Chapter Three – Worldwide Upheaval
Hey, how many of you men out there enjoy summertime? I like it because it’s a great time to express our manliness. How’s that? Well, need you ask? Summertime equals BBQ time! And what better way to express your manliness than to be around a roaring flame and a pile of meat, huh? But I’ve noticed that BBQ’s are not only a good time to declare to the world our masculinity, they’re actually a great time to help our wives as well. How’s that? By offering to cook supper once in awhile via a BBQ, we not only score points by being manly, but we also get to help around the house at the same time. And because it is so important for us husbands to help our wives out as much as we can, I want to make sure we are all on the same page here; especially those of you who might be new to the “BBQ thing.” We’re going to look at some surefire steps to a successful BBQ. Ladies, see if these steps sound familiar to you:
1. The woman goes to the store.
2. The woman fixes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.
3. The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils, and takes it to the man, who is lounging beside the grill.
4. The man places the meat on the grill.
5. The woman goes inside to set the table and check the vegetables.
6. The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning.
7. The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.
8. The woman prepares the plates and brings them to the table.
9. After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
10. The man now asks the woman how she enjoyed “her night off,” and upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there’s just no pleasing some women.
Yes, men, it’s very hard pleasing our wives; no matter how hard we try,
isn’t it? Go figure. But guys, don’t feel too bad. Nobody can please everybody all the time. And that’s not only with the BBQ but with the Bible as well. You see, three-quarters of the Bible deals directly or indirectly with prophetic issues and therefore needs to be addressed. And you’d think that people would rejoice over being able to know what lies ahead in the future. Yet, unfortunately, many people are actually displeased to find out that the world is going to get worse before it gets better and that we’d better get ready. And because they don’t want to hear it and receive Christ as their Savior, they are running the risk of being left behind. They will be catapulted into the seven-year Tribulation that is coming upon the whole world.
And folks, the time of the Tribulation is not a party. It’s an outpouring of
God’s wrath upon a wicked and rebellious planet. In fact Jesus said in Matthew 24 that it would be a time of greater horror than anything the world has ever seen or will ever see again. He also said that unless that time of calamity is shortened, the entire human race would be destroyed. But God is not only a God of wrath; He’s a God of love as well. And because He loves you and I, He has given us many warning signs so that we would know when the Tribulation could be near and that Christ’s 2nd Coming is rapidly approaching. Therefore, to keep us from being severely displeased from being left behind, we’re going to continue taking a look at The Final Countdown.
We already saw the #10 sign on The Final Countdown, which was The Jewish People. And in the last chapter we saw that the #9 sign was none other then Modern Technology. There we saw that God lovingly foretold you and I that when we see an increase of travel, an increase of information, and an increase of unrest, that this would be an indicator that we are in the last days. But that’s not the only signs that God has given us.
The #8 sign on The Final Countdown is none other than Worldwide Upheaval. So just what are these specific prophesies being fulfilled today concerning Worldwide Upheaval, revealing that we could be in the last days? Well, I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look.
Matthew 24:1-8 “Jesus left the temple and was walking away when His disciples came up to Him to call His attention to its buildings. Do you see all these things? He asked. I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down. As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. Tell us, they said, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?
Jesus answered: Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, I am the Christ, and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (NIV)
According to our text there, one of the signs to indicate that we are
headed for Worldwide Upheaval is that there would be an Increase of
Earthquakes. Now the scoffer would look at this passage and sarcastically state, “Earthquakes are no big deal, we’ve always had earthquakes.” And yes, that is true, except for the last century. In the last century alone, we have seen nothing short of an explosion of worldwide earthquakes like never before. Here, see for yourself:
EARTHQUAKES 6.0 OR GREATER
From 1000 AD to 1800 21 (800 Years)
From 1800 to 1900 18 (100 Years)
From 1910 to 1929 4 (20 Years)
From 1930 to 1949 9 (20 Years)
In 1950’s 9 (10 Years)
In 1960’s 13 (10 Years)
In 1970’s 51 (10 Years)
In 1980’s 86 (10 Years)
From 1990 to 1994 Over 100 (5 Years)
EARTHQUAKES IN GENERAL
December 26th, 2006 454 (1 Week just in the U.S.)
