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PESTILENCES - A SIGN

     When Jesus spoke of the latter days and the time of His return, He mentioned along with many other signs: pestilences.

     Notice what Jesus said in Luke 21:10,11.  "Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights great signs shall there be from heaven."  Also Matthew 24:7 says, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famine, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places."

     Pestilence, what is it?  According to the Strong's Concordance of the Bible, the word pestilence comes from the Greek word "loymos".  It means a plague (literally the disease, or figuratively a pest).

     As a child, I was raised up to believe in the god of science.  I was led to believe that there was no disease that modern medicine (science) would not conquer.  I believed that science could and would solve all problems facing the human race.  All of my classes through school glorified the god of science.  Which is, by the way, the god of the Humanist.

     Low and behold what we are facing today!  Who could have ever anticipated that the words of Jesus Christ would be so accurate?  Pestilences!  Plagues!  Diseases!  All that without a cure!  They are beyond man's ability  to respond with a remedy!

     Jesus said, "And upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity (Luke 21:25)."  He is basically saying that nations would be in distress because they would have no solutions.  Don't we see that today?

     AIDS!  We need to pay attention to the signs that God has given of His soon return to the earth.  AIDS is one obvious sign!  Time magazine's February 16, 1987 issue reported, "Cases of AIDS have been reported in 85 countries, though the World Health Organization suspects that the disease has actually struck as many as 100 nations, whose officials estimate that between five million and ten million people around the world now carry the AIDS virus, and that as many as 100 million will become infected during the next ten years."

     Can you imagine 100 million people having AIDS during the next ten years?  If you were to add up all the slain of all the wars and conflicts of this century only, you would not quite total 100 million.  In other words, AIDS will slay more in 10 years than all the wars of this century.  Talk about a plague!  Nothing can top the devastating consequences of AIDS.  The plague that swept Europe during the dark ages killed a little over 25 million, but nowhere near the projected 100 million of AIDS.

     LOCUST!  A Los Angeles Times Report datelined April 23, 1988 reported as follows, "Rome - A plague of locust that could become the biggest that modern man has ever known is sweeping voraciously across North and West Africa."  "We are in big trouble," said Lukas Brader, a Dutch entomologist who heads the FAO anti-locust campaign.  "The spread of the locust has caught us off balance.  It could become the biggest locust plague ever if we are unable to stop it."  The Times Report continued, "At potential risk from the outbreak is all of Africa north of the Equator and the entire Middle East as far as India and Pakistan," Brader said.  "About 1 billion people, a fifth of the world's population live in the endangered area."

     Possibly the biggest locust plague ever!  FAO Director General Edouard Saouma said in a statement that unless checked it could reach East Africa, the Near East, Pakistan and India in the next 12 to 18 months.

     We believe that the pestilences, earthquakes, famines, etc. that Jesus spoke about are to be fulfilled in the first 3 1/2 year of the seven-year tribulation period that follows the rapture.  The rapture of the Church is the next event in God's plan unfolding before the world.  We don't know the date of Christ's return, but we are told to watch.  Jesus said, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28)."

     Today we are facing a whole host of diseases that science has no cure for.  Could it be that we are seeing the prophecies of the Bible fulfilled?

     The unmistakable sign of His coming is the return of the Jewish people to the State of Israel.  On May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation again for the first time in nearly 2,000 years.  Jesus said He would return in the same generation that would see Israel become a nation again.  (See Jeremiah 30:1-3).

     We are truly living in the time that Christ spoke about.  This is confirmed as we look at the hundreds of other prophecies that relate to this time.  We can see them all beginning to come to pass (Luke 21:28).

     The most important thing you could do is to trust Jesus Christ as your only hope of reaching heaven.  The Bible states in Acts 16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."  The second most important thing you could do is to tell someone else how they can have eternal life.  Why not let the coming of Jesus Christ affect your life today!  God bless you!

     If Jesus were to come today, would you be one of the many believers raptured out or would you be left behind?

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