Seven Signs of Jesus’ Soon Return

By Pastor Doug Batchelor

An Amazing Fact: On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens, an active volcano in the state of Washington, erupted, taking the lives of a record-breaking 57 people. One of the more tragic accounts tells of one Harry R. Truman (no relation to the former president), who notoriously refused to evacuate his nearby home, instead stubbornly dismissing the many ominous warning signs.

Lest we make the same mistake as Harry R. Truman, the Lord has gifted us with His prophetic Word. In the last days of the Savior’s life on the earth, His disciples asked, “What will be the sign of Your coming?” (Matthew 24:3). Jesus then proceeded to list those signs that would herald His return at “the end of the age.”

From this verse and others, we see that the Bible equates the Second Coming with the end of the world. Furthermore, “when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then …. all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (25:31, 32). This verse describes the final judgment (vv. 33–46). The return of Christ is the most significant day for all mankind because it reveals the ultimate destiny of every person, unveiling who will receive eternal life and who will receive eternal death.

And God revealed particular signs that lead up to that day because He wants us to be prepared for that great event. You’re most likely familiar with the signs of “wars and rumors of wars” (24:6), “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (v. 7), all of which we’ve seen ramping up not only in our lifetime but, with even greater severity, in the last couple years. Christ identified these as only “the beginning of sorrows” (v. 8). But Scripture also mentions several more signs that we’re about to examine.

Here are seven end-time signs to aid us in being prepared for the most important day of our lives—and in all of human history.


Do you realize that radio, television, computers, and the internet were all developed in just the 20th century? In only a century and a half, we’ve gone from the invention of the telephone to having a smartphone in the palms of 83 percent of the global population.

Or take the travel industry. For six thousand years, the fastest mode of public transportation was a horse. Today, travelers can jet around the world in mere days. In a matter of decades, the world saw the invention of the commercial railway, the mass-produced automobile, and commercial aircraft. Private citizens have even flown to space!

And it’s not just physical ease; information is readily accessible at our fingertips. “Google” is a verb in the dictionary. The dawn of technology resulted in the consumer getting what he wanted when he wanted it; it normalized instant gratification. And it’s showing no signs of stopping. Now the public is careening down the black holes of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrency. But are you using the technology, or is the technology using you? Do we see in this sign an indication of Paul’s description of those living in the last days: “men … without self-control” (2 Timothy 3:2, 3), “led away by various lusts” (v. 6)?

And yet, about 2,500 years ago, the Bible predicted that all this would happen: “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” during “the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4).


In 2014, in what I believe to have been an outstanding miracle from God, Amazing Facts became one of the only—if not the only—Christian ministries given permission to hold a full public evangelistic series in China since 1949, when missionaries were expelled. At 1.4 billion, the communist country has the world’s largest population. At the end of our meetings, hundreds were baptized to the glory of God and DVDs of the meetings began to proliferate around the country.

And it’s not just Amazing Facts; missionary-minded ministries everywhere have taken up the great commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Interestingly enough, this sign of the end has been contingent upon another: the rise of technology. There are those whose only opportunity to learn about the gospel comes from a website. Satellites can now beam the light of God’s truths into individual homes. Through the internet, television, satellite, radio, publishing, and word of mouth, the message is reaching into virtually every corner of the globe.

This is actually the sign that triggers the Second Coming. The Bible tells us that when every living person has had the opportunity to hear the gospel, when “this gospel of the kingdom [is] preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, … then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). Notice this important distinction: Christ will come when everyone in the world has been presented with the gospel, not when everyone has accepted it. One’s response to the gospel, whether to accept or reject it, is determined by the free will of that individual.


On May 13, 2021, the world’s largest iceberg was formed when it broke off of the Ronne Ice Shelf in Antarctica. A-76, as it was named, is a whopping 1,670 square miles.

No doubt, the earth is changing. While science attributes the environmental crisis to such factors as global warming, loss of biodiversity, or pollution, the Bible explains the root of the problem as another sign of the end: In his vision of the final judgment, the prophet Isaiah recorded, “The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate” (Isaiah 24:5, 6). Furthermore, in his vision of the end times, the apostle John heard proclaimed from heaven that God would “destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). The earth is breaking down because humanity has persistently broken God’s law. There may well come a day when the devil will twist this reasoning to convince the majority of the globe to follow a counterfeit law of God.

In 2015, Pope Francis published his second encyclical, entitled Laudato si’, widely considered to be the pontiff’s opus on environmental protection. The issue has, in fact, been called the “cornerstone of his pontificate.” Francis has been instrumental in propelling climate change into a global movement, largely in his efforts to unite church and state under its banner. At no other time in Earth’s history has a church been so impassioned about environmentalism.

Though we are not given license to treat our planet like trash, there is danger in making environmentalism your gospel. The fact of the matter is that we cannot save the world with solar panels, wind turbines, or hybrid cars. “The day of the Lord [the Second Coming] will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). It is Christ who saves the world. Ultimately, the Savior will “create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17), restoring the earth to perfection.


When he spoke of the Second Coming, the apostle Paul stated, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them” (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3). Do you know what denies the return of Christ? When “peace and safety” are yearned for, when ease and comfort are cherished, at the expense of truth—that’s when Christ’s return becomes an annoyance, an avoidance, or even regarded as a pipe dream. People don’t want to hear about it because they like the way things are; they don’t want things to change.

