Earthquakes and other Natural Disasters
vs 7... and earthquakes in various places
The Universal Almanac tells us :
There were only 21 earthquakes of major strength between the years 100 and 1800.
There were 18 major earthquakes between 1800 and 1900.
There were 13 major quakes between 1900 and 1950 - so there were almost as many in 50 years as the number in the preceding 850 years !
There were 93 major earthquakes between 1950 and 1991 (almost tripple the number of the previous half century) which cl;aimed the lives of 1.3 milion people around the world.
This dramatic increase of severe quakes has led many scientists to predict that we are entering a new period of great seismic disturbances.
There were a record number of disasters in 1999. About 70,000 people were killed in well over 700 disasters. Of these, about 20,000 people died in six serious earthquakes, with many thousands more left injured and homeless.
Because of declining soil fertility, drought, flooding or deforestation, some 25 million "environmental refugees" were driven from their homes in 1999. In the lst six years, the number of people needing assistance from the Red Cross and Crescent alone due to floods and earthquakes has risen from less than half a million to more than 5 1/2 million.
Persecution of God's People
vs 9... Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake
This century is known as 'The Martyr's Century' because more poeple have lost their lives for their Christianity since 1900 than in all the previous centuries combined. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. During the twentieth century more of them died, as a result of persecutions, than in all the preceeding nineteen hundreds since the birth of Christ. Persecution meaning not only discrimination, but slavery, torture and murder.All over the world there are about 200 million followers of Christ suffering today, and it's surprising that nobody, neither the Christian community not the establishment, talks about it. The average number of Christian martyrs per year worldwide is 163,000. According to a 1998 report by the Helsinki International Federation for Human Rights 19 European countries violate religious liberty.
Gospel Preached in all the World
vs 14... And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, then shall the end come.
Unlike the rise in wars, famine, plagues, earthquakes, ect... Jesus said that this particular sign was not merely something to indicate "the beginning of sorrows", but was a specific sign that would indicate when the actual "end", Christ's second coming, would be upon the world.
The Gospel has been preached to over 4 bilion people in the world. Over 50 million Bibles are distributed every year, as well as neaerly 80 million New Testaments. Four billion Gospel tracts are also printed each year.
Th entire Bible, or parts thereof, are now available to about 98% of the world's population, having been translated partially or entirely into some 2,233 different languages. The Internet has also seen a proliferation of Gospel sites.
So, this is one of the signs of the End that has already occured. The Gospel has already been preached in all nations all over the world. If not directly by missionaries, certainly by print and other media. Every nation on the face of the Earth has today heard the Gospel.
The Anti-Christ, his Government, Image and Mark
All of the sobering signs; the increase in disasters, famines, wars were the "beginning of sorrows". The fact that the Gospel has been preached brings us to the next phase : The very last days.
" When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be ." (Mt 24:15-21)
Be Alert !
Jesus has warned not to expect Him sooner than has been predicted, and there will be many false christs and false prophets who will try to deceive people. The best way you are going to know when Jesus comes is you're going to be there, provided you have accepted Him into your heart, of course.