I’m continuing a series of posts about what Christ taught concerning the Last Days. Specifically, I’m dealing with His teachings in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13. I believe that we are close to His return.
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
The Lord warns us that peace will not occur in this age. Wars and rumors of wars will be going on around the world. In Luke 21:9, He is recorded as adding revolutions, or literally unrest to the list.
As Christians, we are not to be alarmed. That word alarmed in the above verse means to cry out in fright. We should not be afraid or surprised at these events.
The Lord doesn’t give us the illusion of a world getting better and better. Instead, He shows us the reality of what living on this earth will be like.
“There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pangs.”
“There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”
The Lord goes on to list more signs that He calls birth pangs. He mentions famines. This is a lack of food usually caused by greed. In many places around the world, people starve while ships full of food are docked in the harbor and cannot be unloaded because the repressive government won’t allow it.
The number of earthquakes has been rising steadily over the last hundred years. Luke adds his testimony that Jesus also spoke of a rise in pestilences. New and deadlier diseases are found almost weekly.
From those diseases that are sexually transmitted to the Ebola virus to those created for chemical and biological warfare, there are now many diseases that were unheard of a hundred years ago.
The Lord also mentions fearful events – literally things that cause terror – and great signs from heaven. The word heaven in this verse means in the sky or in space. Whether it’s the fear of collision with an asteroid, a nuclear missile platform, or ultraviolet radiation, at this point in history people are more worried about the sky than ever before.
Jesus calls all these things the beginnings of birth pangs. I believe that Jesus is referring to the time at the end of this age where He will begin to make a distinction between the church and the world.
The Lord doesn’t warn us of these events so that we’ll fear the future. As we see these things happening, our faith in the Lord and in His Word should grow. It should give us a greater urgency for winning souls into His kingdom. We must let this knowledge transform us into the end-time church Christ will be looking for when He returns.
Question: How should believers keep from fearing the future?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014