Wars and rumors of wars have been around since Cain killed Abel, but never has history seen the confluence of events raging around the world like tracer bullets from the book of Revelation. Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a godless preview of what the antichrist will design toward Israel—the battle coming from the north. The upcoming nuclear deal with Iran accelerates the dangers from the east. And the global threats I’ll describe below threaten all of us from all directions.
No wonder we long for the return of Christ. Where is He? Where is this coming He promised?
Throughout history, many people have embraced distorted views about the Second Coming of Christ because they didn’t study their Bibles carefully. For 2000 years, people have been asking, “Where is this coming He promised?” (2 Peter 3:4). We’re closer than ever to that Day, and we need to know our biblical facts.
We Cannot Determine Dates from the Bible
First, we should remember we cannot predict dates from Scripture. Of all Jesus’ sayings, few are as cryptic as Matthew 24:36: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
The exact date of our Lord’s return is the most tightly guarded secret in the universe. Jesus spoke those words on Tuesday of Passion Week. On Thursday, He told His disciples, “I am going to prepare a place for you…. I will come back and take you to be with Me so that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).
Even as He spoke those words, Jesus Himself evidently did not know whether it would be next week, next year, or 2000 years away. After His resurrection, His disciples asked when He was going to restore the kingdom. His answer: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority” (Acts 1:7).
We can safely assume when Jesus returned to the throne in Majesty, He repossessed all the prerogatives of His divine nature. Yet I would surmise that outside the Godhead, no one yet knows the day and hour of our Lord’s return. Jesus said, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:13).
We Can Deduce Clues from the Headlines
But can we deduce clues from headlines? In Matthew 16:3, Jesus complained to His skeptics, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
While we cannot set dates from Scripture, perhaps we can make some assumptions from the times in which we’re living. From passages like Revelation 6, I believe the beginning of the coming Tribulation will begin with a ruler seeking control of the reigns of global government. In other words, the coming period of Tribulation will be triggered by the emergence of a powerful dictator who will eventually morph into the antichrist.
It’s not just Christians talking about the end of the world. It’s scientists! Dr. David Ashta, in an article for the London School of Economics and Political Science, said, “There are at least seven reasons why we should now consider moving toward a world federal government.” His reasons: Reducing inequality; eliminating currency risk; protecting the environment; fixing taxation; curbing the power of multinational corporations; responding to global crises; and solving the migration problem.
Dr. Ashta said, “If the world has not already moved to global federalism today, it is in part because there has yet to be a trigger for pushing states in this direction.”
How clear is that! Scholars and statesmen are laying the academic and philosophical foundation for ultimate globalism, awaiting a trigger event that will drive the world in that direction.
What Could That Trigger Be?
It could be the rapture of the church, if it precedes the Tribulation.
It could be another pandemic, one with a high mortality rate.
It could be a worldwide economic collapse.
It could be a threat from the natural world such as asteroids, comets, supervolcanic eruptions, stellar explosions, and other natural risks.
It could be a geomagnetic storm. Dr. Russell Blong an Australian scholar and researcher wrote, “A severe geomagnetic storm (also known as a space weather event) on a scale of those in September 1859 or May 1921 would be likely to instantaneously disrupt modern life across a large area, with failure of the electrical grid… This failure would also affect water supply sanitation, heating/cooling, medical services, and communications (including mobile phones, internet services, and financial services.”
It could be weapons of mass destruction.
It could be the world order falling apart, as we see happening now in Eastern Europe.
In his book, The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, Dr. Toby Ord wrote: “Safeguarding humanity’s future is the defining challenge of our time. For we stand at a crucial moment in the history of our species. Fueled by technological progress, our power has grown so great that for the first time in humanity’s long history, we have the capacity to destroy ourselves—severing our entire future and everything we could become.”
I want to propose that Tribulation Times could be triggered by any one of those dangers, or perhaps by factors we don’t even know about. The Lord’s return is likely about as close as the next globally existential disaster.
In the meantime, we have a job to do. We should be building Him a church to indwell. Despite all the dangers of our age, nothing is more exciting than living in prophetic times as ambassadors for Christ in the Last Days. I don’t feel gloom; I see glory. If He comes again in our generation, may He find us working!
“It is Time to Seriously Consider the Advantages of a World Federal Government” by Arvind Ashta
“Four Global Catastrophic Risks—A Personal View” by Russell Blong
Toby Ord, The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity (New York: Hachette Books, 2020), 3.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Javier_Art_Photography
Robert J. Morgan is the teaching pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served for over 40 years. He is a best-selling, gold-Illuminations, and gold-medallion winning writer with more than 35 books in print and approximately 5 million copies in circulation in multiple. His new book, The 50 Final Events in World History, is a journey through End Times prophecy.