What are the Signs of Jesus’ Return?
- Major earthquakes
- Worldwide famine
- Worldwide epidemics
- Persecution of believers
- Gospel proclaimed worldwide
Earthquakes, famines, epidemics, and wars have occurred throughout human history, but Jesus said there would be a noticeable increase of such events prior to his return. Persecution of believers began with the apostles and is on the increase today. More Christians are being persecuted for their faith now than at any time in history. Jesus tells us that such persecution will continue until his return, as will the worldwide proclamation of the gospel.
According to Jesus, when all of these events capture the world scene, we are to “look up,” for his return will be soon. Although Bible scholars don’t agree on all the details regarding Jesus’ return, many believe that the time Jesus spoke of is rapidly approaching. Paul told believers to be ready and “watch for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
So we need to know if Jesus’ promise to return is still true. And if so, why is he delaying so long to fulfill his promise?
Peter explained the reason for Jesus’ delay.
But you should never lose sight of this fact, dear friends that time is not the same with the Lord as it is with us—to him a day may be a thousand years, and a thousand years only a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
Peter was writing to believers who were experiencing trials and persecution. They wanted Jesus to come sooner rather than later. However, Peter tells them that God’s first priority is to spread the gospel of Christ throughout the world, reaching as many people as possible. Jesus had already told his disciples that the gospel would be preached to all nations before he came.