The topic of Bible prophecy and the end times has fascinated Christians for centuries. Many spend time trying to analyze biblical prophecies and correlate them to current events in an effort to determine if any of the foretold events have come to pass. Looking at what the Bible says about the end times and seeing if any of the events prophesied have already occurred can give us insight into where we are on God’s prophetic timeline.
The Regathering of Israel
One major end times prophecy that has clearly already been fulfilled is the regathering of the nation of Israel. After the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the Jews were scattered across the world in what is known as the Diaspora. For centuries, most remained separated from their ancestral homeland. However, the Bible foretold that in the last days the Jewish people would return to Israel. Isaiah 11:11-12 says that “the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people…and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel.” Ezekiel 37:21 similarly prophesies that God would “take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.”
Beginning in the late 19th century, the modern Zionist movement brought Jews from across the world back to Palestine. In 1948, the nation of Israel was re-established. The day of Israel’s independence is remembered each year on Israeli Independence Day. Since 1948, millions of Jews have immigrated to Israel from all over the world. Today, most Jews live in Israel, with the world’s largest Jewish population residing there. This was a monumental fulfillment of major biblical prophecy.
Increased Natural Disasters
Another end times prophecy coming to pass is the clear increase in natural disasters and extreme weather events. Jesus said in Matthew 24:7 that in the last days “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Luke 21:11 similarly records Jesus prophesying that there will be “great earthquakes, and in divers places famines and pestilences.”
In recent decades, natural disasters have been increasing in frequency and intensity. Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes, tsunamis and other catastrophes are becoming more common. Scientists have connected this trend to the warming climate. Deadly new pandemics have also emerged, fulfilling the pestilence warnings. Modern transportation allows diseases to spread rapidly worldwide. Natural disasters continue to inflict record costs as they intensify.
Invention and Spread of Nuclear Weapons
Many end times prophecies in the Bible describe a time of devastation and destruction coming upon the earth. Revelation 8:7, for example, foretells about “hail and fire mixed with blood…burning up a third of the earth.” This kind of apocalyptic imagery is now possible due to the invention and proliferation of nuclear weapons in the modern age. With just the push of a button, nuclear warheads can rain down fire and radioactive fallout, poisoning the land for years.
During the Cold War, humanity witnessed the stockpiling of enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over. Even today, nine countries possess nearly 14,000 nuclear warheads. As these weapons continue to spread, it brings the vivid end times prophecies closer to potential fulfillment. The atomic age seemingly opened the door creating means to bringing about the foretold global devastation.
Rise of Globalization and One World System
Another hallmark of the end times discussed in biblical prophecy is the formation of a global empire ruled by the Antichrist. This one world government will control the economy, military, culture and religion. The book of Revelation depicts this centralized system requiring all people to receive a mark on their hand in order to buy or sell (Revelation 13:16-17).
Today, globalization is creating a more interconnected world. Nations are cooperating militarily and economies are more merged through international trade deals. Communication is nearly instant across the world via the internet. Advanced technology now makes it possible for one centralized global order to regulate worldwide commerce and individual lives as never before. The infrastructure required for the predicted unified global empire continues taking shape.
The Coming Cashless Society
As mentioned, the Bible prophesies that during the tribulation period, all buying and selling will be regulated by a mark on people’s hands or foreheads (Revelation 13:16-17). Obviously, such a system will be cashless, as physical currency will be obsolete. For centuries, such a prophecy must have seemed absurd, as tangible money was a basic part of every economy.
Yet, technology is now quickly advancing toward making cash a thing of the past. More people are using cards, online payment systems and smartphones to conduct transactions. Governments and big banks are encouraging the shift to a digital cashless society. COVID-19 has accelerated cash’s demise as people avoid contact. A few decades ago, a prophecy of a world without physical money seemed implausible. But, the rapid movement towards a cashless global economy indicates this end times prediction could soon become reality.
Gospel Preached to All Nations
Though many end times prophecies are ominous, the Bible does contain some positive prophecies for the last days. One such prophecy was made by Jesus when he declared in Matthew 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.”
For most of world history, it would have been impossible for the gospel to reach every nation on earth. But today, through advanced travel and technology, Christian missionaries have spread the message of salvation through Christ to every country. Radio, TV, internet, social media, books and other media have now made biblical truth accessible globally. Jesus said this worldwide spread of the good news would precede his coming, and that has now been fulfilled.
