Luke 21 opens with Jesus and his disciples in the temple when Jesus remarks that the temple would one day be destroyed and not one stone would be left upon another. In amazement the disciples ask, “When will this happen?” Jesus answers their question in the context of revealing to them the series of events which would occur prior to his return in Glory after his death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.
Jesus first states that there will be false prophets, wars, and insurrections. This was clearly fulfilled by the Jewish revolt and the subsequent destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 A.D. Jesus then adds a note of caution when he points out that the end would not follow immediately. Rather there would be many wars, famines, plagues, and great signs from heaven. And even before those events occurred there would be persecution.
In Luke 21:20-24, Jesus speaks again of the destruction of Jerusalem and points out that the Jews would loose control of Jerusalem until the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled. With the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948 and the taking of Jerusalem in the war of 1968, Jerusalem is now once again under Jewish control, so that prophesy has also been fulfilled.
In the final prophetic sequence, Luke 21:25-28, Jesus states that immediately before his return there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And that the nations would be distressed and bewildered by the roaring of the sea and waves. If Jesus' reference to the distress caused by the sea is the result of rising sea levels due to global warming, then it will be clear that if sea level continues to rise and this becomes an unrelenting source of world wide destruction that we are near the end of the present age. Finally, exactly what the signs in the heavens are, no one knows but we can be certain that they will be obvious and terrifying to anyone who does not have an unwavering trust in Jesus as his Lord and Savior.