There has been much ado about the "Great American Eclipse", occuring Aug. 21. The total solar eclipse, which will be visible across the entire contiguous United States, is the first of its kind since 1918.
A number of religious leaders have weighed in on the upcoming eclipse, including evangelist Ray Comfort, Greg Laurie, and Anne Graham-Lotz, who suggested it could be a sign God's "severe judgement" is coming to America.
Lotz's father, renowned evangelist Billy Graham, has previously shared his thoughts on the End Times and what the Bible specifically tells us about living in the last days.
"The Bible warns us against making precise predictions about the exact time of Jesus' return-but His return is certain, and we may well be living in the last days before He comes again.The Bible says, "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here" (Romans 13:12)," the 98-year-old founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said in a recent "My Answers" blog post.
Shortly before returning to Heaven Jesus told His disciples that someday He would come back to establish His Kingdom. But first, certain things had to happen, and we are, in fact seeing many of those things today, Graham said.
"For example, He said that before His return the Gospel must be preached throughout the world (see Mark 13:10). Never before has this been possible-but now it is, through radio and the Internet and other modern means of communication."
Another sign of the End Times is Satan's final attempt to halt God's work through a massive onslaught of evil.
"Our world is no stranger to evil; Satan has always been working to stop God's plans," Graham said. "But God's enemies now have access to modern weapons of mass destruction, and no one can predict what the outcome will be. Jesus said, 'You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. ... Nation will rise against nation' (Matthew 24:6-7)."
It's important for the world to remember that the future is firmly in God's hands, and the world as we know it will only pass away when God intervenes to bring it to an end, Graham said.
He explained: "Does that mean we'll never experience wars, plagues, or natural disasters that look like they might bring life to an end (just as they have in the past)? It's certainly possible; God hasn't promised to deliver us from such tragedies. But they aren't the end, and even in the midst of these we can trust God's promise to be with us. Jesus said, "Such things must happen, but the end is still to come" (Matthew 24:6)."
What then, does the Bible say about the end of the world? First, it will be sudden and unexpected-and most people will be unprepared.
"Just as in the days of Noah's flood, a catastrophe will suddenly overtake the earth-and then it will be too late to turn to God," he said, "The Bible also hints at total, fiery destruction. 'The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything ... in it will be laid bare' (2 Peter 3:10)."
He added, "The good news is, we need not need fear that day if we know Christ. Is your faith and hope in Him, and are you seeking to live for Him every day? 'Since everything will be destroyed ... live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God' (2 Peter 3:11-12)."
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), now headed by Franklin Graham, states: "All Christians do not agree on every detail of what will occur in the final events of this world's history. Some of these events and their order of occurrence have simply not been made clear in the Bible. What is important is that all Christians hold in common that Christ will ultimately return bodily, visibly, and gloriously to reign and rule with His resurrected and transformed saints forever and ever. The details of this great event will be made known in God's own time."