We are continuing our daily meditations on what Jesus taught concerning the signs leading up to the Second Coming of Christ, found in Luke, chapter twenty-one. The first sign Jesus spoke about is a period of great deception, a time that this writer believes that we are in right now. Secondly, Jesus warned us of those who will come claiming that they are the Messiah or Christ. We must not be deceived! Even though there will be those seeking to deceive us into following them, Jesus told us that this is just an early sign along with wars and tumults:
9And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.” 10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Luke 21:9-10).
Deception, false leaders, wars, and revolutions are early warning signs. Jesus warned us that nation would rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom (v. 10). The statistics for those who died in the First World War is 31,508,200. For the Second World War, those who died amounted to 52,199,262. Over eighty-three million people died from just those two world wars in the Twentieth Century; that's without the many other wars fought by various nations against one another. In our lifetime, leaders of nations have more efficient ways of reducing the population explosion of a billion people every nine years (Now at 7.9 billion).
Revelation 6:5-8 says many will die at the opening of the third seal due to famines and plagues. This writer believes that we are not yet at the first seal, let alone the third. Luke 21:11 refers to famines and pestilences that cause fear and fearful events and great signs from heaven. We don't know if the virus that’s run rampant in 2020 is the pestilence mentioned by Luke, but it could be a sign from God to wake us up to the reality that this world is not all there is and that we are to prepare ourselves for the coming of King Jesus. Pestilence comes from the Greek word "loymos” which means plague, a fatal epidemic disease. This writer believes that the virus of 2020-21 is allowed by God to shake us and get our attention.
Matthew adds a few words more about the signs that should wake us out of spiritual slumber. He wrote of Jesus saying that the signs of the times mentioned are the beginning of birth contractions:
7“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:7-8).
What do you think the Lord is referring to by using the analogy of a woman in birth pains? (v. 8). When a pregnant woman begins the birthing process, the pain is not severe, and the birth contractions are several minutes apart. The closer she gets to the child's birth, however, the more frequent the contractions are, with the level of pain much more significant. In using this analogy, Jesus was saying that the closer the world gets to the end of the age, the more frequent and traumatic will be the wars, revolutions, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. Just as a woman's contractions get more painful, so will be the level of pain, anguish, sickness, and death. Matthew also records Jesus saying:
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:22).
It will be cut short by the appearance of our Lord Jesus. He will come for the elect, those who belong to Him. What does all this mean for you and me? It is time to make sure that we have a relationship with Christ so that, when He comes, we will not be ashamed at His coming. We are living in awesome days, and we need not be afraid. We should look forward to the time when Christ returns. Confidence and peace belong to all who are in Christ, and they understand that Jesus alone holds all world events and each of our lives in His hands. Considering this, don't hold tightly to the values or things of this world. God is in control, and we need to remind ourselves of this fact. Keith Thomas
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A more detailed study of these prophecies is found by going to the All Studies box on the Home Page, clicking on the series, The End Times, and then clicking on Study 4, Signs of Christ’s Coming. Also, there are 23 studies in the Book of Revelation. All studies are free to access.