(By Mike Bickle) For those reading Luke 21 for the first time, the passage can seem like nothing but gloom and doom. In other biblical accounts of what will happen in the end times, the writers include more positive elements than Luke 21. In fact, many of those passages make it clear that this will be the time of the great harvest, the outpouring of the Spirit in full measure released in all nations as the church walks in unity, purity and power even beyond the book of Acts. Yet here in Luke’s account, Jesus highlights mostly the negative. We will soon see why.

In the first two-thirds of Luke 21, Jesus paints a vivid picture of the day of the Lord as He goes through the various signs of the times (wars, famines, earthquakes and so on). But in verse 25, He makes a strong prophetic declaration intended to alert us. Amid describing the tumultuous cosmic signs and tsunamis that will come in this season, He also declares, “On the earth [there will be] distress of nations.” This will be a time of distress that is unique in its intensity—the measure of unrest will be unprecedented and unparalleled. It will include financial crises, terrorism, racial clashes, violent weather, persecution and many other things. But what makes this time unique is that the distress will continually increase until the Lord returns. READ MORE