‘Birth Pains’ of the ‘End of the Age’                                                                  Part 1 of 3                                                                                                             Have you ever considered that God’s use of repetition in the Bible is a way of emphasizing an important truth or prophecy.   In the four gospels of the New Testament, we find one prophecy of Jesus that appears in almost identical form in three of the books: Matthew, Mark and Luke. This prophecy is concerned with signs of the ‘End of the Age’. Its repetition is a strong warning and it is now, at this moment in time, that this message needs to be heard by all living souls in our world.                                                                                   To set the stage for the giving of this prophecy we encounter Jesus and a small group of his disciples including Peter, James, John and Andrew as they leave the Temple mount in Jerusalem. One of the men marveled out loud at the beauty of the stone work that was used in constructing the Temple buildings. Jesus replied “… the time will come when not one stone will be left on another, every one of them will be thrown down.”  Luke 21:6. When the group reached the top of the Mount of Olives, they began to question Jesus when these things would happen and what will be the signs of the ‘End of the Age’.   “Watch out that no one deceives you.” Jesus said. “Many will come in my name claiming, I am he, and will deceive many.” Mark 13: 5-6. “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.” Matthew 24:6. This author believes that this statement of wars and rumors of wars was used by Jesus as a bridge from the time he walked the earth until the ‘End of the Age’ as war has been the plight of humanity throughout the last 2,000 years. He followed with “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Matthew 24:7. Be aware though, that wars and rumors of war and nation against nation, events which have been constant in the course of human history will undoubtedly be significant events at the ‘End of the Age’.    “There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.” Mark 13:8. With these last two statements, Jesus has pointed to events which will sound the alarm of the beginning of the ‘End of the Age’.  Earthquakes and famines will be the focus of the remainder of this study.   It is here noted that the principal reference used for this study has been The ‘Archaeological Study Bible, New International Version by Zondervan Press, 2005’. In this Bible, Luke adds to earthquakes and famines the following “and pestilences in various places and great signs from Heaven.” Luke 21:11. In the ‘Scofield Study Bible, New King James Version’ you will find some slight differences. In Mark you will find troubles added to earthquakes and famines. In Matthew, pestilences is added. And Luke in the Scofield Study Bible, chapter 21, verse 11 reads this way “And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences, and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.”    Concerning pestilences, it would appear that these as a body are not identified in all versions as it is recognized the great numbers of people that will be affected by disease and other sicknesses will be a natural result of the massing of peoples and the great numbers of people harmed by earthquakes and famines. Do not; however, assume that we should exclude outbreaks of disease as a sign of the times as they surely will be.     (Author’s note: I prepared this series of 3 email sermonettes starting in October and finishing in late December of 2019. Now, in the first of May of 2020, as I am posting them on poforjc.com and releasing them through the internet, the entire world is suffering through the Covid-19 virus pandemic. Over 3.2 million people worldwide have been infected including over 1 million in the United States. The economies of many of the nations across the planet are in peril. Negative headlines abound throughout all media with dire predictions being commonplace. Just a few days ago the chief of the United Nations food agency stated the world is on the brink of a ‘hunger pandemic’. Great stress and change is coming soon to our world and may already be here.)   One question is, why are only these two natural phenomena, and not others, to be seen as the beginning of ‘birth pains’?  The answer seems to lie in the way we determine the impact of a natural disaster. Throughout history, such events are measured in terms of property and human life lost. In our recent past we remember the devastation and lost when hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi. Horrible as the devastation was, we can expect the coming earthquakes and famines to be on a scale much greater than anything seen before. Floods, wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disaster events, although not without extreme consequences, are generally localized. Jesus tells us that earthquakes and famines will occur in various places. The size, location and spread of these coming events will leave little question to watchful Christians that the ‘End of the Age’ is upon us.   If you are on the initial send-out list, over the next two days, this introduction to ‘End of the Age Birth Pains,’ will be followed by studies concerned with coming earthquakes and famines which now appear to be in the near future if not imminent. Otherwise go to poforjc.com for parts 2 and 3.   May God Bless the reception of this work.   PO   Visit: poforjc.com

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