Are wars and rumors of wars linked to the end times?In Matthew 24:3, Jesus' disciples asked, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" "And Jesus answered them, 'See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet'" (Matthew 24:4–6). Jesus was telling His disciples that wars and rumors of wars are a part of human existence now on earth and should not lure us into thinking the latest conflicts are a sign of the end of the age.
Jesus also said that nations will be in conflict, famine will happen, and earthquakes will occur. "All these are but the beginning of the birth pains" (Matthew 24:8). Jesus also told His followers they would be persecuted (even to death), people will fall away and betray and hate one another, false prophets will arise, and lawlessness will increase (verses 8–12). These things are all to be expected, and do not indicate that the end has come.
It is true that these things will still occur in the end times. In fact, some very catastrophic wars take place at the end of the age that will overshadow anything we have experienced thus far. Until Jesus brings eternal peace for individuals and for nations in the Millennial Kingdom, there will always be war. We need not jump at every war and rumor of war we hear. Jesus told His followers not to be alarmed by these things.
Rather than worry about the wars raging in the Middle East, in Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, it is essential we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and obey Him. He has given us a mission to fulfill (Matthew 28:18–20). When telling His disciples about the signs of the end, He said, "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" (Matthew 24:14). Sharing His gospel should be the focus of our efforts.
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