The beginning of sorrows

The beginning of sorrows

The beginning of sorrows

Matthew 28:5-8, Jesus speaking,
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and
shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of
wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come
to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against
nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines,
and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are
the beginning of sorrows.”

Have you ever wondered when this
period of time so vividly described by Jesus, “The
Beginning of Sorrows” will start? It is a critical time in
that it occurs just prior to His return? How will we know when it
has started, or is it possible that we are already living in the
time He was speaking about?

I personally support the latter.
To come to that conclusion all I had to do was look at events on
the world scene. Recently while attending an ANZAC parade (New
Zealand’s war remembrance day) it was said that never
before in the history of the world has there ever been so much
conflict occurring at one time, in many different places around
the world today.

Advances in technology over the
last couple of centuries have had a lot to do with this. Prior to
this period, it would take many months to move armies and navies
like chess pieces across and around continents, powers lining up
to battle. It was expensive, time consuming, physically and
mentally hard on your troops. These days’ navies and air
forces can relocate to the other side of the world ready to fight
in a matter of days, suffering no more than maybe a little jet
lag. Within minutes death and destruction can cross continents
and be dropped from the stratosphere onto your enemies. For the
poorer nations all you need are hardy vehicles and automatic
weapons to transport troops hundreds of miles in a day or two
over distances which even at a hard slog (marching) would have
taken weeks.

Increased trade and travel
throughout the world has also created conflict as different races
and religions come into contact and conflict with one another.
Let us not leave out the fact that any one particular conflict
may have started through the direct manipulation of One World
Government organisations through using politics, the promise of
power, finances or trade. Could the USA and Iraq be such a case
since it appears President Bush ordered his country into war with
little or no evidence to support his reasons for starting it?

War and conflict today is all too
easy and far too common. We almost expect and accept it. Look at
Bosnia, Chechnya, Somalia, The Congo and Liberia. The Solomon
Islands, the Philippines, Pakistan and India, North and South
Korea. I could go on, the list is growing.

Let’s look at famine. It is
so easy to watch the numerous charitable organisations on
television, vying for our financial support of children, victims
of famine and disease caused either by war or natural disasters.
I have viewed so many that it is much easier now to ignore their
plight and not listen to the details being supplied. In thinking
famine, we turn our minds to Africa, in particular Ethiopia,
Somalia and other African nations. Let’s not forget about
the millions who have and are starving to death in North
Korea.

Just recently a pestilence of
locusts in America hit international headlines devouring all in
its path and who can forget the Australian plague of mice, where
from what I saw (on TV) it would have been impossible to have put
your foot down without squashing at least 10. From time to time
in other countries and continents we hear of bees, moths and
caterpillars creating havoc with people and crops.

I hardly need to talk of the
earthquakes - Japan, America, New Zealand and so many other
countries have literally been shaken. However one I feel worth
mentioning is that I recall Australia a few years back
experiencing its first ever recorded earthquake, despite the fact
that not one fault line runs through that country. I take that to
be a significant sign of the times. (If I’m wrong with the
details of this quake I would be more than happy for one of our
Australia subscribers to correct me.)

And worth a mention are other
natural disasters that are occurring with increasing regularity
and ferocity throughout the world. Floods, avalanches, hurricanes
and tornadoes sweep Europe, the America’s and the Pacific,
taking many lives.

In speaking to his disciples Jesus
said you will “hear” of these things. Meaning you and
I do not necessarily need to experience them all firsthand. He
further said these things would be the sign of the times before
His return.

It is very easy with technology
beaming these scenes into our homes from all around the world at
all times to become indifferent - and thereby not recognise the
signs of the times in which we live.

I’m of the belief that we
live in the time Jesus called the beginning of sorrows. Just how
long it has been running or how long it will continue to is
indicated in Scripture. Let’s encourage one another with
these words “Jesus is coming” as we go about our
business. Prophecy is signalling Jesus’ return.