I don’t know if it is true and honest to claim that famines, pestilences, earthquakes, wars & rumors of wars and false doctrines are rapidly increasing in our generation. I’m not aware of anyone else aside from end-times preachers who believes that. Historical statistics seem to record a different story.
But even if it is true (even if earthquakes, famines & wars are currently reaching record high levels) we still cannot claim on that basis alone that ours is the final generation – because all of those things must have already reached record highs at some other time in history only to be surpassed in a subsequent generation. So we can’t compare current incidences of these phenomena with future incidences – we can only compare current levels with past levels. Therefore any increase in such phenomena, even if it can be proved, does nothing in itself to confirm that ours must be the last generation that must see the return of the Lord.
Even in the unlikely event that a North American Union is formed; even if the global economy collapses; even if America should cease to exist – none of these things in themselves would necessarily have any automatic prophetic significance as far as Biblical eschatology goes. The world has survived similar things in the past and can do so again if God wills. Perhaps it’s hard to imagine there was a time when the world actually survived before America was Federated. Therefore we should avoid interpreting current events and Scriptural prophecy with ethno-centric, America-centric, our-generation-centric blinkers on which cause us to forget that worse calamities occurred in previous generations.
AN ENDURING SIGN
However one sure and enduring sign that this is the last day is the sign of the destruction of the Temple and city of Jerusalem and the deportation of the Jews all over the world, beginning circa AD70. From that day to this, the Church has been rightly preaching that it is the last hour.
The fall of Jerusalem was preceded by the signs of famines, pestilences, earthquakes, wars and false Christs (antichrists) – but these were only “the beginning of sorrows”. During that time “this Gospel was preached to every creature under heaven”. Then the city was besieged by that abominable instrument of Jerusalem’s desolation – the Gentile armies – just as Daniel mentioned. This was the sign that let the disciples know it was time to flee the city. They’d been praying it wouldn’t be in winter because they knew it would be a difficult time for anyone who was pregnant – therefore God had to cut the days short for the elect’s sake. They hadn’t even finished going throughout all the towns of Judea preaching the Gospel, just as Jesus had predicted. It came to pass that not one stone of the Temple was left standing on top of another. And from that time on it was time to “look up for your redemption draweth nigh”.
The state of Jerusalem over the past 1,938 years (since AD70) is a sign that “Behold, the judge standeth at the door”. This was “great tribulation”, “the days of vengeance”, “the beginning of Jacob’s trouble”, when “the blood of all the prophets shed since Abel to Zechariah will be required of this generation”, “Jerusalem is in bondage with her children”, because “desolations are determined until the consummation”.
And for how long will Jerusalem remain trodden underfoot by Gentiles? “Until the times [years] of the Gentiles are fulfilled,” said Jesus. Or as Paul said, “Until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in”. No-one knows how long it will be, only the Father. Not even the Son of Man was able to tell how long – He was able only to describe the state of Jerusalem during these years, that she would be trodden underfoot by Gentiles. But He couldn’t say how long. What a true description of Jerusalem’s subsequent history! and how shocking to the disciples’ ears when first they heard it. O Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
During each subsequent century as Jerusalem has remained trodden underfoot by Gentiles, it has rightly been the message of the Church that THE TRUMPET CAN NOW SOUND AT ANY TIME, then He that shall come shall come and will not delay.
Irrespective of what else may or may not have to happen in the future, Jerusalem’s fall continues to be a sign – a type – of the coming judgment, and a sign that intrinsically these are the last days. If He spared not the natural branches (Jews), neither will He spare you which against nature were grafted in (Gentiles) if you continue not in faith. But if they (the Jews) continue not in unbelief then God is able to graft them in again.
Brethren, now is our salvation nearer than when we believed, now it is the last hour.