THE Sign

At some point, every thoughtful person has considered if and when our world might be coming to a final reckoning.  To be sure, one of the essential teachings of the Christian Faith is the promised Second Coming of Christ. [1]

All three of the synoptic gospels recount Jesus’ disciples questioning him about “the end.”

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)

As many do today, the disciples were clearly asking for THE Sign. That is, a definitive, final sign of his imminent return.

Yet Jesus actually gave many signs for his coming and the end of the age. Here is a very short list:

To this could be added hundreds more signs provided throughout the Bible [2]. However, we really should make a few observations about the short list.

First, there have been many times throughout history that signs have troubled people that did not lead to the immediate judgement of the world.  You see, Jesus explained that some very alarming signs, “must take place, but the end is not yet” (Matt 24:6).  However, there is one essential sign that really must be added to the short list.  It has never occurred in the past two thousand years and is only now being fulfilled [3]. The restoration of the nation of Israel was so long and so unlikely in coming, that “theologies” were devised to explain it away [4].  According to some interpretations of scripture the nation of Israel was either replaced by the church or rendered irrelevant.  However, starting in 1948 the nation of Israel began an indisputably miraculous reconstitution, and therefore all such theological “explanations” are no longer needed and should be summarily dismissed.

Second, throughout history the Church has always experienced persecution. Why would we interpret this time of persecution different from the past?  Well, spiking levels of persecution recently triggered a thorough, quantitative analysis for historical comparison [5].  According to this review of the conditions worldwide, one in three Christians experiences severe persecution and are now the world’s “most widely targeted religious community.”  In this study they conclude that in the Middle East, Christian persecution is “close to meeting the international definition of genocide.” Further, in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the Philippines, and several African nations, systematic genocide is fully underway.  Recently, human rights activists warned that, “Nigeria could be [the] next Rwanda or Darfur if [the] world doesn’t act” [6].  Many westerners still debate this “sign,” but for millions of suffering Christians these are “THE last days.”

Now a last observation related to the short list.  There is at least one definitive sign that many people think they know to watch out for.  According to scripture, even though there will be many “false Christs” (Matt 24:4-5; 1 John 2:18), there will also be a final “man of lawlessness” (or “man of sin”) who is correctly identified as THE Antichrist (2 Thess 2:1-12, Rev 13:1-18).  Many think they know not to take the “mark of the beast” even if it’s the only way to “buy or sell” (Rev 13:17-18).  But here is the problem.  This “beast” will have power to deceive those remaining on the earth with a “strong delusion” (2 Thess 2:11-12; Rev 13:14).  If you delay putting your faith in Christ until this time called the “great tribulation” (Matt 24:21-22), there is no reason to believe you won’t instead believe a lie.  The result of that fateful decision will be eternal separation from God in the lake of fire (Matt 25:41; Rev 20:7-15).

Finally, I will add yet another crucial sign to the above list that some understandably call definitive.  According to Matt 24:14:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Yet in a world where nearly everyone now has a smartphone with secure (encrypted) apps, the past limitations of geography and politics are no longer in effect.  For example, in the last three days of May 2020, a good friend shared the Gospel with over 10-million people in 11 different language groups that included previously closed countries [7].  Millions more received discipleship training daily with these same secure apps.  To this we can add that many countries previously thought to be unreached by the Gospel, are now sending missionaries back to western nations to restore them to Biblical faith [8].  I would submit that this sign may already, or very soon be fulfilled.

In view of the current state of the many “signs of the times” (Matt 16:3), there is only one option that makes sense.  The compelling reason is given by Jesus:

But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. (Matt 24:36) (See also: 1 Thess 5:2)

You see, there will be one definitive, last sign at his Second Coming.

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30)

Sadly, then it will be too late.  Therefore, I am compelled to share with all who will listen—the time to respond to the Good News of the First Coming of Christ is now!

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

So in view of what many now recognize as portentous present events, I do hereby share the Good News with The Gospel Way to Salvation.

In conclusion, one of the first spiritual blessings of responding to the Good News is hope. According to Titus 2:13, believers are now,

Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”


Tim Nordgren, 7/16/20


[1] Mark 14:62; Acts 1:11; “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).

[2]  As indicated , there are hundreds of prophetic signs about the future given from Genesis to Revelation.  In the synoptic gospels alone, there are signs given in Matthew chapters 24 & 25, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapter 21.  For brevity, I have only listed some representative examples.

[3] See the following very short list of the many scriptures that demand, first the reconstitution, and then the restoration of the nation of Israel in the “latter days.”  Hosea 3:4,5; Ezek 37:1-14; Mat 24:15-16; 2 Thess 2:3-4; Rev 7:1-8; 20:1-10. See the truly miraculous ministry of One for Israel for the unfolding fulfillment of this restoration.

[4] My review of the documentary movie, With God on Our Side, includes a brief assessment of the so-called, post-millennial, a-millennial, and pre-millennial views of the return of Christ and the implications to the reconstitution of the nation of Israel.  (

[5] Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians. ( (Accessed 7/10/20).  See also: Christian persecution at near genocide levels. ( (Accessed 7/10/20)

[6] Nigeria could be next Rwanda or Darfur if world doesn’t act, advocates warn.  7/1/20. ( (Accessed 7/10/20)

[7] Sammy Tippit Ministry Profile: Link.

[8] Not-so-united Methodists.  (

[9] Scripture quotations from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), 2001, by Crossway Bibles, Good News Publishers.