Matthew 24: 4-8 “…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…”
1 Thessalonians 5:3 tells us that “…While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape…”
Daniel 12:4 reminds us that technology will accelerate as we approach the end of time. We see that at the conclusion of the Old Testament book of Daniel when we are told “…conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”
Birth pangs or labor pains are the pains that a woman feels as she is getting ready to give birth. Typically they start out slowly and far apart, but as the time for delivery comes close, the contractions get closer together and more intense. Spiritually we are seeing an increasing frequency and intensity of events that Jesus referred to in Matthew 24. A careful read of scripture shows us that these birth pangs occur in several broad areas including (but not limited to):
- Signs on the earth – Earthquakes, Famine, Pestilence
- Signs in the heavens – Sun, Moon & Stars
- Signs in the nations – Wars and Rumors of Wars
- Signs in the culture – Violence, Apostasy, Lack of Faith
- Signs in technology – Increase in knowledge, Increased speed
Just take a quick look at some recent news items and you can see how things seem to be speeding up as of late. Let’s take a quick look:
- According to the United States Geological Survey there have been eight (8) earthquakes of a magnitude of 6 or more just in the first two weeks of March 2014. There have been a total of almost 300 earthquakes since the beginning of 2014 with the most powerful one (6.9) so far this year occurring in China on February 12. On March 10 there was a 6.8 magnitude earthquake which struck near Ferndale, California.
Did you know that the number of earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or higher has steadily increased in every decade throughout the last 60 years?
- On February 25, 2014 Time magazine posted an article talking about Detroit, the city hardest hit by the awful winter. The winter of 2014 saw Atlanta, Georgia being brought to a complete standstill. There is actually no shortage of headlines talking about the cold, in fact accuweather.com posted a March 10, 2014 article detailing how New Orleans was having the “coldest Mardi Gras ever”. People have been asking “what is happening with the weather lately”?
Could it be that GOD is trying to get our attention?
- The amount of data that is available in the world has been steadily increasing. In 2010, IDC estimated the “digital universe” at 1.2 Million Petabytes (a petabyte is 1 million gigabytes) or 1.2 Zettabytes. In 2013 this number had already reached 4 Zettabytes and is projected to grow to 35 Zettabytes by 2020! That is a staggering amount of data and has helped to drive new terminology like “big data” and “cloud storage”.
- There is continued “war and rumors of war”. Throughout the last few weeks we have seen this highlighted in the conflicts occurring in the Ukraine. In fact the New York Times ran an article on March 14, 2014 stating: “Rumors Mushroom in Eastern Ukraine, Fueling Expectations of War”.