Mat 24:3-14 MKJV And as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world? (4) And Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many will come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and will deceive many. (6) And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must occur; but the end is not yet. (7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places. (8) All these are the beginning of sorrows. (9) Then they will deliver you up to be afflicted and will kill you. And you will be hated of all nations for My name's sake. (10) And then many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. (11) And many false prophets will rise and deceive many. (12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will become cold. (13) But he who endures to the end, the same shall be kept safe. (14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all nations. And then the end shall come.
Floods in Asia, Hurricanes and forest fires in America, Earth Quakes in Mexico and Central America, Volcanoes in Iceland, storms hitting Great Britain, and much more seems to be happening around the world. Is this the end of the world? Is Jesus returning this month or next month? Many are calling these natural disasters the worse in human history. I am not sure if these comments don't boost ratings for News agencies or if it is actually true. I am not a scientist nor do I spend my waking moment tracking the history of natural disasters. One thing is for certain; peoples lives are being altered due to these natural disasters. Over 1,000 people died in the Asian floods and over 100 people , so far, have lost their lives in the Mexico Earthquake. Did I mention that it was 8.1 magnitude earthquake?
Many people are in a panic or a state of confusion over the recent events. Many people have lost everything and are now faced with the rebuilding of their lives. Many Christians will give a drive-by comment and say that these disasters are the signs of the times or the coming return of Jesus. Jesus clearly states what these disasters are. They are the BEGINNING OF SORROWS. Notice the word BEGINNING. That word means the start of. We see natural disasters getting worse and worse throughout the world but it is still just the beginning of sorrows. It is the birth pangs or contractions of what is yet to come.
Jesus makes several profound statements from this passage.
1. Take heed that NO MAN deceives you. The greatest warning we can have during this time is that we do not fall under deception. If it was not easy to fall under deception then Jesus would not have warned us.
2. See that you are not troubled. He tells us that wars and rumors of wars will be known but we are not to be frightened. Right Now North Korea is thinking about exploding a nuclear warhead over the US which would cause a massive EMP shock wave. This could kill millions due to the chain reaction it would cause. Jesus says to not be frightened and to simply trust in Him. If these things happen there is nothing we can do to stop them. This means they could happen and this means many could die but God is still in control. Christians never lose regardless of the scenario. We are champions through Him and this planet is just temporary.
3. Many believers will be delivered up and killed for their faith. Again this will happen and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Do I believe that every believer on the face of the planet will face this type of persecution? Of course not, many Christians around the world have already faced this truth while Christians in more stable countries are left unharmed. However, Christians around the world need to prepare themselves for what very well could happen. They hated Jesus and if we are truly serving Him, the world will hate us.
4. Many will be deceived. We are seeing this already but it will intensify in the days to come.
5. Sin will abound or become more powerful in the world. When people can sell other people for sex trafficking or human trafficking then we know and see that sin is abounding more and more.
6. Love for God and for each other will become cold. When people can cut off a person's head without any remorse, I would say that we are seeing this truth come to past.
7. The Gospel of the KINGDOM will be declared to everyone around the world. Today we have the ability to present the Kingdom Gospel to the world. Truly the birth pangs are getting stronger. Christians should take advantage of every media at our disposal to present the Kingdom message to the world.
8. Then the end will come. Jesus makes it clear that the end will come when He says the end will come.
There is one part of this passage I purposely left out. I wanted it to stand alone in your mind. Jesus said those that ENDURE until the end will be SAVED. The meaning of endure is to stay under, to remain, to persevere, or to tarry behind. Just through this one word defeats the Escapism Theology many churches preach today. To be saved means to be delivered, PROTECTED, to be preserved, to be healed, or to be made whole. Those that make it through the calamity, (alive) and still serve the Great God are guaranteed the salvation of the Lord. Salvation is not a walk down to a church's altar. It is fulfilled through endurance and sacrifice to the Living God.
So what should Christians do during this time of Birth Pangs?
1. Stay Holy ( Only the Holy See the Holy God)
2. Stay Close ( Keep your relationship with Christ in check)
3. Stay in Prayer ( Our prayer life should intensify during this time so that we may not be deceived.)
4. Stay in the Word ( Our Bible study life should intensify during this time so that we may not be deceived.)
5. Stay compassionate ( When the world gets worse Christians show the love of Christ even more.)
6. Stay strong with each other ( I truly believe the Simple Church will become more vital in the days ahead. I am not talking about Church life groups. I am talking about the true gathering of God's saints for everyday life. Many will fall away from the faith due to their religious mindset of how church should be.)
7. Stay in the Gospel of the Kingdom ( Lead others to Christ, preach the gospel, live the Gospel, be the Gospel to a dying world. Prepare those that are willing to hear for the Kingdom of our God. Understand that the Kingdom of God's power resides in you. )
The Beginning of Sorrows is here. How long it will last, no one can tell. They only person that knows when the baby is coming is the Mother and the Baby. We are like anxious fathers waiting patiently. Regardless, Christians don't have to be afraid but excited. Our Savior is moving and operating in the world today. These sorrows are a sign of greater things to come for those who follow whole-hardheartedly for Christ. Fear not!!!! Trust in Him!!! and Brace yourself for the Awesomeness of our God!!!!