Summary: As we look at the events taking place in the world today it is like reading the words of Jesus in Matthew 24. We are living in exciting days as His return draws near!
“A world in travail”
Intro: In light of recent events I think it is fitting that we take time to look at what the Bible has to say about the world we are living in & all that is taking place.
The Bible gives us a pict of the world in which we live.
The things we see happening today are not s surprise to the believer – we have waited for many years for this.
We could look at the world & be frightened by what we see.
But if you know Jesus & are looking for His coming then everything we see only adds excitement to the days in which we live.
We are living in a world that is travailing in the birth pains of a new age that is coming.
I want to address this whole issue of ‘A world in travail’.
Text: Matthew 24:1-8 (NKJV) 1Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” 3Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.
# 1. A world in travail.
A. There’s no doubt about the fact that we are living in a time & in a world of travail.
a. We are seeing things today that ought to both sober & excite us as believers b/c the return of Jesus is near.
i. Jesus indicated that there would some unmistakeable signs that would signal His imminent return.
ii. Jesus began to speak about a world in travail in response to a question by His disciples..... listen to what is said here ......
Vs 3. “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
iii. Here in our text Jesus is drawing back the veil on a time yet to come & saying to His disciples – these are the things that you need to look for.
iv. And these are also the markers that signal certainty about the fact that Jesus is coming again to you & I.
v. Jesus hasn’t left it up to guess work / conjecture but He’s warned us that there will be very distinct / certain signs.
b. So let’s think a little more carefully about what all these signs are.
i. Generally speaking Jesus says what is going to signal my return & the end of the world as we know it is when you see a world in turmoil like never b/4.
ii. Now I know that for our teenagers they have never really seen anything else.
iii. In the past 20 years we have seen the Middle East erupt into an ongoing boiling mass of volatility.
Iraq invading Kuwait triggering a war w/ Iraq & the West
The World Trade Centre, Pentagon bombings
Invasion of Afghanistan / Iraq
Israel & constant conflict w/ her neighbours
iv. Earthquakes, famine, wars, pestilences of every kind ........ all these things flag a world rocketing towards Jesus’ return.
B. Think about the pict Jesus gives us of a world in turmoil.
a. He says that at the time prior to His return it’s going to be like a woman in labour.
i. Now think about this ............ a woman in labour!
ii. Every woman who has ever given birth to a child knows what labour is all about .... it is a time of turmoil in her body.
iii. Those labour pains & the labour experience all point to a life in turmoil, a woman who is focused on one thing only – delivering a new life into the world.
iv. Ask any woman who has given birth & she can tell you that she doesn’t care about anything else while that labour is happening – it’s baby OUT!
v. And as the birth of that baby draws near the intensity of the labour pains & the frequency of the labour pains grows more intense.