Wars and Rumors of Wars: The Source
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…” These words were part of the response Jesus gave His disciples when they asked about “the signs of His return and the end of the age.” This passage in Matthew 24:4-7 takes place on the Mount of Olives where Jesus cautioned His devoted followers of specific things to come. Jesus showed them that there are a number of signs that will fall into place marking the launch of what He called the beginning of sorrows or the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:8).
Jesus’ description of the world’s deteriorated condition just prior to His Second Coming has been fodder for dozens of books and conspiracy or science fiction movies. Millions of people across the globe are asking whether the increasing chaos and disasters plaguing the world today are the very signs that Jesus predicted.
Poor understanding and wacky liberties taken in books or the movies have aided in trivializing, scoffing, and apathy concerning Jesus’ forewarning.
Wars and Rumors of Wars: What’s New About Wars?
Wars and Rumors of Wars have always been. So why should today’s events be of concern? As I write this article, headlines in various news sources listed dozens of world regions and countries where there are present day conflicts, wars, and threats of attacks going on. Among those listed are Libya, Yemen, Israel/Gaza Strip, Nigeria, Mexico, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Dagestan, Iraq, Philippines, and Egypt.
We cannot leave out the rumors of war by way of nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea. Nor can we leave out other escalating and violent uprisings such as the “Arab Spring” or the 2011 “Occupy” protest in Greece, England, France, Italy, and within the United States.
True, wars and rumors of wars are not new, but the degree of intensity and frequencies of outbreaks across much of the world at the same time is at a precarious high. When these events are put together with other named “signs of the end times,” they are worth paying close attention to. We can actually see the Bible’s prophecies playing out in the principal news stories in headlines every day.
When Jesus spoke about these signs being as birth pains, He was comparing the increased intensity to literal physical child birth. The closer the time of delivery comes about, the closer together and the more severe the pains are. In this sense the earth will experience the delivery pains in much the same way as the arrival of Christ gets closer. There is to be a strong increase in wars, false prophets, famines, earthquakes, and pestilences.1
Besides the obvious increase of wars and rumors of wars, we can already see the rest of these things escalating around the globe as well.
Wars and Rumors of Wars: The Final War
Wars and rumors of wars are a prelude to one final war according to Scripture. There will be an ultimate, horrific finale of nations and kingdoms warring against God that will happen in a place called Armageddon.2 This will be the final battle of God vs. Satan, and good vs. evil.
Jesus states that the signs listed in Matthew 24:3-4 should not alarm us. These are signs the end is nearing but not yet upon us. In addition, this chapter pronounces severe persecution and lawlessness, followed by the “abomination of desolation.” These events will precede Armageddon and the Second coming of the Messiah.
Regardless of wars and rumors of wars, we need to equip ourselves to be ready to give an answer to others for the hope that lies only in knowing Christ Jesus. No doubt the signs He gives in these verses will be very frightening to most people. However, having the knowledge that God is sovereign, omnipotent, and omniscient offers our only comfort and hope. In the darkest of days ahead for this world you can have peace and assurance that God is in control and if you are faithful to Him, you will reap His protection and promise of entering His Kingdom.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:20-22).