Though this may seem a trivial question, it is a rather important one for this website. Over the past two thousand years, it has been argued that many End of Days prophecies have already been fulfilled. Are we committing the same mistakes of the past in thinking that it is our generation who will see Christ’s return?
One important scriptural argument is from Mathew 24:32-34, which says,
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
The blooming of the fig tree is interpreted to mean the founding of the modern state of Israel. This has started the clock to Christ’s return as “that generation shall not pass”, before Christ returns to this world to establish His kingdom. This means that the End of Days prophecies will also come to pass, prior to His return.
Unlike the Hunger Games movie, there will not necessarily be a giant sign in the sky when a prophecy is fulfilled ( in that movie a giant sign in the sky would show who died). Many prophecies represent ongoing events, but they can also be the culmination of long term trends.
For example, we do not know exactly when Christ opened the First Seal to release the white rider (Revelation 6:2). However, we can see the ongoing efforts of this rider in the daily “news”. Knowing the agenda of the Beast, we can see his progress towards his political goals. This ongoing work of the first rider will culminate with the Beast rising to power over his European superstate.
The same can be said of the other riders, released by the opening of the Second, Third, and Fourth Seals. Once they have been loosed upon the world, they will continue in their work, and things will continue to worsen over time.
While these prophecies represent an ongoing trend of events, the opening of the Sixth Seal represents a single event. A single calamitous event will occur that will bring about great chaos in the skies. Given this, it is impossible to see signs of its approach.
In a slightly different twist, the fulfillment of some prophecies will be the culmination of ongoing trends which can be monitored. This site has argued that global warming will be the driver of certain prophecies. When global warming accelerates and temperatures spike higher, then the culmination of this process will cause the fulfillment of a number of prophecies. In Revelation 8:7, it says:
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
We can already see the number and intensity of forest fires increasing. This trend will only worsen until the prophecy is fulfilled and 1/3 of the world’s trees burn. In a similar vein, in Revelation 16:8-9, it says:
And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
Global warming will continue to spike higher throughout the End of Days, and it will scorch the world in great heat. We can see that the fulfillment of this prophecy will again, be another culmination of a powerful, ongoing, long term trend.
We see that given the nature of many End of Days prophecies, we are able to see and monitor the ongoing fulfillment of some prophecies, and also the ongoing progress towards others. Indeed, the world is filled with the signs of Revelation.