Wars and Rumors of Wars: Is This the End of the Age?

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Shawn Akers

Note: This is the first of a two-part series.

Scanning the headlines these days, one quickly finds military buildups on key borders of sovereign states in eastern Europe to be escalating and of extreme concern to many. Add to these security concerns in Europe the alarming military posturing toward Taiwan by China in the South China Sea, along with Korea’s renewed missile testing and Iran’s nuclear developments, and we have multiple reasons to think about the Bible’s warnings concerning “the end of the age.”

Russia is said to have over 100,000 troops and offensive weapons on the Ukraine border and more arriving in neighboring Belarus for “military drills.” In response, member states of NATO (including the United States) are relocating thousands of military forces and equipment to Germany, Poland and Romania—on a “temporary” basis.

This war-like posturing is not limited to Europe and Vladimir Putin’s desire to reestablish the Soviet Union. China’s Xi Jinping is elevating his threats toward the island nation of Taiwan, in his desire to force this democratic, post-WWII reality back into China’s historic empire. This is hampered by America’s “friendship alliance” with the independent Republic of China’s government in Taipei.

And then there is the madman of North Korea, who is again testing missiles with the potential threats of electro-magnetic-pulse (EMP) warfare to destroy the vulnerable electrical grids of North America and beyond. And, don’t forget Iran’s imminent breakthrough in nuclear testing.

Jesus Taught about the End of the Age

In the last week of Jesus’ human life on earth, He sat on the Mount of Olives, just east of Jerusalem’s beautiful temple, and shockingly predicted its destruction. The surprised disciples asked him to tell them when this would occur, what would be the signs preceding His Second Coming and “the end of the age” (Matt. 24:3).

His response, as with much of eschatological (“the study of the final events in the history of the world or of humankind”) understanding, can have both a near and future fulfillment. The then-near destruction of Jerusalem and the sacred Temple by the Romans in A.D. 70 is also a picture of conditions preceding His own future return and prophetic fulfillments.

His following remarks relate the similar conditions from their present age forward to the very end of the age (Matt. 24:4-14). The Lord’s followers were to persevere and “endure to the end,” while proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom to all the nations (ethnicities) “and then the end will come.”

Jesus warned that there will be religious deception, social and political upheavals, natural calamities, familial disloyalties and increasing persecution during the final Great Tribulation period. There will be a spiritual decline, due to the deception of counterfeit “Christs,” while lawlessness and civil disorder “will abound.”

Jesus said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled. For all these things must happen, but the end is not yet” (Matt. 24:6, MEV).

Wars and Rumors of War

Are you ready for war? Are you ready to see members of your family and friends fighting to defend the “sovereign integrity” of the borders of a country that many of us could not locate on a map? In the middle of winter??

This blog has previously studied biblical prophecy about end-time wars. We saw how at least three of these wars will be centered around the tiny nation of Israel:

  1. Israel and their neighbors
  2. Israel and their cousins
  3. Israel and the nations of the world

The End is Not Yet

Obviously, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to meet Him at the “end of the age” has not yet happened. That sequence will likely just precede the prophesied Day of the Lord and His wrathful vengeance upon those who have no intimate relationship with Him by faith or have willfully ignored or refused to obey His righteous ways.

There are specific, end-times events yet to happen. More on that next time in Part 2. {eoa}

Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys’ California Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms.

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