End Times Sign: Exponential Growth Marks the Times
If a marked increase in travel and knowledge constitute one of the most clearly observable signs of the end times, then the two are merely components of a much larger sign of the end times – exponential growth.
Jesus pointed to exponential growth as a sign of His Coming:
“Later, Jesus sat on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and asked, ‘When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world?’ Jesus told them, ‘Don’t let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will lead many astray. And wars will break out near and far, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won’t follow immediately. The nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come.’” Matthew 24:3-8 (NLT)
This translation fails to communicate an important revelation from Jesus – that the end times will be analogous to the birthing process.
According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “horrors” as translated above comes from the word “odin” which is best translated as “the pain of childbirth” or “birth pangs.”
This means that, much like birth pangs, signs of the end times will appear with greater frequency and intensity as Christ’s return draws near. This is why Jesus mentioned this sign first when answering his disciples’ questions “When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world?”
According to Jesus, three things in particular will increase in frequency and intensity as the world draws closer to His return:
Have we seen these three things increase in frequency and intensity in the recent past?
Let’s take a brief look at wars, famines, and earthquakes over the past 500 years.
Wars – A Sign of the End Times
According to a Wikipedia list of wars, the past 500 years have witnessed an increase in the frequency of wars:
15th Century – 29 wars
16th Century – 59 wars
17th Century – 75 wars
18th Century – 69 wars
19th Century – 294 wars
20th Century – 278 wars
The first decade of the 21st Century has already witnessed 55 wars, putting humanity on course for 550 wars over the next one hundred year period.
Have these wars increased in intensity?
For most of human history, wars were fought through individual hand-to-hand combat. But the past few hundred years have witnessed the ascension of more accurate guns, machine guns, and aerial bombing. Today, a single weapon of mass destruction can kill hundreds of thousands of people.
Famines – A Sign of the End Times
According to a Wikipedia list of famines, the past 500 years have also witnessed an increase in the frequency of famines:
15th Century – 6 famines
16th Century – 10 famines
17th Century – 24 famines
18th Century – 28 famines
19th Century – 30 famines
20th Century – 44 famines
The first decade of the 21st Century alone has already witnessed 12 famines, putting humanity on course for 120 famines over the next one hundred year period.
Have these famines increased in intensity and severity?
As the population of the world has grown, famines have caused more and more death and destruction in their wake.
In fact, while the Roman Empire’s entire population at the time of Jesus is estimated to have been approximately 55 million people, the first half of the 20th Century alone witnessed these famines:
The 1921 famine in Russia (5 million+ dead)
The 1928-1929 famine in China (3 million+ dead)
The 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine (2.6 and 10 million+ dead)
The 1932-1933 famine in Kazakhstan (1.2 and 1.5 million+ dead)
The 1936 famine in China (5 million+ dead)
The 1942-1943 famine in China (1 million+ dead)
The 1946-1947 famine in the Soviet Union (1 million+ dead)
That’s an estimated 18.8 to 26.5 million who perished from famine just from these seven famines alone!
And from 1959 to 1961, the Great Chinese Famine is estimated to have killed more than 36 million people.
Famines have dramatically increased in both frequency and intensity since Jesus first answered His disciples’ questions.
Earthquakes – Another Sign of the End Times
According to a Wikipedia list of earthquakes, the past 500 years have witnessed the following number of earthquakes described as a magnitude 7.0 or greater:
15th Century – 2 earthquakes
16th Century – 3 earthquakes
17th Century – 7 earthquakes
18th Century – 13 earthquakes
19th Century – 29 earthquakes
20th Century – 123 earthquakes
The first decade of the 21st Century has already witnessed 144 earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or greater, putting humanity on course for 1,440 such earthquakes over the next one hundred year period!
The dramatic increase in devastating wars, famines, and earthquakes from the time of Jesus until today is one of clearest signs of the end times.
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