Signs of the times

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Portents marking significant historical events. In Scripture the phrase refers principally to signs indicating the coming of the Messiah and the kingdom of God (both in the ministry of Jesus Christ and at the end of time).

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Signs of the times signifying the future deliverance of Judah

2 Ki 19:29–31 The fruitfulness of the earth is to be a sign to Hezekiah that there will be a fruitful remnant of Judah.

Signs of the times in the life of Jesus Christ

The virgin birth of Jesus Christ

Isaiah 7:14 KJV 1900
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, And shall call his name Immanuel.
See also Mt 1:22–23

The miracles of Jesus Christ

Matthew 12:28 KJV 1900
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
See also Jn 2:11; Jn 2:23; Jn 3:2; Jn 4:54; Jn 6:2; Jn 6:14; Jn 9:16; Jn 11:47; Jn 12:17–18; Jn 20:30

Jesus Christ’s resurrection

Matthew 12:38–40 KJV 1900
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
See also Mt 16:4; Jn 2:18–22

The Jews failed to perceive the signs of the times accompanying Jesus Christ’s coming

Matthew 16:1–4 KJV 1900
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
See also Lk 12:54–56; Jn 12:37

Signs of the times at the end of the age

Mt 24:3–14; Lk 21:25–28

It is impossible to predict the date of Jesus Christ’s return from the signs of the times

1 Thessalonians 5:1–2 KJV 1900
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Signs of the times signifying judgment

Is 20:3–4; Mt 24:15–25 The fall of Jerusalem is itself a sign of the judgment of all people at the end of time.

Interpreting the signs of the times

Mark 13:28–29 KJV 1900
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
See also 1 Ch 12:32
We believe in the perseverance of the saints, but many are not saints, and therefore do not persevere. Nominal saints exhibit no final perseverance.
Truth Stranger Than Fiction, Volume 35, Sermon #2081 - Joel 2:25
Charles Spurgeon
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