Sunday, October 11, 2015

Birth Pangs......

Birth Pangs

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. 

                                                                Matt. 24:7-8

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 

                                                                    Mark 13:8

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. 

                                                                                                                        Luke 21:10-11

So birth pangs fall into four categories according to the Bible; Nation Will Rise Against Nation, And Kingdom Against Kingdom, Earthquakes In Various Places, Famines, and Pestilence.

The Greek word translated "birth pains" or "birth pangs" is also translated "travail" and "sorrows." This is the reason why some scholars call the first half of Daniel's 70th week "the beginning of sorrows." They say the signs Jesus was talking about in the above verses were meant to indicate that the 70th week has begun. The name for the second half is the Great Tribulation.  It begins with the Abomination of Desolation (Matt. 24:15-21).

Birth pangs begin in a mild and infrequent way and then escalate in both intensity and frequency over time. 

The events we're currently experiencing fit the Lord's description of birth pangs precisely and are getting pretty frequent and pretty intense.

1) Nation Will Rise Against Nation, And Kingdom Against Kingdom.

We see the problems Israel is having with its neighbors, the Syrian situation, the growing but as yet ineffective coalition against the Islamic State, the Ukraine / Russia conflict, and the fighting in several African countries as signs that nations are rising against nations. But did you know that according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, the world as a whole has been getting incrementally less peaceful every year since 2007?

The IEP monitors 162 countries around the world and currently only 11 of them are totally free from internal or external armed conflict. In other words all but 11 of these 162 countries are either attacking someone or they're being attacked by someone. Granted, most of these involve separatist or revolutionary movements, or terrorists, but if this seems to you like the whole world must be at war, you're not far off.

Earthquakes In Various Places

Earthquakes have been steadily increasing in recent years.  A new study finds there were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979. The average rate of big earthquakes – those larger than magnitude 7 – has been 10 per year since 1979, the study reports. That rate rose to 12.5 per year starting in 1992, and then jumped to 16.7 per year starting in 2010 – a 65 percent increase compared to the rate since 1979. This increase accelerated in the first three months of 2014 to more than double the average since 1979, the researchers report.

"We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded," said the lead study author, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Famines

The latest figures from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization indicate that about one out of every eight people in the world is chronically undernourished. It also adds that the world produces enough food overall to meet everyone's needs but many people either live in places where it's hard to grow food or they don't earn enough to buy as much as they need. In some parts of the world people can no longer assume when they get up in the morning that they will get even one decent meal before night time.

With food prices rising much faster than incomes, more and more people are finding themselves unable to obtain adequate amounts of decent food even in so-called developed countries. This will continue to get worse until the Bible says it will take everything an average person earns in a day just to get enough food for that day.

Pestilence

The dictionary defines pestilence as a deadly or virulent epidemic disease. For the past few years we've had to deal with diseases that fit this definition on a regular basis. So far all of them have been brought under control one way or another. Recently it was the Ebola virus that had everyone's attention. 

But Jesus said pestilence in various places will be one of the birth pangs. One thing is certain. People in the places where Ebola is on the loose are experiencing pestilence to a degree previously unknown, and if it does become more widespread it could be a catastrophic fulfillment of the Lord's prophecy.

These are the birth pangs the Lord warned us about and as they become more frequent and more intense we are to understand that the end is ever closer. 

In summary, of the four categories Jesus mentioned, conflict between nations and earthquakes in various places seem to be advancing steadily with famine and pestilence still in more moderate stages. This tells us things will at least continue to get worse in those categories.

Then, just at the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week there will be a brief pause where to the unsuspecting world it will look as if peace has finally come. The covenant that will be enforced by the anti-Christ (Daniel 9:27) will convince the world that war in the Middle East is a thing of the past. Paul said this will be the most dangerous sign because it will cause unbelievers to be caught totally unawares.

While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape (1 Thes. 5:3).

The labor pains will begin again and this time there will be no let up until the birth of the Messianic Age. Three cycles of judgments known as the time of God's Wrath will come, and by the time they're over the world as we know it will lie in shambles with at least half of its inhabitants dead. Jesus called the last of these three cycles the worst time of judgment in human history, never seen before and never to be seen again (Matt. 24:21).

God told Jeremiah His goal in these judgments is to completely destroy all the nations among which His people have been scattered, and to discipline Israel in preparation for the coming kingdom (Jeremiah 30:11).

Paul said Jesus will rescue the Church from both the time and place of these judgments (1 Thes. 1:10) because we are not appointed to suffer wrath (1 Thes 5:9). 

Soon, He will decide it's time. In a flash He will snatch His Church away, prove to Israel that He's their Champion, and bring a time of judgment upon the rebellious world from which they cannot escape. At that time the world will understand that what it's experiencing now, as bad as it is in some places, is only the beginning.

Here's how that will happen....

On a day no one could have predicted in advance we'll hear the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God (1 Thes. 4:16-17). Before either of these sounds can register in our minds, we'll be standing before the Lord, ready for our journey to His Father's house where He's been preparing a place for us (John 14:2-3). 

Our time on earth will have ended, and our time in eternity will have begun. We'll finally be home.

IT IS HAPPENING JUST AS THE BIBLE SAYS....WHY ISN'T THE CHURCH PAYING ATTENTION?

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