What are the signs by which we will recognise that the end of the world is near? Many speak about, and predict the time for the end of the world and even suggest dates for it.
We shall mention here the signs that were recorded in the Bible:
The coming of the Anti-Christ
This subject is very clearly indicated in the words of St. Paul
” Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. … whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thess. 2:3-10).
There will be enormous falling away because of the wonders that will be manifested by the false prophet with the power of Satan and many will believe and apostatise from the true faith.
This falling was mentioned in the previous point (2 Thess. 2:3) and also in (1 Tim 4:1) “Now the spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. ” This failing away will be a severe and general one to the point that the Lord said about it “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved,. but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. ” (Matt. 24:22).
Although during history many things had happened, this general falling which is due to the miracles of that false prophet, did not happen yet. The Lord also said:
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. ” (Matt. 24:24).
All these will be reasons for the fall. The Lord also said about these difficult days “Satan will be released from his prison, and will go out to deceive the nations. ” (Rev. 20:7&8)
Another sign is the salvation of the Jews i.e. their belief in the Lord Christ.
When St. Paul talked about the belief of the Jews first then the joining of the Gentiles to the faith, ie. “the grafting of the wild olive tree into the original olive tree, ” he said “How much more will these, who are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?” (Rom. 11:16-24). Then he said explicitly “… that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, and so all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:25&26) he means the spiritual salvation by their joining the faith.
Final signs which are the desolation of nature…
The Lord said “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. ” (Matt. 24).
The Last sign is the appearance of Christ’s sign in heaven…
After the desolation of nature, the Lord said “then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven….. and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect… ” (Matt. 24) and that will be the end.
A comment on these signs: It is clear that the Anti-christ did not appear yet with his miracles, and accordingly the general falling did not happen. As the Jews did not believe yet, and the false prophets making signs and wonders did not appear either, but as of the wars and rumours of wars, these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matt. 24:8).