read this in
“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines,
and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be
Look at the earthquakes, the floods, the tidal waves, the
cyclones, the hurricanes, and the famines of our day.
Authentic records show that from the 12th to the 17th
centuries there was on the average only one destructive earthquakes
in the period of each one hundred years. During the eighteenth
century there were six destructive earthquakes. In the 19th
century there were twelve destructive earthquakes. Since 1900 there
have been an average of one destructive earthquake every year.
During the last fifty years there have been more destructive
earthquakes than occurred during the preceding eight hundred years.
When an old man draws near the grave he staggers as he walks.
This world today is staggering to its end. These calamities and
disasters are forerunners of the approaching end of the world.
War Preparations and Peace Plans
Bible prophecy declared that in the last days there would be the
greatest preparation for war and the greatest plans for peace in the
history of the world. You will find these predictions in
Isaiah 2:2-4. Do we see this in our day?
Since 1900 we have witnessed the greatest war preparation and the
greatest peace plans in the history of mankind. What does all this
mean? It means that we have come to the final movement of this
Powers of Destruction
Bible prophecy indicated that in the last days men would develop
unparalleled powers of destruction. We read about this in the
Jeremiah 4:19, 20. “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained
at my very heart; my heart maketh a nose in me I cannot hold my
peace, because thou hast heard O my soul, the sound of the trumpet,
the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the
whole land is spoiled: Suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my
curtains in a moment.”
Do we see anything like this today?
Look at the fearful destruction that was wrought by the bombing
raids in World War II. Think of the atomic bomb and its fearful
implications for destruction. Look at the sputniks and spaceships,
the germ sprays, cosmic rays etc. There show us that the time is
fast approaching when God will intervene, and as we read in
Revelation 11:18, he will destroy them that destroy the
Speeding up of History
Have you been impressed how fast things are moving in our world
today? I am sure you have. I don’t see how anybody could live in
these strenuous days without being conscious of the rapid march of
events from day to day. More history is made in one year now than
formerly in a century. Ever since 1910 there has been a most marked
speeding up of history.
Jesus declared that the last days would be like the days of Lot
just before Sodom was destroyed. How was it in the times of Noah and
The Scriptures reveal that these were the times of intemperance,
immorality, lawlessness, easy divorce, a craze for pleasure and a
marked indifference to the requirements of the Law of God. Isn’t
this exactly what we see today?
Everybody knows that our day is a day or marked intemperance,
immorality, crime, lawlessness, easy divorce, a craze for pleasure
and a disregard for the law of God.
In just a small town in America two girls went for a ride with
some boys in a car. There was an accident. The girls were killed.
They took them to the morgue. Nobody knew just who they were, so it
was announced over the radio that, mothers whose girls had gone out
and not returned that night, should come over to the morgue to
assist in the identification of the girls. Next morning seventy
mothers in that little town appeared at the morgue to identify the
girls. If this is the way in a small town, how about conditions in a
Crime has become so bad that day after day, night after night,
some person is murdered on the average of every forty minutes.
Recently I read in the West Australian News of a murder record.
There were 61 murders in Victoria in 1961, an Australian record and
believed to be a world record on a population basis.
What will the outcome be? Jesus says in
Matthew 14:37: “but as the days of Noah were, so shall
also the coming of the Son of Man be.”
In the time of Noah man became so corrupt, so sinful, that the
only thing God could do was to take a few good people out of the
world into the ark and blot out the rest with the flood. So Jesus
Christ is coming to take the righteous to heaven and to destroy the
Gospel Shall be Preached in all the World
The most positive sign that He is coming soon is the fact that
the message of His coming has already been carried to almost every
nation on the globe.
Christ’s disciples asked him. “What shall be the sign of thy
coming and the end of the world?”
In His answer Jesus indicated, that the most direct sign of the
approach of His coming would be the proclamation of a special
message to the people of every nation, to inform them of the
nearness of His return. We find this in
Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall
be preached in all the world for a witness unto all the nations; and
then shall the end come.”
This message of the soon coming of Christ is being preached now
to almost every nation in the world. And so the end must be very
Jesus declares that when His gospel of the kingdom, the good news
of His soon coming kingdom, has been preached to the people of every
nation, then at that very time the end shall come.
Friends, we are living in the last hour. Time is shorter that you
think. Let us not squander time.
The End is Near
So what do all these great signs mean?
Here is the answer in
Matthew 24:33. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all
these things, know that he is near at the doors." Again in
Matthew 24:33, “When you see all these things know
that it is near, even at the door.”
This is the last generation that will ever live on this earth in
its present condition. We find that in
Matthew 24:34, after Jesus told how the time would come
when all these signs would be fulfilled. He declares that the
generation of people who see all these signs fulfilled, will not
pass off the stage of action until all is consummated.
This is the last hour. Time is shorter that you think.
I wonder if I have made this subject plain to you. How many
believe that according to the prophecies of the Bible, the return of
Jesus Christ must be very near. Will you signify by the uplifted
hand, please? Yes, I am glad to see that you believe the prophecies
of God’s word.
Are we Ready to Meet Jesus?
This brings you and me face to face with the most vital issue of
all our lives. Are we ready to meet Jesus Christ? God help each of
us to prepare to meet God.
Some years ago in Ohio, a young man committed a terrible crime.
He was sentenced to death. His parents begged the governor to go and
see the young man and to talk with him and try to help him. The
governor agreed to go if no announcement was made beforehand about
his coming. When the young man saw the governor approaching his cell
he said to himself, “Here comes some preacher to bother me, I
won’t see him.” The governor stepped up to the bars and said,
“Good morning, James.” But he turned his back and refused to
answer. The governor said, “Your friends have been talking to me
about you. I have come to see you.” “I don’t care to talk today.”
The governor said,
“If you knew the import of my mission, I am sure you would give
me an audience.” “I don’t care to talk, you will do me a favour to
Sometime afterward the guard came by and said, “Well Jim, how
did you and the governor come out?” “The governor! You don’t mean to
tell me that little man who looked like a preacher was the governor
of this state?” “Yes, He came to see if he could help you.”
A few days later when this man was led to the gallows, and they
put the black cap over his face, he cried out, “Oh what a fool I
was. He wanted to help me and I wouldn’t let him.”
Jesus wants to Help Us
Jesus wants to help us. He came and died on the cross that we
might have eternal life. He is able to save to the uttermost, all
who come unto God by him. He wants to save each of us. Oh, I hope
you will let him help you tonight.
How many are ready to say, “Preacher, I feel my need of being
ready to meet Jesus, I want you to pray to Christ to help me to be
ready.” Will you raise your hands, please? Yes it seems every
hand is raised to God for help.