World-renowned statesmen and scientists — too numerous to quote in this brief study — speak fearfully of the END of human civilization! Men like the late President John F. Kennedy and U.S. General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur warned that man now possesses the means of committing COSMOCIDE — suicide of the whole human race! These men realized something totally unforeseen must occur to stop the trend of world events — or humanity would finally destroy itself! Man's only hope for survival was referred to in a leading U.S. newsmagazine a number of years ago. This appraisal indicated that the prevailing view among government officials was that tensions and world problems were fast becoming too deep-seated to be solved except "by a strong hand from someplace." That strong hand will come — but from a source most people least expect (Isa. 40:10).
Predicted Centuries Ago
Today's sad state of world affairs was predicted centuries In advance. More than 1,900 years ago, the greatest newscaster the world has ever known foretold today's chaotic world conditions! He foresaw the direction of today's scientific discoveries and technological advancements. And he foresaw the outcome of it all. He knew that men would produce the destructive forces that now threaten cosmocide! This famous newscaster warned: "And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved [ALIVE]" (Mark 13:20). This great newscaster was Jesus Christ of Nazareth — the same Jesus Christ who is coming again to intervene at the last moment to save this world from itself! What he foretold has been recorded in the Bible all these centuries. No other book is as up-to-date as your Bible! So why not begin a ministudy of these basic prophecies to learn exactly what the world's greatest newscaster foretold for our end time? 1. Did Jesus clearly foretell a time of great trouble on earth just before his return? Matt. 24:21. What did he declare would happen to mankind if these days were allowed to continue? Verse 22. But will that terrible time be cut short? Same verse. COMMENT: The Moffatt translation renders this verse clearer as "not a soul would be saved alive." This verse is not referring to being saved spiritually, but to being saved from physical death! 2. Has there ever been a time of trouble such as will occur just before Christ's return? Matt. 24:21; Mark 13:19. Were any of the Hebrew prophets inspired to foresee this same time of worldwide peril? Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1. COMMENT: Since each of these four prophecies reveal that the future period of crisis will have no equal, they can only be referring to one great climactic period of worldwide trouble! 3. How did the prophet Joel symbolically describe the horrible events to take place at the close of this age? Joel 2:1-3. COMMENT: Joel's God-inspired prophecy pictures the very same time of trouble prophesied by Christ, Jeremiah and Daniel. This prophecy refers to events soon to occur at this end time, for only in this age of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons has such destruction and the extinction of human life been possible! 4. Could the symbols in Revelation 9:2-10, 16-19 indicate radiation sickness and mass death resulting from the use of modern weaponry? COMMENT: John described what he saw in a vision that God miraculously revealed to him. It was a mysterious, frightening spectacle! The creatures he saw were obviously symbolic of weapons God knew man would be capable of inventing in the end time — just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! The time when men would have at their disposal the power to erase all life from this earth!
A Sign of Christ's Coming?
Jesus' disciples asked him for a "sign" that would show his Second Coming was near (Matt. 24:3). Before giving that sign, he foretold a timetable of prophecy — that certain world conditions would precede one great indicator of his soon return. Those occurrences are given in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. 1. First, what did Jesus warn about those who would proclaim that he — Jesus — is the Christ? Matt. 24:4-5, 11. What are we told elsewhere about those who present themselves as Christ's representatives? II Cor. 11:13-15. Whom do these ministers actually represent? Verses 14-15. How could this be? Rev. 12:9. 2. What else would occur besides the coming of many false ministers? Matt. 24:6-7. COMMENT: Just since World War II alone there have been more than 150 armed conflicts around the world! We are now in a lull between rounds two and three of world war! 3. Would famine also precede Christ's intervention in world affairs? Verse 7. COMMENT: The facts of lagging world food production, combined with the reality of the population explosion, add up to one thing: A crisis of awesome proportions is exploding on the world's doorstep! The several million already dying each year from starvation could soon be multiplied. Hundreds of millions of human beings could die of starvation — even the affluent nations are not immune to this threat! 4. What else was prophesied to occur? Same verse. COMMENT: Pestilence (disease epidemics) is the natural result of lack of sanitation, of food shortages and civil wars. The way is already prepared for a revival of pestilence. More population means more mouths to feed, more crowding, more waste and refuse, more garbage, more pollution of the water, air and land. And more disease! Jesus' words, spoken more than 1,900 years ago, are certainly prophetic. 5. What else will happen with increasing severity? Matt. 24:7. When earthquake activity reaches a peak, will men at last begin to recognize that God is intervening? Isa. 2:19-21. 6. Are the signs Jesus foretold only the beginning of great distress? Matt. 24:8. COMMENT: Wars, famine, disease and various disruptions of nature are taking an increasing toll of human life today. Notice that the "beginning of sorrows" described by Jesus is also pictured by the four horsemen of Revelation 6:1-8. They represent the world conditions Jesus said would exist at the end of this age — all increasing in severity and overlapping in their effects on the entire world! (For more details, write for our free booklet The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.) 7. What tremendous toll of life will be taken by these world catastrophes? Rev. 6:8. COMMENT: Just imagine, if you can, ONE FOURTH of mankind subject to famine and death during a period described as only the "beginning of sorrows"! But let's not forget that man is bringing this horrible suffering and death upon himself. Jesus knew that man, left to his own devices apart from God, and despite his scientific breakthroughs in agriculture, would ultimately destroy all life on earth. That is why he has promised to intervene in world affairs. 8. Finally, what is the one major sign clearly indicating that the end of man's rule and Christ's return are very near? Matt. 24:14, Mark 13:10. COMMENT: Today, these scriptures are being fulfilled before your very eyes and ears — in the pages of the Plain Truth magazine, and through the World Tomorrow radio and television broadcasts. The "gospel of the kingdom of God" — the gospel message Jesus preached (Mark 1:14 ) — is already being proclaimed worldwide! 9. Will Jesus Christ return with great power and glory? Matt. 24:30. Will he come to rule the entire earth? Rev. 19:15-16. What will be the result of his rule? Isa. 2:2-4; 11:9. COMMENT: Your Bible shows there is hope for mankind. God will not allow the misguided scientific genius of man to destroy all life on this planet! He is going to send Jesus Christ again — this time to SAVE us from ourselves and to establish the government of God on earth. Think of it! The glorified Christ returning in all the splendor, power and glory of God to STOP escalating wars, nuclear mass destruction, human pain and suffering. coming to usher in peace, abundant well-being, happiness and JOY for all mankind!