I saw a map today in one of the broad-sheets that showed the extent of the present draught effecting the Horn of Africa, with the worst affected country being Ethiopia. Journalists are reporting that this is the worst draught in this region of the world for more than 60 years – even worse than what was seen in the 1980’s. The situation is so desperate that the Ethiopian people are feeding their cattle on the straw from their thatched roofs just to keep them alive. It hasn’t rained there now for 2 years and widespread famine has become a reality. When I first read this article my immediate thoughts questioned whether or not we are in the time of the birth pangs, or the beginning of sorrows as described in the Word.
According to the Gospel of Mathew Chapter 24:3, Jesus Christ was once asked by his disciples, ‘…what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 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 places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
It is true to say that over the years the world has experienced individual occurrences of wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes but are these the signs of Christ’s imminent return? The answer to this is no, but when we see all of these things happening all at once then we are categorically told we are living in the beginning of sorrows. No other period in the world’s history will have all of these events happening all at the same time. God in his Word has not set out to confuse us and so if all these things are happening now, then we are indeed in the beginning of sorrows.
Today, most of us in the Western world live in a secure bubble where we have allowed our minds to be conditioned by the media to view such occurrences of wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes as just the norm. Contrary to this, the Word tells us to be awake and to know the signs of the times.