Are Pestilences A Sign That We Are Living In The Last Days?
Matthew 24:3 - "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows."
One of the things Jesus predicted would occur shortly before His return is pestilences (rampant disease). I am sure there are those of you who are saying, "Pestilence (disease) has always been present in the world, and we are better equipped today than ever to deal with them." True, God has blessed us with a wealth of technology with which to better diagnosis and fight disease, but, "Are we really better off today than say, 20 years ago?". Let's look at just the figures for a single one of these pestilences, the relatively new AIDS virus:
National Institutes of Health
As of the end of 1997, an estimated 30.6 million people worldwide -- 29.5 million adults and 1.1 million children younger than 15 years -- were living with HIV/AIDS.
Worldwide, approximately one in every 100 adults aged 15 to 49 is HIV-infected.
An estimated 5.8 million new HIV infections occurred worldwide during 1997; that is, approximately 16,000 infectionseach day. More than 90 percent of these new infections occurred in developing countries.
By the year 2000, an estimated 40 million people worldwide will be HIV-infected.
Through 1997, cumulative HIV/AIDS-associateddeaths worldwide numbered approximately11.7 million -- 9 million adults and 2.7 million children.
In 1997 alone, HIV/AIDS-associated illnesses caused the deaths of about 2.3million people worldwide, including an estimated 460,000 children younger than 15 years.
Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, approximately 8.2 million children younger than 15 years have been orphaned worldwide because of the premature deaths of HIV-infected parents.
Jesus told us that pestilence will plague the world in this generation, and just as the other signs, will increase in frequency and intensity as we get closer to his return.