Israel in Control of Jerusalem
Much end times prophecy focuses on Israel and God’s continued purposes for the Jewish people. After the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the city remained under Gentile control for centuries. However, Scripture records that the day is coming when Jerusalem will return to Jewish rule. In Zechariah 12:2-3, the prophet says that, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples…It shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”
Following Israel’s independence, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. But after the 1967 Six Day War, Israel captured the entire city. Since then, Jerusalem has been under Jewish governance for the first time since the Roman Empire. Israel views Jerusalem as its eternal capital, while many Muslim nations contend Jerusalem should be controlled by a future Palestinian state. Just as prophesied, the status of Jerusalem remains a “heavy stone” causing much international conflict.
Increased Hatred of Israel
The Bible prophesies that in the final days, Israel will find itself increasingly isolated and surrounded by enemies bent on its destruction. Zechariah 12:2 foretells that “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.” Likewise, Psalm 83:4 describes Israel’s foes saying, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
Today, despite Israel’s tiny size, it finds itself surrounded by nations and terrorist groups calling for its annihilation. Much of the Muslim world is passionate in its anti-Zionism. Even traditional allies like the United States have become less supportive on the global stage. Violent attempts to destroy Israel, as well as the global BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign, are further isolating the Jewish state. As predicted, animosity towards Israel is heating up as the end times approach.
Decline of Christianity
Another prophetic trend coming to pass setting up end times conditions is the falling away of Christian faith, particularly in the western world. Scripture records in 1 Timothy 4:1 that “in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.”
In nations that were once Christian strongholds, powerful secularization has taken hold. Churches are in decline and skeptics increasingly reject and mock traditional Christian beliefs. Biblical morality is no longer shaping laws and culture. Interest in New Age, atheism, agnosticism and Eastern mysticism are on the rise. Amid prosperity, postmodernism and humanism, conviction and evangelism have ebbed. Scripture said this turning away from faith would escalate as the end draws near.
Rise of Global Religion and Philosophies
While traditional Christian belief declines in the west, eastern and New Age religions are experiencing growing popularity. Yoga, Hindu and Buddhist philosophies have now pervaded western culture. Seeking mystical or spiritual meaning, many today embrace Gaia worship or other pagan practices. Even traditional churches and seminaries have embraced New Age or contemplative spirituality based on eastern meditation techniques.
These trends not only align with the prophesied falling away from scriptural faith, but also set up the religious dynamics predicted for the end times. Revelation 17 and other prophecies describe an interfaith harlot church system that incorporates world religions. Globalization and universalism continue blurring spiritual lines, paving the way for the prophesied end times religious unification under the Antichrist.
Excess and Hedonism
The Bible warns that the last days will be characterized by rampant excess and unchecked indulgence. Luke 17:26-30 tells us that in the end times, culture will mirror the wild living of the immoral days of Noah and Lot. Rather than redeeming the time and living soberly (Titus 2:12), people will be preoccupied with amusement, feasting, and extravagant living.
The affluent west today is witnessing these trends toward over-indulgence and ignoring spiritual matters amid prosperity. Partying, entertainment, sports, travel and materialism dominate many lives rather than concern over morality, God, eternity or biblical living. Excess leisure time has fostered addiction, sexual immorality, divorce, pornography, crime and other sins. Rampant hedonism will only pave the way for the Antichrist’s deceitful promises of human utopia.
Return to the Days of Noah and Lot
In the Gospels, Jesus linked the time preceding his return to the immoral days of Noah and Lot in Genesis. Genesis 6:5 described the wickedness and corruption during Noah’s day becoming so great that “every intention of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually.”
Likewise, Genesis 13 notes how Sodom and Gomorrah had fallen into utter depravity, including homosexuality and other perversions. So too, the growing celebration and normalization of LGBT lifestyles in our day signals that some end times prophecies could be approaching fulfillment. The moral confusion, increasing depravity and bold immorality are harbingers of the Lord’s return as the end draws near.
Stages are Being Set
While no one knows the day or hour when Christ will return, it is wise to heed Jesus’ call in Luke 21:28 to “look up, for your redemption draws near” as end time prophecies come to pass. The precise fulfillments and timing are unclear, but God is in control. Believers should keep looking up in these turbulent times. The same God who accurately foretold how the Messiah would come 1st century Judea in amazing detail is bringing His latter day prophecies to pass, setting the stage for the glorious return of Jesus Christ.