In Matthew 24:3, Christs disciples asked, What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (literally the end of the age) The world never ends (Isaiah 45-17; Ephesians 3:21). The Saviour then proceeded to describe those world events which would both indicate His return and culminate in the Day of the Lord. He added in Luke 21:28, And when these things begin to come to pass (or begin to occur simultaneously), then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. These signs of Christs Second Coming are in evidence worldwide, and increasing both in frequency and intensity.
The actual Second Coming of Christ to the earth is the second phase, the Revelation, or the revealing of Christ. Since He came to earth at His First Advent, He must come to earth at His Second Advent. The Rapture is not Christs appearance upon earth, but a meeting in the heavenlies (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and intermediary evacuation of believers from earth before the storm (Tribulation). Seven years later, Christ does come to earth, touching down on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). The prophetical signs point to Christs return to earth with His saints at the close of the Tribulation Hour-not to the Rapture. Even if there were not a sign yet in existence, believers could be called home imminently because each of the signs could occur during the seven-year period following the believers departure.
God has two elect groups upon earth Israel (Romans 11:28) and the Church (I Peter 1:2). The signs of Matthew 24 are presented to elect Israel. We know this to be true because of the regard for the Sabbath Day (vs. 20), synagogues (Luke 21:12), and because the setting is Jerusalem (vs. 20). These signs are for Israel who is looking for the return of her King in Revelation 19. They are not signposts for the Rapture. The gospel mentioned in Matthew 24:24 is the gospel of the kingdom that the King is about to return (Revelation 19:16).
Although the signs are completely fulfilled after the Christians are gone, we already see the beginnings of every one of these prophecies (Luke 21:28).
Matthew 24 is spoken to Israel rather than the Church. The signs are not pre-Rapture signals but post-Rapture signposts for Israel. They point to the coming of Christ to this earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:11-16).
Old Testament Signs of the endtimes:
Horseless carriages or automobiles (Nahum 2:3,4)
Airplanes (Isaiah 31:5)
Desert blossoming as a rose (Isaiah 35:1)
Alignment of a ten nation western confederacy (Daniel 2,7)
Knowledge explosion (Daniel 12:4)
Great increases in travel (Daniel 12:4)
New Testament Signs of the Endtimes:
False Christs and False Prophets (Matthew 24:5,24;II Peter 2:1)
Wars and rumors of wars (Mark 13:7; Matthew 24:6)
Famines, earthquakes in divers places, pestilences (Luke 21:11)
Iniquity abounding (Matthew 24:12)
Gospel of the kingdom preached to all the world (Matthew 24:14)
Signs in the sun, moon, and stars, sea and waves roaring (Luke 17:26-30; 21:25-27).
Introduction of evil spirits which control cults and false religions (I Timothy 4:1,2)
The 19 signs of II Timothy 3:1-5, signs within man:
Lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (drunkenness, gluttony, deviate sex, drugs), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
Hoarding of gold and silver, and its final demise (James 5:1-3)
Scoffers mocking the Second Coming of Christ (II Peter 3:3,4)
Lethargy and indifference among Gods people (Revelation 3:14-16)
Invention of the atom bomb (II Peter 3:10)
Jerusalem under Jewish control (Luke 21:24)
As it was in the days of Lot (Luke 17:28,30; Ezekiel 20:47; Zephaniah 1:18; Malachi 4:1; Revelation 8:7, 9:18)
As it was in the days of Noah (Gluttony, drunkeness, illicit sex, corruption, violence) Matthew 24:37; Genesis 6:11)
Distress of nations (Luke 21:25)
Hearts failing for fear (Luke 21:26)
Note: Most judgments described in the Book of Revelation, chapters 6-18 are identical to the signs found in Matthew 24 and Luke chapters 17 and 21.