The exact time of Christ’s return is unknown:
At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory … No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:30, 36)
However, Jesus and the apostles did tell us about the conditions that would characterize the Last Days:
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
The following signs indicate that we are in the Last Days and that the time of Christ’s return is imminent.
The Restoration of Jerusalem to Israel
Ezekiel prophesied that the restoration of Israel would take place in two stages. First, there would be a physical or national, political restoration of the nation to her land (Ezek. 37:7-8). Second, there would a spiritual restoration to God (Ezek. 37:9-10). Jesus also spoke about the first physical restoration of Israel and Jerusalem:
They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)
This was fulfilled on May 14, 1948, when Israel declared her independence and became a sovereign nation once again. Then, on June 6, 1967, after the Six Day War, Israel regained control of Jerusalem. For the first time since the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon in 586 B.C., Israel was once more a sovereign nation ruling from her own capital. The significance of these events cannot be overstated. Jesus said:
… Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)
Thus, the restoration of Israel to her land and the restoration of Jerusalem to Israel are both clear signs that indicate the imminence of Jesus’ return.
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:28)
The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
This outpouring began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16) but it was not entirely fulfilled then. During the 20th century the world saw a spectacular outpouring of the Spirit of God in preparation for Jesus’ return. This outpouring is necessary for several reasons:
- The Church needs the courage and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to stand against the heightened activity of Satan and his forces in the Last Days (e.g., 1 Tim. 4:1).
- The Church needs the strength and comfort of the Holy Spirit to help her endure the persecution and suffering of the Last Days (e.g., Mark 13:11-13).
- The Church needs the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel around the world in the Last Days (e.g., Mark 13:10).
The growth of the Church to maturity:
… Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Jesus will return for a mature and holy Bride.
… until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)
Certainly the Church has a long way to go. However, Paul was not referring to an unattainable sinless perfection in Ephesians 4 and 5, but to Christian maturity. Additionally, when the big picture of 2000 years of church history is considered, it is evident that the Body of Christ is on the right track …
To read the rest of this chapter (and discover 14 more signs of the Last Days), get your copy of Things to Come here. To purchase more of our books, visit https://www.strategicpress.org/.
 It is significant that Peter said, “this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16). He did not say it fully fulfilled Joel’s prophecy.