February 13th, 2008 1,100 (1 Week just in the U.S.)2
I think it’s pretty obvious that earthquakes are seriously on the rise. What
do you think? Now keep in mind that although earthquakes last for a few seconds or minutes, the trail of devastation lasts a long time. For instance, because of this massive rise of earthquakes, they produce billions of dollars worth of damage, they kill thousands of people (one quake alone killed 17,000)3 and they make hundreds of thousands of people homeless each year. Oh, and it’s only getting worse. This sudden “increase of severe earthquakes have led scientists to predict that we are entering a new period of great seismic disturbances.” Hmmm, where have I heard that before? Also, they are predicting that the death toll from earthquakes are only going to skyrocket due to the massive exodus of people who are moving out of the rural areas and into the big cities. And the problem with this is that many of the cities just happen to be built right on top of fault lines. Therefore, scientists are now saying that we are entering a time when fatalities from earthquakes totaling over one million will not be uncommon. As you guys can see, the world is being shaken like never before. Yes, we may have always had earthquakes, but nothing like we see today. Just like the Bible said. When? In the last days.
The 2nd sign to indicate that we are headed for Worldwide Upheaval is
that there would be an Increase of Famines.
Matthew 24:3,7,8 “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. Tell us, they said, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (NIV)
Now the scoffer would look at this passage and sarcastically state, “Famines are no big deal, we’ve always had famines.” And yes, that is true, except for the last century. In the last century alone, we have seen nothing short of an explosion of worldwide famines like never before. The World Health Organization estimates that while one-third of the world is well-fed, another onethird is under-fed and the final one-third is starving to death right now. Just in the 1990’s alone, one hundred million children starved to death. A total of four million people will die from starvation this year alone. And this means that by about the time you finish reading this chapter, another two hundred people will have died due to food shortages.
But the question is, how can there be such an increase of worldwide
famine when we are living in the most technologically advanced era ever? Well, war, embargoes, government corruption, and economic debt cause some. But it’s also partly caused by overzealous environmentalists who have stirred up restrictions on the usage of fertilizers, which is one of the reasons why 12,000 square miles a year of Africa is now turning into desert. That doesn’t sound like saving the earth to me! And speaking of deserts, the Africans are not the only ones with this problem. So are the Chinese. Today, as we speak, China is losing 4,000 square miles of land to deserts each year. About one-third of their total land has now been covered by desert in the form of massive drifting sand dunes.8 In fact, throughout the world, a land area bigger than the state of Texas is becoming deserts every year. And no matter what people try to do to reverse it, the deserts just keep on coming. And so will famine. As you guys can see, the world is being shriveled like never before. Yes, we may have always had famines, but nothing like we see today. Just like the Bible said. When? In the last days.
The 3rd sign to indicate that we are headed for Worldwide Upheaval is
that there would be an Increase of Pestilence. Let’s go to the parallel passage of Matthew 24 in Luke 21.
Luke 21:7,11 “Teacher, they asked, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place? There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (NIV)
Now the scoffer would look at this passage and sarcastically state, “Pestilence is no big deal, we’ve always had outbreaks of diseases.”10 And yes, that is true, except for the last century. In the last century alone, we have seen nothing short of an explosion of worldwide pestilence like never before. As recently as 1979, the U.S. Surgeon General made this bold announcement, “It is time to close the books on infectious diseases.” Now, was he right in his prediction? I don’t think so! By the 1990’s, instead of fading out of existence, infectious diseases have gone ballistic. We’ve all heard of the AIDS virus, but did you know that 36 million people have it worldwide and it’s growing like wildfire daily? Did you know that in 1998 the combined wars in Africa killed 200,000 people but AIDS killed 10 times more than that? Did you also know that 75% of all HIV infections are now being spread via heterosexual contact? But people, AIDS isn’t the half of it. Diseases that were once considered conquered such as tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, diphtheria, and even the black plague are coming back with a vengeance!
But the question is, how can there be such an increase of worldwide
pestilence when we’re living in the most medically advanced era ever? Well, other than scientific experimentation and biological warfare, it’s partly due to an overuse of antibiotics. You see, because we have saturated ourselves with so many antibiotics, the diseases are now mutating and becoming resistant to all medication. And this has alarmed the medical community so much that they have stated that “the emergence of bacteria strains that cannot be killed by the current arsenal of antibiotics could become a public health threat worse than AIDS.” In fact, at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1994, scientists announced that they see us heading towards, “nothing short of a medical disaster.” As you guys can see, the world is being filled with sickness like never before. Yes, we may have always had pestilence, but nothing like we see today. Just like the Bible said. When? In the last days.
The 4th sign to indicate that we are headed for Worldwide Upheaval is
that there would be an Increase of Wars.
