Scripture Text – Matthew 24:3-14
Pastor’s Note: Please keep in mind that as you read these various circumstances prophesied by Jesus, M. R. De Haan wrote and commented abut these things back in 1944.
1. False Messiahs and Christs
Never before in the history of the world has there been so much deception practiced by those who claim to be the saviors of civilization and of the world. It is said that in the last one hundred years there have been no less than thirty-six men who have claimed to be the Messiah, and these have deluded millions. Today there are an undetermined number of men and even women who claim deity, who call themselves by divine titles and say they are messiahs and christs.
2. Wars and Rumors of Wars
This second sign surely needs no comment at this time. With two-thirds or more of the world in the bondage of declared or undeclared war, the world is facing the greatest military crisis in all its history. With the modern implements of war the gravity of any war is multiplied beyond computation. Amid all this carnage and war there is a constant stream of rumors of more wars. The nations which are not actually in the conflict are full of fear and doubt. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, they, too, are preparing as feverishly for war as though they were actually at war. Today the whole world is an armed camp and sane men are shaking their heads and asking the question, “What will be the outcome of this?”
3. Famines and Pestilences
These two always appear to follow in the wake of war. In China, millions have died of starvation and pestilence. We have received ominous reports from Europe concerning many of the peoples ruthlessly conquered by the Satan-inspired totalitarian dictators. A few months from now we may understand more fully what Jesus meant when He said, “And there will be famines, [and] pestilences.”
4. Earthquakes in Various Places
“Earthquakes.” How familiar that word sounds in the light of the recent newspaper reports from every section of the globe, many from parts of the world where earthquakes had heretofore been unknown. Scientists tell us that the numbers of earthquakes are rapidly on the increase. Even though it is admitted that modern scientific instruments and seismographs have made it easier to detect slight and otherwise imperceptible shocks, it is still a fact that there have been far more earthquakes in the past twenty-five years than in any other corresponding length of time in history. In view of this Jesus’ words are very significant. He said, “Earthquakes, in various places.” The meaning of this expression is that there will be earthquakes in several places at the same time. This has never happened until recently. During the great Turkish earthquakes (from 1939-1944) which took tens of thousands of lives and resulted in countless millions of dollars’ damage, the scientists reported that the initial earthquakes were not the only ones which occurred on the day they took place, but with them, almost simultaneously, were shocks of varying severity felt in several other parts of the globe, as far away as North and South America. How significant this is in the light of Jesus’ words, “Earthquakes, in various places.” We seem to be living in the very days of which Jesus spoke. To my knowledge, (as of 1944) there is no other record in history of a similar phenomenon. Surely we must heed the words of the Savior: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” – Luke 21:28.
To Be Continued