I’m not sure that a generation has gone by since Christ returned to Heaven that hasn’t believed that Christ return would happen in their lifetime. My grandparents both believed that they would live to see the Rapture, and yet they both died and did not see it.
However, that doesn’t stop many people from around the world from theorizing whether or not the things that they see happening around them indicate the world’s end is near.
1. Earthquakes in “Diverse Places”
One of these things is the presence of earthquakes around the world. In Matthew 24:7, Jesus is telling his disciples about the end of the age, and one of the things that He mentions is that there will be earthquakes in various places. This is interesting because we have accounts (moreso than I can recall growing up) of earthquakes in more places than before.
I mean, I remember talk of earthquakes in California, but we’ve had earthquakes that have caused tsunamis, earthquakes in Haiti and Canada, and that’s just to name a few.
So many will look at these earthquakes as a sign.
2. One World Currency
This is something that’s interesting considering the financial mess in which the world finds itself. The U.S. Dollar is the reserve currency of the world, but with the debt being tacked on the dollar and the way that it’s inflating, many countries—like China—are beginning to call for a new currency to replace the dollar for the world’s standard.
This is interesting because we know that the book of Revelation speaks of a time where it will be impossible to buy or sell without a specific, identifying mark, and that there will be one currency.
With modern means of electronically sending money, it is now conceivable for a paperless monetary society to be created, even if it’s currently unlikely due to the fact that the different monetary systems help to determine consumer vs. producer nations.
It’s not inconceivable that after a calamity like the Rapture, however, that it would be easier for this to happen.
3. Israel In Conflict
It’s been a dream of many U.S. Presidents for there to be peace between the Israelites and the Palestinians. Instead, there’s been nothing but escalation. The beginning of a time period that the Bible refers to as the Tribulation is heralded by a peace treaty that is forged between Israel and its enemies for the span of 7 years.
Of course, this treaty is soon broken by the Anti-Christ himself, but the fact that there is escalating tension means that either the situation will blow up or that someone will stand in the gap.
4. The Fall of America
Most Bible scholars agree that there is no mention of the United States of America in the books of Revelation and Daniel—not even in passing or with a different name/analogy. One wonders what happened to the current world superpower.
There’s many different theories, but it’s not hard to see where some may believe that the USA may not be around as a contiguous nation much longer. A Russian professor predicted back in 2008 that the USA would fall apart in 2010, and even though that has not come to pass (yet), it’s certainly conceivable that this country may eventually facture so badly as to create different countries that would be much smaller and less powerful as to not be an overwhelming force on the world’s stage.
5. The Rise of the Anti-Christ
There’s been speculation about this one far back into history. Many have wondered if Hitler or Stalin could have been the Anti-Christ. And yet one thing that we know for certain is that the Anti-Christ will be well liked, will be popular, and will try to pass himself off as the real Christ.
Various figures from President Obama to Bill Gates have been called the Anti-Christ, but the true Anti-Christ will have many more followers and will only rule after the Rapture. I’m not saying that this person could not be alive, or will not have an influential role before he takes power, but I don’t think that speculation will reveal his identity beforehand.
There’s nothing that has to happen for the Rapture to occur. From there, there’s 7 years of the Tribulation and 1000 year reign of Christ on this Earth before the end of the World.
That being said, I’m not sure that there’s much value in contemplating whether what we see today is a sign of the end, other than to get us to be prepared—witness to those that haven’t heard and to live a Christ-like life.
Don’t let wondering about the end of the world distract you from what you’re supposed to be doing until Christ’s return.