“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 lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” Matthew 16:2, 3.
The signs of the times that Jesus spoke of were the events that would be seen on the earth prior to His Second Coming. Jesus also described these end-time signs as the “beginning of birth pangs” or as the King James Version describes “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). Birth pangs are contractions that increase and become more intense as the baby prepares for birth. And so the political strife, the natural disasters and the spiritual and moral decline that we are seeing today will only intensify and get worse as we get closer to Christ’s Second Coming.
A Historic Political Divide
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Matthew 24:7. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12.
Our American political system has never been as bad as it is today. The political divide, partisanship and repulsive behavior was on full display during the recent Supreme Court hearings of Judge Kavanaugh. Our nation is locked in an extreme state of polarization. 
A new study was recently published that shows how the relationship between Democrats and Republicans is at the worst it’s ever been. According to the survey, “We have hit the ceiling on polarization.” Prophecy actually warns us that we have not yet hit the ceiling. The political strife being manifested in the US Congress will actually get worse before Jesus comes.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.
Hurricane Michael & Hurricane Florence
“The sea and the waves roaring.” Luke 21:25.
Hurricane Michael showed no mercy as it destroyed everything in its path when making landfall. The Category 4 hurricane devastated the pan-handle of Florida with winds of up to 155 miles per hour. Hurricane Michael was the most powerful storm to hit the United States in the past 50 years. 
Hurricane Michael came only one month after Hurricane Florence, the 6th costliest hurricane ever, brought historic flooding the North and South Carolina and $45 billion in damages.  The poor victims in the Carolinas were in the middle of rebuilding from Hurricane Florence when Hurricane Michael came through bringing even more havoc.
“They rage like the roaring seas; the uproar of the nations–they rumble like the crashing of mighty waters.” Isaiah 17:12.
Indonesia’s disastrous Tsunami that hit last month has already claimed more than 2,000 lives while thousands more are still unaccounted for. More than 80,000 people lost their homes.  Most of the roads in the area were destroyed and the local airport was damages by the earthquake. Getting food and water to the affected areas has been near impossible due to transportation difficulties.
Despite a sophisticated tsunami warning system that was in place, the system failed to protect the people. A tsunami warning was issued, but was later lifted before the destructive wave came. Several hundreds of people were gathering for beach-front festivities when the tsunami came and swept everything away. 
“God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, 707).
The current spiritual crisis taking place within Christianity, and especially within Adventism, is the result of God’s people wanting to be like the world:
“Thus you shall know that I am the Lord. For you have not walked in My statutes, or executed My judgments, but have done after the customs of the nations all around you.” Ezekiel 11:12.
The heresies entering the church today are the means to awaken God’s people from their disobedience and lukewarmness and to bring them to repentance. To This God says:
“Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will reprove you.” Jeremiah 2:19.
A Wake-up Call for the World and Church
We have been warned. The world-wide warnings have been given thousands of years ago by Jesus Himself who predicted in the last days that there would be an increase in political strife, spiritual decline and natural disasters. God is writing on the walls of our generation in huge letters warning every one to get ready for His soon return.
The Lord feels no pleasure to see His creation in turmoil. No, this period of crisis is an attempt to awaken people from their drunken stupor before it is too late. And even then, God in His great mercy, will cut the suffering short (Matthew 24:21-22).
“The conditions prevailing in society, and especially in the great cities of the nations, proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God’s judgment is come and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another—fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent” (Prophets and Kings, p. 278).