Since the Bible is sufficient for all, we go to it (as always) to see what is true:
- Thankfully God answers this in no uncertain terms right at the beginning of the ultimate book of prophecy (and of the Bible itself) - Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. " A BLESSING is given to those who pay attention to prophecy - why? Because "the time is near.", the end-time, time of judgment and thankfully to those who are saved, the time of rapture before the judgment!
- If you know anything about end-times prophecy at all, you can see the signs working themselves out exactly as Jesus told us in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 (undeniable "birth pangs" such as earthquakes, plagues, famines, etc. All of which even non-Christian sources admit to having increased in the last few years.
- As we see "future" prophecy coming to fruition in OUR OWN time we become like the sons of Isaachar (1Chronicles 12:32) as "men who understood the times"! In Matthew 16:3 Jesus Himself pointed to the foolishness of those who did not know God's word, and thus did not recognize Him as the promissed Messiah - they were UNLIKE the sons of Issachar - they could figure out the signs in the skies but could not see the coming of the Savior. This He said when the Pharisees and Saducees requested a sign from heaven that He was indeed the Messiah: "And in the morning [you say], 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? "
- We know not to fear and indeed to be glad when we see these things as they are signs to us that our redemption is close, that we will be raptured from the Great Tribulation and Jesus is soon to come! Luke 21:9 "When you hear of wars and disturbances [rumors of wars], do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
- Matthew 24:31 "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. "
- Mark 13:26-27 "Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven."