One of the most notable ‘events’ in family life is the birth of a baby. Particularly if the new life has been eagerly awaited with the days counted down towards the ‘big’ day. When however, that day (or night!) arrives there may well be hours of relentless pain and discomfort before the child is placed in the mother’s arms.
Jesus has promised that he will return to the earth and establish a world-wide government of peace and posterity. He tells us there will be clear indications when his coming is near. He tells us the signs will be relentless and distressing but will herald a new birth for the world. He tells us to be watchful and prepared.
In Luke 21 the words of Jesus are very clear – “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven”.
Press headlines and TV News top stories illustrate for us everyday the truth that we are living in these momentous times.
Earthquake monitoring techniques show that our planet is increasingly subject to daily stresses and strains. Faultlines around the globe are constantly moving. The Asian TSUNAMI death-toll stands in excess of a quarter of a million people. Families have suffered terrible losses. Property and livelihoods have been shattered. Recovery will take years and cost millions.
Famine in vast areas of Africa produces familiar pictures of men, women and children holding out pleading hands for food and drink. Locations are often remote and difficult to access. Aid agencies struggle to help and constantly appeal for increased financial support.
Aids is the problem disease world-wide. Thousands are dieing daily and many infected children will suffer very short lives. Doctors and scientists bend all their energies and resources towards producing an adequate remedy and persuading governments to provide the support and will to tackle the problem.
War is an ever-present part of news reporting every day. It is iomposiible to forecast where tensions and strife between and within nations will break out next. Notably nations around Israel in the Middle East are beset with problems. This is the part of our world that features at the heart of signs of the coming of Jesus!
Jesus said: “all these (things) are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:8), “therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come (:42).
We must watch world events, embrace the good news of the coming Kingdom of God and prepare ourselves to meet the King!