You may remember Y2K. As the year 2000 approached, there was considerable speculation among Christians about whether Christ would return when the calendar flipped. Of course, nothing happened. The world didn’t end, and Jesus didn’t return.

Since then, there has been speculation that terrible natural disasters would soon decimate our planet. Seers and prophets from the ancient to the modern, such as Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon, have all been cited as authorities. So far, the world hasn’t ended, and Christ hasn’t come.

Where does all of this leave us? Jesus promised, “I will come again” (John 14:3). Is He coming soon, or isn’t He? Has the Bible’s prediction of a “time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations” (Daniel 12:1) failed?

The first thing we must understand is that nowhere in the Bible is any specific year ever identified as the time for either the tribulation or Christ’s second coming. On the contrary, when the disciples asked Jesus about a date for His return to earth, He said that the Father alone knows the day and hour of His coming (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:6, 7).

However, Jesus did tell us that we could know when His coming is near. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree,” He said. “As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it [His coming] is near, right at the door” (Matthew 24:32, 33; emphasis added).

I’d like to share with you three signs that tell me that Jesus’ second coming truly is near. These signs are not specific one-off events. Rather, they are trends that have been forming in our world for a number of years. Jesus compares them t “birth pains” (verse 8), which build in frequency and intensity as the day gets closer.

preaching the gospel

The most specific sign that Jesus ever gave of the nearness of His coming is the preaching of the gospel to all the world: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (verse 14).

The problem with this sign is that we will never know when it has been completely fulfilled. Only God can be sure when every individual on earth has heard the good news that Jesus saves. Is this sign meaningless, then? I don’t think so for two reasons.

First, Jesus did not say that every human being must accept Him before He can return. He said that every human being must have heard the preaching of the good news.

Second, while we will not know when every human being has heard the gospel, evidence all around us indicates that time is near. Contrast, for example, how little time it takes us to produce a copy of the Bible with the time it took the ancients, writing by hand, a letter at a time, to produce that same Bible. An ancient scribe might have struggled for a year on just one copy, whereas today, a handful of people can produce thousands of copies in a single day.

Technological advances have made the Bible instantly available to nearly everyone. Satellites and the internet have made global communication instantaneous. Notice also that much of the technology supporting this global communication network has been developed in recent decades. Today, there is a real possibility of completing Christ’s gospel commission overnight. That was not true even in our grandparents’ day.

the rise of spiritualism

Jesus predicted that before His return, false christs and false prophets would arise, working miracles and deceiving many people (Matthew 24:23, 24). Writing a number of years later, both the apostle Paul and the apostle John associated these miracle-working entities with satanic forces operating at the very end of time (2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10; Revelation 16:12–14). In other words, just before Jesus returns, spiritualism and the occult will hold a powerful sway over human society.

Spiritualism and the occult used to be limited to Ouija boards, tarot cards, and crystal balls in dark back rooms. No more. Today, the occult has gone mainstream. Thousands of books and magazine articles have been published about angels in the past few years, many of which present an un-Christian philosophy. Television programming and movies are saturated with themes of the paranormal. The internet is rife with information on how to become a witch. Christians who believe that they passed momentarily into the next life through so-called near-death experiences are finding an interesting convergence with New Agers who claim to have had similar experiences through what they call astral projection.

This is just a small sampling of the events and trends of the past few decades that are leading the world toward fulfillment of the Bible’s prediction that demonic spiritualism will be rampant in the world shortly before Jesus returns.


Jesus pointed out that conditions in the world just before His coming would resemble those before the Flood of Noah’s day (Matthew 24:37–39). One of the major reasons the Bible gives for God’s destruction of the world at the time of the Flood was the prevalence of violence in the society of that time (Genesis 6:11–13).

Need I tell you that we live in a very violent world? In our schools and in the workplace, mass shootings regularly make headlines. And portrayals of violence are big business, so our entertainment industry bombards us with content that can only spur the demise of humanity. Modern law enforcement can barely keep up with the mayhem that plagues our cities. Bloodshed may make for good ratings, but it is shredding the fabric of society.

And this is just the garden variety violence we live with from day to day. We also face the stark possibility of terrorism with nuclear weapons, poison gas, and biological agents. Again, these violent trends in our society have erupted in just the past 20 to 30 years.

Is Jesus really coming soon? Given the trends in today’s world—and I could mention many more—I believe the answer to that question is a definite yes. I’m not troubled by the fact that Jesus hasn’t returned yet. I can’t give you a date when He will. What I can say, however, is that the signs all around us indicate that His coming is near.

Yes, that Jesus whom I’ve heard about since I was a baby in my mother’s arms, whom I’ve been praying to and trusting in for years—soon, I’ll get to see Him face-to-face. I can’t think of any better news than that!

This article is compiled from messages on the second coming of Christ written by Marvin L. Moore during his tenure as editor of Signs of the Times®.

"I Will Come Again"

by Marvin Moore
From the June 2024 Signs