September 2nd, 2016
This week on ‘The Hal Lindsey Report’
Most of the 24th chapter of Matthew is devoted to Jesus answering this question. And to this day, people across the world are still interested in both the question and His answer.
His disciples asked him, “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3 NKJV) Jesus then laid out a picture of conditions and events to expect during the time leading up to His return.
On this week’s “Hal Lindsey Report,” I am going to show you how every one of those “signs of the times” that Jesus named are in the headlines this week!
Earthquakes. On August 24th, within minutes of each other, but 5,000 miles apart, two 6+ earthquakes struck central Italy and Myanmar. Just this week, a 7+ earthquake shook New Zealand.
Jesus said there would be “earthquakes in various places.” (Matthew 24:7 NKJV). The King James Version calls them “diverse places.”
And it seems that over the last few decades, earthquakes around the world have arrived in waves. Jesus described the events of the last days as being like a woman’s “birth pangs.” Birth pangs occur in clusters, growing in frequency and intensity as the time of delivery draws closer.
Examine a chart illustrating the occurrence and frequency of earthquakes and it looks like a graph depicting an expectant mother’s birth pang history.
Famine. Though starvation and hunger seem far removed from most of us in the western world, it’s not. The World Hunger Education Service says that 1 in 9 people in the world today is undernourished. UNICEF says that 161 million children suffer from “nutritional stunting.”
In tiny, war-torn Yemen alone, UNICEF says that 500,000 children face starvation.
And though world starvation crises don’t dominate the headlines today, the long-term outlook is more than dire. Changing weather patterns, fast-growing populations, mass migration, and extreme poverty combined with high food prices have made earth vulnerable to a massive, worldwide famine.
The world doesn’t need a cataclysmic event like a volcano eruption to cause famine. There are several slow-motion disasters occurring right now that will do it.
For instance, drought and depletion of water sources and supplies. Even in America, we are facing potential disaster because of the severe drought in California’s Central Valley and the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer. The aquifer supplies 30% of the irrigation water for the entire United States agricultural output, and it is drying up.
Pestilence. Though often thought of as meaning “disease,” the Greek word used in the Bible can also refer to pests and the havoc they wreak. The “pestilence” currently dominating headlines is the Zika virus. Though apparently initially caused by the bite of a certain mosquito, Zika can be spread through sexual contact. That means it can go worldwide very easily. And, researchers are discovering that Zika can enter the adult brain and cause an effect similar to Alzheimer’s.
The chief medical officer of England recently warned that because of the dangers posed by several pestilences lurking in the world today, we are facing an “apocalyptic scenario.”
And Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the USA’s Centers for Disease Control, just cautioned that we are facing the end of the road for antibiotics. He said that the superbugs we are now facing have become resistant to the current antibiotics and that “we may be in a situation where we have patients in our intensive care units, or patients getting urinary-tract infections for which we do not have antibiotics.”
Drugs and the occult. In the past few days, we have seen headlines and stories about mass overdoses in various places. First responders in Huntington, West Virginia, recently dealt with 26 drug overdoses in just a few hours.
On skid row in Los Angeles on August 19, fire officials responded to a call. When they arrived, they found not one overdose, but 50! The following Monday, it happened again. Dozens were taken to the hospital.
All were the result of the use of a “synthetic marijuana” called “Spice.” It is super-cheap and easy to obtain.
States are rushing to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Not because science has proven that pot is harmless, just the opposite. We now know better than ever the extreme physical and psychological dangers of marijuana. It wrecks peoples’ lives.
But states are legalizing marijuana because the public wants the drug-induced high; businesses want the cash; and politicians want the taxes it generates.
And several times over the last few decades, we have seen that on the heels of a drug wave, you get a new wave of the occult. The liberal magazine, Salon, even commented on it.
It headlined its discussion with, “‘Mysticore’ is the New Norm: Inside the trend that’s casting its spell over the culture.”
‘Mysticore’ is the name attached to the new blend of old evils of magic, mysticism, and the occult. Now, it is mainstream television entertainment and the hot new thing in products aimed at children, especially dolls and games.
In fact, the Bible warns of this connection between drugs and the occult. In describing the final days of this Age, the Apostle John says that in those days, “…they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21 NKJV)
The word “sorceries” in that verse comes from the Greek word, “pharmakia,” from which we derive “pharmacy.” It also refers to the practice of the occult with the use of drugs.
The meteoric and uncontested rise of the demonic is a phenomenon of our times. The Bible says it will be a hallmark of the end times.
Rumors of war. In Matthew 24:6, Jesus said of the days before His return, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars.” Note that He did not just say “wars,” but also specified “rumors of wars.”
In the last century, the world has seen wars like never before in history. In fact, there are many “wars” going on right now: Afghanistan, Iraq, the Boko Haram insurgency in Africa, and civil wars in Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, and South Sudan.
But what has been so prevalent of late have been the “rumors of wars.”
When we hear about Russia’s ongoing preparations for war in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and eventually Israel and the United States, we are hearing “rumors of wars.”
Iran’s recent challenges of US naval vessels in the Persian Gulf and its attempts to humiliate America and prod it into responding are “rumors of wars.”
Viet Nam is moving rocket launchers to islands in the South China Sea as a first line of defense against the illegal military installations that China is building there. More “rumors of wars.”
China is spending heavily on missile research and development. The Asia Times reports that China is attempting to build defensive and offensive missile systems “in preparation for a future missile-dominated conflict with the United States.” Still more “rumors of wars.”
Last week, North Korea launched yet another ballistic missile from a submarine. Unlike their first test a few weeks ago, this one was a success. Couple that with another successful nuclear bomb test and you have a chilling scenario.
With the missile test, South Korea and Japan went on full “war alert.” Again, “rumors of wars.”
In Germany, for the first time since the Cold War, the government urged Germans to stockpile food and water, just in case. What do they know that we don’t? Another “rumor of wars.”
But there is one thing I do know. It will not get better. It will only get worse and more dangerous as we draw closer to the end of this Age of Grace. The Bible says so, and it has never been wrong.
That’s why you need to make certain your relationship with God is first on your list of priorities. The time is growing short and Jesus Christ could return for His Church at any moment.
On this week’s program, I am also going to spend a few moments discussing with you “The Unpardonable Sin.” As time grows short, it is critical that we realize that even though Jesus Christ died on the cross to purchase redemption for every member of the human race — and it is a free gift — there is one sin for which He could not die.
Please, make certain that you are not guilty of this “unpardonable sin.”
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