And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom… – Matthew 24:6-7b (Jesus)
When Jesus predicted the early stages of the End Times, He taught that there would be “wars and rumors of wars.” He was probably referring to the state of the world in our days. There have always been wars, but in the last century they have been worse than ever. World Wars I and II, the development of nuclear warfare, and the rise of modern terrorism have made the world a dangerous place. According to GlobalSecurity.org’s website, ”The World at War,” there are about 40 wars being fought at any given time.
A new report from the Institute for Economics and Peace reveals that “Only 11
countries in the WORLD are not involved in conflict.” The study says that the world is getting progressively less peaceful since 2007.
Jesus said “nation will rise against nation.” The Greek word for nation is ethnos, and it is derived from etho, meaning “forming a custom, culture.” So Jesus’ prophecy was not just about one country versus another, but about “ethnic” groups fighting each other. It includes racial conflict and religious wars. Today’s headlines are loaded with bad news about these ethnic wars. Russia is invading Ukraine. Israel and the Palestinians are bombing each other. The worst Islamic jihadist group yet, the “Islamic State” (also called ISIS and ISIL) is butchering people of other religions and political viewpoints. And even in America, where the Civil War guaranteed emancipation of slaves, and where the Civil Rights movement and legislation of the ‘60’s prevailed, there is racial rioting on the streets of Ferguson, MO.
We can’t know just when Jesus will return again, and He warned us not to set dates. But this period of ethnic wars should be a wake-up call for anyone who doesn’t believe that prophecy is being fulfilled in our times.