Prophetic
Birth
Pains

[pbpains.jpg]

ONE DAY WHILE JESUS WAS TEACHING His disciples they asked Him a question mankind
        has been asking for thousands of years: "what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the
        end of the world?"
(Matthew 24:3).   Many have tried predicting when the world will
end and some have even dared to set dates.   Perhaps the disciples expected Jesus to set a date, but instead He
said: "...of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my
Father only"
(Matthew 24:36).

Nevertheless, Jesus did describe certain "signs of the times" noticeable in the very last days: "And Jesus
answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.   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
[various] places."   Matthew 24:4-7

While few of these "signs" are new or unique to the last days, Jesus Christ said that: "All these are
the beginning of sorrows
"
(Matthew 24:8).   Here the word "sorrow[,]" translated from the
Greek word "odin" (o-deen’), means a pang or throe.   It is the same word used to describe the pangs or
pains that a woman experiences while she travails in childbirth.

Perhaps Jesus implied that the "signs" He described would occur much like birth pains, at
GREATER FREQUENCY AND INTENSITY during the days leading up to His return.

"earthquakes," for example, have been
occurring more frequently: From 526 A.D. to
1896 A.D.   (1370 year period) 21 major
earthquakes are recorded.   From 1906 to 1983
(77-year period) 52 major earthquakes are
recorded.   From June 1983 to May 1984 (11-
month period) 41 major earthquakes are
recorded.   Also, reports of several earthquakes
taking place SIMULTANEOUSLY in
different locations all over the world have
increased.   More earthquakes have occurred
in this century than any other.   Seismologists
currently show a pattern of earthquakes
increasing in INTENSITY AND
FREQUENCY
, since 1975.
"famine" has also been exhibiting a trend toward
greater intensity.   As the world's deserts increase in size
and the available top soil erodes, land on which to grow
food decreases.   Add to this the ever increasing
population and you have a greater possibility of famine
occurring in more places.   Six billion people are
in the world (almost the sum of all people since the
beginning of time combined).
   The earth's population currently doubles every thirty-
six years.   In the next ten years, it is possible that more
than one billion people will starve to death.   Much of
this is due to drought, flooding, or very unusual recent
weather patterns worldwide.

Just as birth pains occur at shorter and shorter intervals, earthquakes have been following a similar pattern.
World-wide they have especially increased in the past ten years with devastating ones occurring in Japan,
India, Mexico City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"All these are the beginning of sorrows."   Matthew 24:8

"pestilence" is another sign that Jesus mentioned to His disciples.   And it too is experiencing "birth
pains"
.   Webster's Dictionary offers the following definition of pestilence: "a contagious or infectious
EPIDEMIC disease that is VIRULENT and DEVASTATING."
  The words "VIRULENT and
DEVASTATING"
bring to mind the AIDS virus that, in recent years, has been the cause of many deaths.

Dr. William Haseltine, AIDS Research, Harvard Medical School, says: "The AIDS EPIDEMIC will produce
an enormous and frightening effect on world health that public health officials may be relatively powerless
to contain. . . . This system is very potent in permitting viruses to reproduce at a ferocious rate.   It's one
reason this is such a DEVASTATING disease.   It's one of the reasons this VIRUS can be transmitted so
easily from person to person."
  Dr. James Curran of the Centers for Disease Control notes: "In many areas,
the number of persons infected with the AIDS virus is at least ONE HUNDRED TIMES GREATER than
reported cases of AIDS."
  Jesus warned: "All these are the beginning of sorrows."


"wars" have been on the increase.   Before 1945,
the world had suffered through thirteen years of war
for each peaceful year.   However, since 1945 more
than three hundred wars have been fought.   In fact,
The War Atlas (a military study) records that since
1945 NOT ONE DAY has passed without some sort
of war or conflict somewhere in the world.
   Currently, the world (through U.N. efforts) is
doing everything possible to snuff out any
semblance of war whenever it begins to flare up.
According to the Bible, the "navel of the earth" is
the Middle East and presently the buzzword there
is "PEACE."   Everything possible is being done to
bring peace between the Jews and the Arab World,
and it is beginning to look like progrees is being
made.
   Yet, in spite of these efforts, the Bible says:
"the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief
in the night.   For when they shall say, Peace
and safety
; then sudden
destruction
cometh upon them..."
I
Thessalonians 5:2-3.

