In Matthew 24 Jesus gave some signs that would occur prior to His second coming. In verse 8, He called the signs that were given in the preceding verses, the beginning signs. He said, "All these are the beginning of sorrows.” When we see these beginning signs start to appear, we know that the rapture is near at hand. We know that the sorrows of the tribulation are being foreshadowed.
Jesus said in Luke 21:28, "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh," the rapture is about to take place.
When we look forward into the tribulation period in Revelation 6:6, we see a scenario of a measure of wheat (enough food to feed one person for one day) being worth a penny (a day’s wage). That leaves nothing for other members of the family or for other needs, it clearly implies famine. In Revelation 6:8, the result of this famine is the death of one quarter of the earth's population.
We have been warned that the world is on the edge of an incredible food shortage. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have wreaked havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years.
Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole system falls apart.
We are told that topsoil is being depleted at an amazing rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace.
There are many indications that we are now entering a period where in much of the world will be there will not be enough food to go around. As competition for food supplies increases, food prices are going to skyrocket. For hundreds of millions the cost of food will far exceed their income.
The following news report gives twenty reasons why the world is on the verge of an incredible famine.
1. According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices.
2. The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate. In fact, according to Lester Brown, "one third of the world's cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes".
3. Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.
4. Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples. For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.
5. Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to "over-pumping". According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain grown with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced. So what happens once all of that water is gone?
6. In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn "America's Breadbasket" back into the "Dust Bowl".
7. Diseases such as UG99 wheat rust are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply.
8. The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable. In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to be uninhabitable. Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.
9. The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list. The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil. The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil. When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive. If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.
10. At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage.
11. Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe. For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.
12. According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.
13. According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.
14. The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.
15. The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.
16. The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.
17. The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.
18. There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge of economic disaster before this year even began.
19. 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War 2. Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying. None of this is good news for global food production.
20. There have been persistent rumours of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States.
If you are a believer, remember, prophecy is given for a number of reasons:
- To motivate us to live holy lives pleasing to the Lord.
- To comfort us with the hope of His return.
- To teach us about God's holiness and justice.
- To motivate us to witness to others.
The wilfully blind will not discern the beginning signs now appearing all around us, but Paul said, "But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" (1Thess. 5:4).