Matthew 24:3,6,7 “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. Tell us, they said, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (NIV)
Now, the scoffer would look at this passage and sarcastically state, “Wars are no big deal, we’ve always had wars.” And yes, that is true, except for the last century. In the last century alone, we have seen nothing short of an explosion of worldwide wars like never before. For instance, more people have been killed by wars in the last century than at any other time in mankind’s history. In fact, prior to WWI, war had never been universal. But not only have we had two of them, but after WWII, which was supposed to be the war to end all wars, there have been more then 150 major wars. In 1993 alone there were a record of twenty-nine major wars being fought. However, that record was soon to be broken because two years later in 1995 there were seventy-one. In fact, the whole world is gearing up like never before for more war.
And speaking of the rise of wars and the armies that go along with them,
in the last century alone we can see for the first time the possible fulfillment of this passage of Scripture concerning a 200 million man army.
Revelation 9:15-16 “And the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth. They led an army of 200 million mounted troops – I heard an announcement of how many there were.” (NLT)
Now some people would say that this is just referring to a demonic host
of 200 million that will be released to kill one-third of mankind. And it could be. I personally don’t want to be there to find out. However, with the explosion of the world population, can you guess just who it is that has gone on record back in the 1960’s of already having a literal 200 million-man army? That’s right! China.
Oh, but that’s not all. In the last century alone, we can see for the first
time, the possible fulfillment of this passage of Scripture concerning the disintegration of human flesh to the bone while a person is still standing:
Zechariah 14:12 “This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.” (NIV)
Now some people would say that this is just some sovereign act of God
where He supernaturally causes a plague that instantly removes people’s flesh while they’re standing; and it could be. I personally don’t want to be there to find out. However, with the modern weaponry that we see today, what does that graphic description sound like to you? Kind of like a nuclear holocaust, doesn’t it? It might even be from a biological weapon. But either way, in the last century alone, we can get a good idea, can’t we?
And speaking of nuclear warfare, as of the year 2000, just between the U.S. and Russia, we now have enough nuclear bombs to destroy the planet six times over! But that’s not the half of it. Even small countries all over the world right now have their own supply of nuclear weapons, and it’s only increasing each year. Many already believe that it’s not a matter of if, but when and where the first nuclear strike will be. And what happens after that, no one knows for sure. As you guys can see, the world is being shot to pieces like never before. Yes, we may have always had wars, but nothing like we see today. Just like the Bible said. When? In the last days.
And believe it or not, even with all this amazing evidence pointing to the
signs of Christ’s soon return, some people are still having a hard time receiving the truth, like this story reveals:
“A man goes to the White House and asks to see President Clinton.
So the Marine on duty quickly informs the guy that Bill Clinton is no longer the President, and then asked him to please leave.
So the man goes away. But the next day the same guy comes back to the White House and asks to see President Clinton again.
So the marine on duty reminds him that Clinton is not the President, and to please go away.
So the man goes away. However, the next day, the same guy comes back again, and again the same Marine is on duty.
So the man asks to see President Clinton, and at this the Marine finally lost his patience so he yells back, ‘WHY DO YOU KEEP COMING HERE ASKING FOR CLINTON? BILL CLINTON IS NOT THE PRESIDENT ANYMORE!!!”
At this the man smiles and says, ‘I know, I just like hearing it.’”
Now that guy just couldn’t get enough of the good news, could he? But
believe it or not, there are still some people out there who are still having a hard time with this news. Shocker, isn’t it? And yet the Bible said that in the last days, many people will also have a hard time receiving the truth and will instead be living in a dream world acting like nothing will ever change. Just like it was in Lot’s day.
Luke 17:28-30 “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business – eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building – until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the hour when the Son of Man returns.” (NLT)
People of God, I hope you’re not one of those who are living your life
like it’s “business as usual.” Why? Because if you are, you might wake up one day and discover that you’ve been left behind. And you know what? God doesn’t want you left behind. Because He loves you and I, He has given us the warning sign of Worldwide Upheaval to show us that the Tribulation could be near and that Christ’s 2nd Coming is rapidly approaching. Jesus Himself said this:
Luke 21:28 “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (NIV)
Like it or not folks, we are headed for The Final Countdown. We don’t
know the day or the hour. Only God knows. The point is, if you’re a Christian, you need to realize that we are going to be dead a lot longer than we are alive. Therefore, let’s not waste our lives on temporary things, but let’s strive for those things that are eternal. Folks, it’s high time we Christians speak up and declare the good news of salvation to those who are dying all around us. But please, if you’re not a Christian, give your life to Jesus today, because tomorrow may be too late! Just like the Bible said!