"...and rumours of wars"   The need for
preparedness the constant threat of war produces
has changed the monetary priorities of many
nations.   The words of President Eisenhower,
reported in the New York Times on April 17, 1953,
still challenge us over a quarter century later:

"A life of perpetual fear and tension, a burden of
arms draining the wealth and the labor of all
peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the
American system or the Soviet system or any
happiness for the people of this earth.   Every gun
that is made, every warship launched, every
rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft
from those who hunger and are not fed, those who
are cold and are not clothed.   This world in arms
is not spending money alone.   It is spending the
sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists,
the hopes of its children.   We pay for a single
fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes
that could have housed more than eight thousand
people . . .   This is not a way of life at all, in any
true sense.   Under the cloud of threatening war,

it is humanity, hanging from a cross of iron."   During the surrender ceremonies of World War II, General
Douglas MacArthur summed up the lessons of that horrendous war that claimed more than sixty million lives.

His words still stand as a warning to our generation: "We have had our last chance.   If we do not now devise
some greater and more equitable system, ARMAGEDDON WILL BE AT THE DOOR.   The problem is
basically theological and involves a SPIRITUAL recrudescence and improvement of human character.

It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."   According to the Bible, the Battle of Armageddon will
be the world's final war.   (For more about Armageddon refer to: Revelation 14:14-20; 16:16; 19:17-21).   In
the meantime, the "birth pains" of war are shorter and shorter apart.   "All these are the beginning of
sorrows
."

"...saying, I am Christ"   Many cults have sprung up since Jesus said those words.   Most have been
started in this last century alone.   Currently, most countries have scores of obscure groups carrying on various
practices: shaving their heads; wearing white robes; playing with poisonous snakes; stockpiling weapons;
selling flowers in airports; making nerve gas; etc.   With all these self-proclaimed gods, gurus, swamis, false
prophets and phony TV evangelists, it is possible to join the "Cult of the Month" club, and never exhaust the
possibilities!   Jesus warned: "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive
many
."
  Matthew 24:11

In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of men claiming to be Jesus Christ.   (For example, David
Koresh, former leader of the Branch Davidians.)   Sadly, many have fallen prey to their deceptions.   Yet, Jesus
warned: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it
not
.   For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs
and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.   Behold, I have told
you before.   Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not
forth
: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not"
(Matthew 24:23-26).
Christ said to take heed when we hear of these things, because: "All these are the beginning of
sorrows
."


Friend, we have compared certain "end time" prophecies with world events taking place around us.
Are we in the last days?   Global trends seem to suggest that we are fast approaching God's
final judgment on this sin-ridden world.   And when it comes, Jesus warned: "For then shall be
great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to
this time, no, nor ever shall be."
  Matthew 24:21

The Bible says those who don't REPENT and TRUST Jesus Christ to save them will, "...drink of
the wine of the wrath of God
, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his
indignation"
(Rev. 14:10).   Are you ready?   Have you REPENTED of your sins and anything, other than
Christ, you may be trusting in to save you?
  Jesus said: "except ye repent, ye shall all
likewise perish
"
(Luke 13:3).

However, God is, "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance
"
(2 Peter 3:9).   That's why He told us what trends to look for and to, "be ye also
ready
: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh"
(Matthew 24:44).

Please take the time to read God's plan of salvation located on the back [below].
And as you see what's happening around you, remember:

"All these are the beginning of sorrows."

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23.

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast."
  Eph. 2:8-9   Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
us
,"
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me."
  (John 14:6)   THAT'S
WHY
: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us
."
  (Rom. 5:8-9)

THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind
); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself.   And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you.   "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
[REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart
[TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved."
  Romans 10:9

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