|Beginning of Sorrows, the end is not yet||Deception, false christs, wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, famines, pestilences, earthquakes in various places||4-8|
|Tribulation begins, first half (3 ½ years)||Killed, hated by all nations, many will be offended, betrayal, hate one another, false prophets, many deceived, lawlessness, cold love, Gospel will be preached, then the end (of the peaceful part of the Tribulation)||9-14|
|Abomination of desolation, middle of tribulation||Anti-Christ will stand in the Temple in the Holy Place and defile the Temple, all need to flee the wrath to come||15-20|
|Tribulation, second half, the Wrath of God||Great tribulation the world has not seen, false christs and false prophets with miracle working power, deception||21-28|
|The Second Coming of Christ||Sun darkened, lightless moon, falling stars, powers of heavens shaken, the sign of the Son of Man shall appear in the heaven, mourning, Jesus’ appears visibly coming down on the clouds with power and great glory||29-30|
|The end of the age, the Great Wrap Up||Angels, the sound of a trumpet, gather the elect (Jews)||31|
Why Do Disasters Happen?
This is beautifully explained by Lamb and Lion Ministries:
What is the cause?
The Bible gives us the correct answer to all this weather upheaval — God is speaking to us. God has always spoken through signs of nature. The Bible provides us with many signs we are to watch for that will signal the soon return of Jesus, including natural disasters. Jesus said these signs would be like "birth pangs" (Matt. 24:8). That means they will increase in frequency and intensity the closer we get to the Lord's return. And that is exactly what appears to be happening today.
God uses signs of nature to underline the importance of major events, like Jesus' soon return.
God also uses them as remedial judgments to call nations to repentance. God isn't blind to the massacre of Christians in China where members of the underground church are routinely rounded up and sent to detention camps, to Pakistan where Christians are falsely charged of blasphemy to Allah and brutally executed daily, to India which burns Christian orphanages to the ground, to North Korea which enslaves their population to poverty at the whims of a madman, and to Russia who arms Iran in its ambitions to destroy Israel.
Because of our rejection of God and His moral standards, we tragically are the ones truly responsible for these natural disasters. As long as the nations continue to reject God and persecute believers in Christ, He will use natural disasters to yell — "I love you! Repent and come back to me!"
What to do?
God's Word makes it clear that when He sends discipline, the fundamental purpose is never to punish. Instead, the purpose is to call us to repentance so that we might be saved. Here's how the prophet Isaiah expressed it: "When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness" (Isa. 26:9b).
Our God is so merciful. He is patiently sending us one natural disaster wake-up call after another because He never pours out His wrath without warning. And the greatest "coming wrath" already visible on the far horizon is the 7-year Tribulation (1 Thes. 1:10), which will include so much natural devastation that the oceans and lakes will run red, the atmosphere will be polluted most likely by radiation, and a third of the grasses and trees will be decimated.
And so, we each individually need to repent for our own rebellion and selfishness. Across the globe we need to repent for removing God from our societies, for our murders from the womb to the elderly, for our obsession with sexual promiscuity, for our preoccupation with self, and for our lack of support for Israel's right to exist. We need to accept Jesus as our Savior, the only way we will be rescued from the "coming wrath."
When Jesus finally returns, the curse will be lifted and the natural calamities will cease.
Nathan E. Jones
Evangelist & Web Minister, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Note: If you would like to join Lamb & Lion Ministries in contributing to the relief efforts in Pakistan, we are raising funds for food and aid which will be distributed by Pastor Nazir Gill of Christian Life Ministries. Please donate to the Pakistan Flood Relief Fund today! Also, continue in prayer that the relief efforts will greatly spread the hope of Jesus Christ to those areas in Pakistan where the Gospel has yet to be shared.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.
And they shall not escape.
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
Signs of the times
In Matthew 24, Jesus relates several signs to look for that indicate the end is near. These can be categorized as signs of nature, society, spiritual, technological, and political. We can also look to Israel, and especially Jerusalem, as God's timepiece ticking closer to the end. Now, keep in mind to whom Jesus was speaking--he was talking to Jews. In this discourse you will find no mention of the rapture because the content is focused on the Jews and what they will go through in this last week of Daniel--the Tribulation.
Jesus didn't speak randomly tossing out a bunch of scary things that will happen. He spoke sequentially listing the events in the order they are to take place. The table below takes the events Jesus speaks about and correlates them to the sequence we understand from Daniel and Revelation.