Birth Pains In The Last Days
Our birth pains in the last days is a summary that will explain the events happening today. We will take a dive into the Old Testament and learn about the first coming of Christ. Then we will look at Matthew 24 and learn about the second coming of Christ and the signs of the last days. Then when you read our daily biblical news you will understand the meaning behind it.
Jesus gave a sermon in chapters 24-25 of Matthew answering questions His disciples had ask Him. The disciples wanted to know when the temple would be destroyed, what is the sign of His return, and the end of this age. We know when this age ends the Tribulation begins. But for the disciples they took what Jesus said and looked through the lens of the Old Testament scriptures. They had some gaps missing in their thinking.
Remember this will be a small and brief study. I read lots of commentaries, listened to many sermons, and read these chapters everyday for months and I still have questions. However, the sermons that helped me the most were those by John MacArthur because He gave lots of history.
Table Of Contents
Disciples Knew Their King
What did the disciples know about the coming of their King?
The Old Testament told of the coming of the Messiah Who would rule forever. The following is a kind of check list that the Jews would be looking at to determine if Jesus was their Messiah.
Zechariah 14:1-2 KJV Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Determining If Jesus Was The Messiah
1. Israel and Jerusalem will suffer terrible trouble or tribulation.
The Israelite’s had been under the rule of the Persians, Greeks, and Maccabians. And now they are under the rule of the Romans (The History Of Israel). In the eyes of the disciples they had been and still were under terrible tribulation. The Messiah would come to set them free.
2. Before the Messiah comes on the scene there will be a forerunner to announce Him (Isaiah 40:13, Malachi 3:1).
John Was The Forerunner For Their Messiah
Matthew 3:1-3 KJV In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
John the Baptist comes out of the wilderness announcing “repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
3. Enemies of Israel and Jerusalem will attack them. Their Messiah will destroy their enemy and renovate Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 2:44, Isaiah 40:9-11, Isaiah 35:1-4, 8-10).
4. All Jews will be gathered back to Jerusalem. Everyone will come to Jerusalem and worship the King (Daniel 7:13-14).
As the disciples began to check things off their list, their hopes increased that Jesus was the Messiah to make all this come true.
Did They Determine That Jesus Was The One
Let’s review the list. The people of Israel were still suffering great trouble. John the Baptist came proclaiming “prepare the way of the LORD.” Jesus said the temple would be left totally empty. He no longer called the temple His Father’s house. Instead Jesus called the temple “your house” Matthew 23:38).
The destruction of the temple for the disciples signaled the building of the new temple that would last forever (Ezekiel 43:4-7). Now Jesus will fight against the Romans and defeat them. There will be a new Jerusalem and temple. And all of Israel will return to her land ((Amos 9:14–15; Isaiah 43:5–6; ). In the mind of the disciples their highest hope was about to come true. So what they had determined was correct, however they knew nothing about a first and second coming of Christ.
This Did Not Match What They Thought About Their Messiah
Zechariah 9:9-10 KJV Rejoice greatly, people of Jerusalem! Shout for joy, people of Jerusalem! Your king is coming to you. He does what is right, and he saves. He is gentle and riding on a donkey, on the colt of a donkey. 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the horses from Jerusalem. The bows used in war will be broken. The king will talk to the nations about peace. His kingdom will go from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
The disciples failed to see the first coming of the Messiah would be one of humility, suffering, and servitude (Isaiah 53). When we look at history, we see the same thing happening in our time.There are so many who do not read God’s word literally. Instead they read God’s word with an opinion already formed in their mind. Then when God’s word goes against their thinking they must change their thinking or change what God means.
God wants all to know what He means. So, contrary to belief, it does not take a rocket scientist to understand what God says. It takes many hours of prayer, reading, and study. A heart seeking to know God and His Son ( John 17:3). We read God’s word to know the real Him, not a god in our imagination. But most of all, no one understands God’s true meaning without the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
Keep in mind the disciples did not incorporate all the signs of Christ’s first coming. We don’t want to make the same mistake. Once the Jews had their minds made up what God meant, they misunderstood the verses that described the suffering servant Messiah. Looking at Matthew 24 is about Christ’s 2nd coming. We do not want to do the same thing. This means there are some parts of the events that take place before His 2nd coming only those who are here during the Tribulation will understand. So, as we look at Matthew 24 we will let God speak.
Matthew 24 Second Coming Of Christ
Matthew 24:4-8 have the following signs:
Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Wars and Rumors of Wars
Matthew 24:6 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.
Someone Against Someone, Famines, Earthquakes, and Pestilences
Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
In Matthew 24:9-14 there is a list of more signs.
Witnessing to All Nations
reference (Mark 13:10-13; Luke 21:10-19)
Matthew 24:9-14 KJV 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
These signs have been happening since Jesus said them. They are the beginning of the birth pains. This means, though these things have always happened, they will increase in frequency and intensity. The signs happen now on one scale but the scale becomes something no has experienced before during the Tribulation (Mark 13:18-19).
The Abomination of Desolation
Matthew 24:15 KJV When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11).
The “abomination of desolation” will be a definite sign you are in the time of the Great Tribulation. From this verse forward Jesus describes the wrath God will unleash on the earth. This can be found in great detail in the book of Revelation chapters 6-19.
What Does All This Have To Do With News?
We line up the news, real news, with scripture concerning Christ’s second coming, with the hope of stirring up questions. People want to know why suffering and pain dominates most of our lives. It seems all this craziness appeared out of nowhere. But when you take the news and line it up with God’s word you see what is happening differently. What do you see? Are things are lining up according to God’s plan?
The only true answer comes from God’s word. The news can not bring true and lasting hope. At best it brings bad news and many false solutions that will never work. Only Jesus can bring that ever lasting hope. We pray you come to know Jesus through a personal relationship.