In honor of the second anniversary of the September 15, 2020 signing of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House, I want to take a minute to closely evaluate the times we live in relating to Biblical prophecies given over two thousand years ago.
Critics have said for centuries that the conditions the Bible cites as the lead-up to the End Times have always existed. It’s true; earthquakes, diseases, and wars have been around since the beginning of time. So, what’s the big deal?
The key difference is the intensity of these conditions. The Bible describes this sharp escalation as “the birth pains” phase. Every woman who has ever given birth understands that labor can persist for hours (sometimes days), but there’s a point when the contractions start to come hard and fast.
That’s where we are at.
Or in other words, it is as if we’re watching the Super Bowl. We’re into the second half of the game, past the two-minute warning, and have now entered sudden-death-overtime. To go a step further, the Middle Eastern nation of Israel is the star quarterback. There’s a lot of action and noise in other parts of the arena, but if you want to know what’s really going on, keep your eyes on Israel.
Don’t be fooled by those who say it’s business as usual. Even those who don’t subscribe to the Biblical Worldview understand that something really strange is happening.
Let’s look at 5 Geo-political and economic conditions that the Bible mentions as setting the stage for the return of Jesus:
1. Signs in the Earth, Moon, and Stars (see Matthew 24)
Since 2014, God has displayed some of the most spectacular heavenly events that we have witnessed in our lifetimes.
The blood moon tetrads of 2014 and 2015 fell on the Jewish Feast of Trumpet and Atonement. A total solar eclipse was observed for some of the world on August 21, 2017. Ironically, this solar eclipse coincided with five of the worst hurricanes in recorded history which affected hundreds of thousands of people and caused billions of dollars in damage (World Atlas, 2017).
Earthquake numbers have dramatically escalated recently too. The Smithsonian Institute reported in September 2020 that there have been more shakings under the earth and volcanic eruptions in the previous five years than in the past 300 years.
2. Israel will be safe, secure, and prosperous in the Last Days (see Ezekiel 38:10-14)
Within the past 15 years, we’ve seen the rise of Israel as a top exporter of fresh produce and a world leader in new technologies in agriculture. What’s remarkable is that half of Israel’s land is a desert and the climate doesn’t naturally lend itself to farming (International Trade Administration, 2022).
Produce isn’t Israel’s only commodity, either. According to Bloomberg News, Israeli defense exports—including air defense systems and training services—reached $791 million to countries such as UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan in 2021 after the Trump administration brokered trade deals with these nations.
Israel’s total exports reached $11.3 billion in 2021 following the Abraham Accords. Not bad for a country the size of New Jersey. We’ll be discussing more in future weeks about how this tiny nation has risen to a place of prominence in recent years.
3. The Middle East will be a “Cup of Trembling” (see Zechariah 12:2)
As Israel continues its ascent, the remainder of the Middle East is imploding.
Unprecedented turmoil began in this region in 2011 when then-President Obama backed protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt and encouraged them to overthrow their president, Hosni Mubarak.
This uprising in Egypt is only a part of a mass-political movement known as the Arab Spring. The new awareness that citizen militias could topple even seemingly stable regimes swept through Yemen, Syria, Libya, and Tunisia. The World Bulletin publication estimates that as many as 180,000 were killed in these revolts, and 6 million were displaced.
We’re learning now that this was just the beginning.
4. Chaos will Explode Around the World (See 2 Timothy 3:13 and Matt 24)
This madness is no longer confined to just the Middle East.
Earlier this month, Verisk Maplecroft, a non-profit tracking complex global risk assessments, produced a study revealing that over 101 countries experienced a dramatic rise in civil unrest this past quarter (Soltvedt, 2022).
As economic conditions deteriorate and the cost-of-living increases around the world, protests are exploding in places like Sri Lanka, Peru, Kenya, Ecuador, and Iran.
Even countries with developed economies are experiencing growing unrest. Germany, for instance, is bracing for extreme backlash this winter as gas prices soar and severe energy shortages loom.
“As the conditions for civil unrest build in a growing number of countries, the severity and frequency of protests and labor activism are set to accelerate further over the coming months,” according to the report.
This is a major escalation. Experts believe that this rising mistrust of governments all over the planet will pave the way for the One World Government described in the book of Revelation.
5. Deception will Increase (see 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
Throughout Scripture, we’re warned against being deceived—particularly in the last days. In moments of weakness all of us have fallen prey to deception, but few can contest that Satan has upped his game in recent days.
Consider the growing number of educated adults in this country and around the world who believe that men can have babies, gender is fluid, and the sexual mutilation of children is healthcare.
The coming Man of Lawlessness will use all sorts of “displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie” (v. 9). Although the Anti-Christ has not been revealed yet, clearly, he’s practicing for the big reveal.
The globe isn’t experiencing just a few “birth pains”, but a convergence of many signs on the prophetic list. Just like the men of Issachar mentioned in 1 Chronicles 12:32, we—as believers in Jesus Christ—need to understand the signs of the times.
Join me next time when we will continue to explore these times we live in.