Month one, two, three––everything was relatively normal. Funny, you don’t look pregnant, Honey. Month four, five and six––definitely showing signs. No doubt about it now. You’re pregnant. Baby’s room is decorated. Lamaze classes begin. “Pant, blow? That’s it?” Piece of cake. Month seven and eight––major discomfort for Momma. Month nine––big as a house––hurry up, Baby, Momma’s not liking this.
And then they started…birth pangs!
“I think it’s time,” Cathy said one night. The pangs were five minutes apart, so we packed up our baby gear and headed for the hospital. However, after a brief checkup we were sent home.
The pangs continued regularly. Then at 6:00 pm the next night the interval between pangs decreased to around 2 to 4 minutes apart. They were more intense. Pant––pant––blow––blow. We headed to the hospital again. No mistaking it now. The signs were regular, more intense.
What followed was twenty-six hours of labor, followed by ten hours of HARD labor. Cathy was exhausted. She’d given up on Lamaze, she just took it. I was nervous. It wasn’t supposed to take this long, I thought, or be this hard. I actually wondered if Cathy and the baby would survive. One nurse examined her, then quipped, “I don’t think you’re ever going to have this baby.” I almost punched her.
The baby was in the birth canal for ten hours of very intense labor! The baby was major stressed, Cathy was major stressed. I was praying like crazy. Finally, after what seemed an interminable amount of pain, the moment arrived. Brandon was born, the cord twisted around his neck three times! It was a miracle that he survived!
LIKE A WOMAN IN TRAVAIL
Jesus said that His Coming would be like the birth pangs of a woman in travail (Matt 24:8). The Apostle Paul said the same in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3. There would be birth pangs before the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. As in a natural birth, the pangs would increase in intensity, the intervals between them shorten, and then the time would come. What would these birth pangs look like?
AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH
Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt 24:37ff; Gen 6:5). What was it like in the days of Noah? Genesis 6:5 reveals that wickedness covered the face of the earth, continually.
On April, 20, 1995 Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma Federal Building, killing 168 people and wounding over 600. The nation was shocked. Four years later, almost to the day, two teenage killers murdered 12 fellow students and one teacher at Columbine High School. Again, the nation was in shock.
Everyone at the studio where I worked at the time stared dumbfounded at the news reports on a widescreen television. The carnage, the cold-hearted wickedness, was stunning. Who could image such a thing happening. Two years later, on September 11, 2001, it happened again.
I groaned in my spirit, as did we all, at such wickedness.
Since then there have been more mass murders, more school killings, theater killings, train killings, riot after riot, here and abroad, at shortened intervals, with heightened intensity. As it was in the days of Noah!
AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF LOT
Jesus said it (Luke 17:28-30). A reading of Genesis 19 will give us a sickening glimpse into the depravity of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is no wonder that God destroyed them. Is the world any different today than it was then? With the recent Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage, I wonder if we aren’t living in the days of Lot.
Other birth pangs will include the rise of false messiahs, wars, earthquakes, famines, worldwide deception, the love of many growing cold, children hating their parents, worldwide apostasy, the persecution of genuine Christians, and on and on. These birth pangs are being felt around the world today. Jesus is coming soon!
THE WORLD IS OBLIVIOUS
Immorality continues to increase. Celebrity worshippers gawk at their “stars” audacity. The killing of unborn babies continues at an alarming rate of 1.6 million a year in the US alone, with Planned Parenthood selling baby parts for profit!
Every baby killed is yet another birth pang.
How long, O Lord?
The news pundits point to this or that cause but miss it entirely. Man is wicked. His wickedness will increase until one day, finally, the heavenly trumpet will sound. It won’t be a false alarm either. The heavens will open and Jesus will appear in the clouds, so that every eye will see Him! The dead in Christ will rise from their graves, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the air to meet the King of kings, and Lord of lords in His glory!
Dear ones, the birth pangs are many. They continue to grow and become more intense. More frequent. But let us not lose heart. Jesus said, “When you see these things begin to happen, look up for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). Be comforted with His words. In the meantime let us “hasten the day” of His coming (2 Peter 3:2), by living godly and holy lives, and by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost world. Let us be found doing so when the Master returns.