“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” (Matthew 24:7-8)
Jesus explains to His disciples what will happen in the future. He is talking about various stages of the future; some of these have already been fulfilled by now and others are not. In the year 70 AD, Jerusalem was conquered by the Romans, leading to “great tribulation” and the destruction of the temple. Since then, other wars, famines and earthquakes have followed worldwide. Jesus says these are all signs that His second coming is near, it is “at the very gates” (Matthew 24:33). At the same time, He tells His disciples that such disasters are “but the beginning of the birth pains”. It will get worse before the Son of Man will come on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
The book of Revelation gives a preview of the “woes” that will hit the earth before Jesus returns. After the first woes, “the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols” (Revelation 9:20). Other plagues follow, such as an enormous earthquake killing thousands of people. These woes are warnings to turn back to God. And they are signs that He is coming soon!
Do you long for Jesus’ return?