Take the COVID-19 pandemic. Practically overnight, the entire world was impacted; our way of life shifted dramatically. Students of Bible prophecy easily identified it as a sign of the end, one of the “pestilences” (Matthew 24:7). But how many couldn’t wait for the bars and nightclubs to reopen? How many spent their unemployed hours binge-watching their favorite television show? How many were consumed with getting back to their creature comforts rather than responding to the alarm being sounded? In so doing, they make the Second Coming but a byword. The devil has a thousand and one ways to distract us with the humdrum of everyday life. Are you falling for his temptations?


Have you noticed that one of the reasons people so readily deny the Second Coming is the burgeoning amount of false alarms in recent years? Several leading ministers have set specific dates for the return of Christ only to have the time come and go—undermining the faith of thousands. So many people have claimed to be Jesus that Wikipedia actually compiled a page on it! This applies in a broader sense as well. How many other religions have cropped up in contention with Christianity, professing their doctrines as the path to salvation? Some sources say that there are more than 4,000 religions in existence today. Counted among those are Wicca, a type of witchcraft founded in 1954, and the New Age, a movement steeped in mysticism born in the 1970s.

When Jesus warned His disciples of the signs of the times, He mentioned this specific deception more than any other:

• Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many (vv. 4, 5).

• Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many (v. 11).

• Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There!” do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (vv. 23, 24).

Do you think this might have been an important sign to Jesus? 

Our Lord also knew of the ultimate false christ that is to manifest in the last days: the Antichrist. The apostle John said, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). Paul added, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4). The “Day” being referred to is “the day of the Lord,” the Second Coming. The Antichrist will actually deceive people into believing that he is the God of the Bible, “the only true God” (John 17:3). Indeed, Scripture tells us that “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). While there are many false christs and false prophets in other religions, it is counterfeit Christianity in particular that will become the centerpiece of the end times.


Another sign of the times is the specific work of these false christs and false prophets. We’ve already learned that “false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). “Signs and wonders” is another name for miracles, inexplicable occurrences outside the laws of nature.

The Bible teaches us some significant facts about miracles. When God was about to deliver His people out of slavery, He told Moses and Aaron, “I will … multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 7:3). God then predicted that the ruler of Egypt, Pharaoh, would challenge them: “Show a miracle for yourselves” (v. 9). Everything happened just as God said. When Pharaoh challenged Moses and Aaron, the miracle that Aaron performed, through the power of God, was to “cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent” (v. 10). Directly after, however, Pharaoh ordered “the wise men and the sorcerers,” known as “the magicians of Egypt,” to copy Aaron’s miracle; and “they also did in like manner with their enchantments” (v. 11).

See, miracles are not always from God—they can also be counterfeits from Satan. And even though Pharaoh’s magicians aren’t around today, their equivalents are. There are psychics, mediums, and yogis. There are paranormal investigators, ufologists, and spiritual healers. There are Wiccans and New Agers—even “Christian” witches! Witchcraft is now a multibillion-dollar industry. They may have different labels for who they’re coming into contact with—whether ghosts, aliens, reincarnations, or even professed angels—but the Bible reveals the single source behind these types of signs and wonders: “They are spirits of demons, performing signs” (Revelation 16:14). You read that right: The supernatural manifestations accompanying the false christs and prophets of the last days are demons. In fact, it is the end-time false prophet, also known as the second beast from the earth (19:20), that convinces the whole world by its signs and wonders to persecute all those who worship God (13:13–15).


Jesus foretold, “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). And Paul warned, “In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 4).

Perhaps this sign of the times, more than any other, has slid into sharp focus for the Christian in this generation. Between 1870 and 1970, the divorce rate in North America quadrupled. From cancel culture to hate crime, today’s society has made it clear that it is fostering division, contempt, and entitlement. There are professed Christians who believe that social media gives them license to bully, gossip, and demean. Sure, it’s easy to love someone who loves you back, but what about those who don’t treat you well, who aren’t that likable, or with whom you simply have a disagreement of opinion?

Real, true love is dissipating—and it’s about to get worse. As was previously mentioned, the Bible predicts terrible persecution upon God’s people, “that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Revelation 13:15). Indeed, this extreme hatred will only intensify until the Second Coming ends it. Jesus said, “Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God” (John 16:2).


Look at these seven signs. Together, they paint a strikingly accurate portrait of the current state of the world. Fascinatingly, they also reveal the warfare Satan is waging against Christ. Notice that much of what the signs spotlight are deceptions and distractions. The devil is mounting an overwhelming offensive to turn the people’s hearts from their Creator. But while the devil’s stratagems are going every which way, notice that there is one sign that is never changing and never failing. It is God’s straight and true path to salvation; it is the gospel to the world. 

Thus, the real question is not whether the Second Coming is near but: Will you accept the gospel truth in the short time before Christ returns? How a person responds to these signs of the times indicates his outcome in the final judgment. The Savior charges you: “You also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44). The exact “day and hour” (v. 36) of Christ’s return are hidden from us, but these signs leave us without excuse. Don’t repeat the mistake of Harry R. Truman.

Christ said, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12). “I am coming quickly” (vv. 7, 20)—He reiterated this three separate times in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible. Do you think that the signs of His coming might be important? Through these signs, He’s telling us, “Pay attention!”

On that final day, Christ will already have His reward for you, eternal life or eternal death. The time to choose that reward is now: “Behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2); “now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11). That’s why God has given us these signs, so that we can be ready, so that we can have a fair-and-square choice between salvation and destruction. Now is the time to honestly examine yourself. Are you prepared to meet your Savior? Have you given Him entrance to write His law upon your heart? If He were to come tomorrow, would you really want Him to? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” I urge you to make this passage your daily prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23, 24). 

I want to be part of God’s last-day remnant; I want to proclaim the everlasting gospel to the ends of the earth and usher in that great and awesome day of the Lord. Do you?


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