Monday, February 21, 2011

Birth pangs about to Birth?

3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? 
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.  5 "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ ,' and will mislead many.  6 "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Matt 24:3-8 (NASB95)
In one of the most famous, most oft-quoted passages by Jesus to describe the conditions of the last days to his disciples.  Some key signs of the last days is an exponential increase of false teachers, turning people away from sound doctrine of scripture (a.k.a. 19th-21st centuries), seeming wars non-stop, and it's almost necessary consequence, famine.  Jesus also said that there would be an increase in natural weather-related disasters.
For some time now, we have heard of wars, and rumors of wars, seemingly escalating over the past decade almost exponentially.  Isaiah 19 describes Yahweh turning Egytians against Egyptians.  We've seen that happening in the last two weeks.  The unrest and revolt has spread throughout the Middle East.  The same thing is happening in Libya (Biblical "Put").  Gaddafi has purportedly hired mercanaries to come in and fire live ammo on his own citizens, as his military sides with the people.1
This past year Al Gore said that the world is growing warmer (due to the gases that the trees use for photosynthesis, CO2).  God often shows a divine sense of irony.  This winter has been one of the coldest winters on record.  Some might argue that it's not really been the coldest, yes, there's been colder winters, but the amounts of snow, and some places that haven't/don't see much snow.  Gore is now proclaiming, Fox news reports, that "Snowmeggedon" is caused by Global Warming.2  I'd have to say that the Weather-Maker is demonstrating to Al Gore who is really in control.  Which makes more rational sense?
But it's not just the snow and ice, which most in the U.S. are getting a treatment to (and especially youse guys in the northern parts).  but there are also mudslides happening in South America (Brazil to be exact), and Guatemala,3 devastating flooding in Pakistan4 and Australia5, where flooding has covered more land than France and Geremany together.  And not only that, but volcanoes not just in the "Rim of Fire," but around the world, seem to be erupting.  They have been erupting in Iceland (which disrupted air travel for at least a week in Europe), Japan, Russia and Hawaii, and indeed, more in the rim of fire.6
It's been argued, "But all these things have been happening for thousands of years."  Indeed, they have.  But not in an increasing amount, and at the same time.  Let's look at Christ's words.  Ladies, help us out here!  What occurs when the time to birth draws near?  The labor pains get more frequent and closer together, and in general, more intense.  The reason I chose this passage, is that we can see all around us, these signs are happening almost (and sometimes) simultaneously! 
Many times people argue, "But no one knows the day or the hour!"  You are right!  BUT, Jesus did say that we will know the season.  He tells us later in Matthew 24:33 "so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door." 
Then He says something very interesting, 34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.  So the question becomes, which generation is He talking about?  Well, I don't have time to go into the detail about this, but He's speaking of the generation that sees Israel reborn to the promised land.  When was that?  It happened in 1948, that the land of Israel was officially reinstituted as a nation.  This is why there was a big fervor on the return of Christ in 1988, it was 40 years from the rebirth of Israel, which was considered a generation in the Old Testament wilderness wanderings coming into the promised land. 

Turns out that this was not the time that was planned in our Makers datebook.  I don't know about you, but 2008 was 60 years.  All scripture to this point has been fulfilled to the "T".  Eat your heart out Nostrodamus!  Psalm 90, the oldest Psalm, the only one attributed to Moses, speaks of a generation as being "70 years, or 80, if one has the strength" (Ps. 90:10).  I don't know about you, but 2008 was 60 years!

Before Jesus returns in power and glory, as the "Lion of Judah," the "man of lawlessness" must reign for 7 years, through a peace treaty he institutes in the Middle East with Israel.  So if we assume that 70 years is the norm for a generation, as Moses states, that would put us at 2018 being the return of Christ.  That would put the entrance of antichrist 7 years earlier, in 2011.  Wait a minute, that's THIS YEAR!!!  At the rate of escalation of unrest, and MUSLIM vows to destroy the West, I could see the sitz-im-leben being ripe for this one-world leader7 making his entrance on the world stage. 

But for this to happen, 1 Thess. 4:16-17 teaches that the Church will be taken out of the world, which 2 Thess. 2:7-8 will then make the way clear for this "man of lawlessness" to deceive the world.  Will 2011 be a good year?  All I know is that the time is close, but more than that, none of us are promised tommorrow!  Are you ready to meet your maker?  If not, repent (turn from) your sins before God and ask Him to forgive you of your sins.  Then start reading your Bible and praying every day.  All these things, are preparing us all to meet our Maker.

7.  Daniel 9:26-27 

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