Summary: A lot of people are wondering if we’re seeing the beginning the Tribulation or the end times and I thought that we would look at one particular vision that Ezekiel had to help us possibly get a Biblical perspective on the dynamic forces that seem to be tearing our world apart today.

“You’re pregnant.” Three of the most beautiful … and three of the most terrifying … words you’ll ever hear. The first question most people ask the doctor is … “Are you sure?” And the second question usually is … “When is it due?” Now, the doctor has to do some quick calculations in his or her head given the stage of the child’s development that they can discern … and sometimes they’re pretty close … but the fact is, they’re only guessing. As those of you who have been through the process know, only God knows the exact date, amen?

Even though the parents don’t know the exact date, they know one thing for sure. At some point that child is going to make its appearance in this world … and every day that passes makes the odds of that more and more possible. You start reading books, taking Lamaze or birthing classes, and … around the seventh or eighth month … you put together a “go” bag … filled with things the mother-to-be will need when she’s in the hospital. The idea is that you don’t want to be running around trying to gather things in a panic. You know where that “go bag” is and you are ready to grab it and “go” at a moment’s notice if need be.

As I said, neither the doctor nor the parents know exactly when the child will be born. Sometimes there are mad dashes to the hospital that turn out to be false alarms. One thing is certain, however … at some point you’re going to know that “this is it!” … this is the real thing.

After teaching at the Temple one day, Jesus took a moment to rest and catch His breath. As He and the Disciples were sitting there, the Disciples began pointing out the beauty of the Temple and the buildings around it.

“Do you see all these things?” He asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one [of them] will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:2-8).

With everything going on in the world today, many people have been asking: “Is this it?” Is this the beginning of what Jesus called “birth pains”? There have been many false alarms over the centuries and millennia but … as with actual birth … there comes a point, right? Jesus said that nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom … there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. Hummm … nations have been rising against nations and kingdoms have been rising against kingdoms all the time. Famines and earthquakes are another constant. According to “,” there have been 27 earthquakes in the past 24 hours, 975 earthquakes in the past 7 days, 5,112 earthquakes in the past 30 days, and 59,323 earthquakes in the past 365 days. Thankfully, most of them happen deep below the earth’s surface where we can’t feel them so we’re not aware of them.

The executive director of the United Nation’s World Food Program, David Beasley, reported that there are currently 135 million people facing “crisis levels of hunger or worse. … And now, a global pandemic with its brutal impact on economies and communities is pushing millions more to the brink of starvation” (Berkowitz, A. “Major Worldwide Famine in 2021 ‘Presaging Messiah as Prophesied by Amos.’” Israel 356 News, November 22, 2020.)

Many, many people have predicted the end of the world and the coming tribulation … and one of these days, guess what? It’s going to happen. It may be happening right now … it may not … but it is certainly important, I think, to keep an eye on things and consider the possibility and have your spiritual “go” bag ready, amen?

We have Jesus’ words to the Disciples to go by but we also have the visions of several of God’s prophets who were given a preview of what and possibly when this is going to happen. If you study the visions of Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and John, you’ll note a great deal of similarities as well as some variation. I believe that they all saw the same thing or were given the same vision but each, being human, interpreted what they saw through the lens of their time and their own personal experience. If we were to go around the sanctuary this morning, we would all have different stories to tell about the recent flood, for example. There was only one flood. There are certain “facts” about the flood … but we all saw it and experienced it from our own personal experiences and then combined what we know and what we heard with what we experienced.

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