Birth pains
May 18, 2015
by Pastor Scott Konitzer, First Baptist Church, Cokato

My wife would tell you that, in birthing our three children, each delivery was unique; yet, they all had one commonality – birth pains! She could only ignore the discomfort for so long until the contractions demanded her full attention. The greater the pain, the closer we were to delivery.

The Bible says that the return of Christ will come after we experience birth pains – pains we can only ignore for so long until they intensify and bring us to the climax of Christ’s return.

When I zoom out my lens from my local church and community and view the world as a whole, I can see and feel the birth pains that are pointing us to that great day when Jesus comes again:

Super-power countries will fall in order to prepare the way for the anti-Christ. When countries like America lose their place of respect, influence, and power in the world, people will begin to look for a false savior to lead the way in global affairs. Birth pains.

Global religious persecution will intensify. Religious intolerance is part of world history, and was excessive during the times of the Apostle Paul. However, that persecution was not happening around the entire globe! Today, particularly Christians and Jews are enduring horrible harassment, torture, and killings for their faith. And here on the home front, Americans are being forced to silence their once treasured freedoms of religion and speech. Birth pains.

Mark of the Beast. Revelation 13 tells us that the mark of the beast will be required in order to buy and sell goods. Although we don’t exactly know what form this mark will take, we do currently have the technology in place to implement such a plan. Microchips, infrared tattoos, and other “marks” are already being used for identification and tracking. Birth pains.

Godlessness. The Bible tells us that in the end days, the world will be as it once was in the days of Noah — horribly corrupt, with a small remnant who fear God. Today, hostility, rage, hatred, violence, wars, greed, false religions and gods, sexual immorality, corrupt governments, legal drug abuse, legalized child abortion, voting fraud, looting, suicide, drug cartels, addictions, abuse, the neglect of the Sabbath Day, and tolerance for just about everything other than godliness makes the headlines almost daily. Birth pains.

While reflecting on such things, I thought about man’s solutions: advance technology, pass more laws to restrict freedoms and control behavior, increase governmental programs, increase or decrease military (nuclear warfare), increase environmental awareness, decrease population, build alliances with corrupt nations to keep peace, educate “tolerance” and “safe sex,” stifle individual thought, absolute morality, and narrow-minded theology. The truth is, these efforts will only help the world embrace a one-world government, final anti-Christ, and a global thrust against God and His Word, but it will not prevail.

Jesus said: “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood . . . ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:12-20

Are you ready? The Gospel message is still for everyone who chooses to embrace it: The Son of God broke into our world miraculously, He died submissively. He rose again unbelievably, He ascended to heaven visually. And now, He waits patiently for more to come to repentance. Finally, He will return assuredly, not just as Savior, but as judge. The earth will become the courtroom and each will stand before a Holy God who sits on the throne.

Are your robes washed? Don’t ignore the birth pains. “ . . . And He (the Lord Jesus Christ) shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15

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