By Elizabeth Prata
Birth pangs, or labor pains, are defined as “One of the repetitive pains occurring in childbirth. Often used in the plural. Also: Difficulty or turmoil associated with a development or transition.” Birth pangs are an event that is unstoppable, they increase in intensity and frequency, and result in a new creation. During labor, the mother is in throes, sweats, and travails. When it is over there is peace, and rest.
God is fully in control and He has always sent weather to show His wrath, or to shake up the people, or to render judgment. He sends snow: Job 37:6 “For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong'”
He sends hail. Psalm 105:32: “He gave them hail for rain, And flaming fire in their land.”
He sends drought, earthquakes, thunder, and so on.
In a different kind of judgment, He also lifts his hand of restraint and gives a people over to their desires. (Romans 1:18-32). It’s less dramatic than the showy weather related ones, but in all ways more devastating judgment. John MacArthur describes the wrath of abandonment:
In Hosea 4:17, it is recorded that God said, “Ephraim is joined unto idols; let him alone.” There comes a time when God abandons men. God comes to a point where He lets a people go, lets them go to the consequences of their own sinful choices. They will not accept His counsel, they spurn all His reproof, as Proverbs says, so they eat the fruit of their own choices and they have to be satisfied with the devices they have chosen. Of the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Let them alone; they are blind leaders of the blind.” Matthew 15:14, the most terrifying words, “Let them alone.” Source- John MacArthur
The runaway inflation the US is currently experiencing, the squeeze of our budgets to buy groceries and gas, the racial and sexual and gender agendas seemingly succeeding, even overtaking our children, the rampant abortions, is emotionally difficult to endure. God’s judgment on a nation as seen in the Bible is often displayed in giving us over to our desires and no longer restraining us. When a nation is under judgment He gives them bad leaders and women leaders. Surely America is under judgment…
Josh Love said recently,
Does everyone understand that America is reaching the level of Sodom and Gomorrah and in some aspects have surpassed it already? I fully believe America’s judgment is going to be much worse than Sodom’s or just as bad. Repent & trust Christ today to flee the wrath to come.@JoshLove45
Cognitively, we understand we are no better than Sodom or Gomorrah and in many ways a lot worse, and we understand we are deserving of judgment. Emotionally, it’s so hard to watch, though. On the one hand, to see the LORD’S power is fearful and awesome. To watch His promises unfold is a blessing, hard as these particular promises are to endure. But also with the increase in intensity and frequency of birth pangs comes heartache and tragedy for people. People we know and love are travailing. People we do not know are weeping in grief. Children lose parents, parents lose children. The unsaved are at increased risk of their fate: eternal separation from God! The terrible times Paul said would come are indeed here.
and yet, to the good of those who love Him-
“Affliction awakens the sins in our hearts that we didn’t realize were there. Seeing the truth about ourselves produces the fruit of humility.” — Christina R. Fox
Are we in ‘the end time”? Yes. The last days spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24 and elsewhere in the New Testament, are the times between His ascension and His return. All of the Church Age, so to speak. So yes, it’s now. Christ has never been closer to His return than He has ever been since the writing of the New Testament.
We are not in the Great Tribulation but we are in the expansive period between 33 AD and the promised return of the future, which is characterized by birth pangs. One could assert the birth pangs began in 64 AD at the Great Fire of Rome, which Roman Emperor Nero blamed on the Christians. Thus, the first wave of persecutions started. The Church believers were martyred and those who survived dispersed over Asia Minor. How much more intense are birth pangs after 2000 years? Intensifying, even if the Lord tarries another 1000 years, birth pangs intensify over time, and we are feeling their intensity here in American and elsewhere on earth.
For me, it is a most terrible time knowing that as each day passes, many more unsaved are sent to their eternal destiny. The loss of so many unsaved is a heartache beyond comprehension. I know that for the Lord it is even worse, for “God is not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-10). Unfortunately we know that many still go on the broad way, to their destruction.
Hardest of all though is watching coldness overtake love, and apostasy or apathy overtake zeal. People are falling away from their first love at a terrible rate. It’s hard to watch church betrayals, spiritual abuse, denominational political agendas, all substituted for strength in the Lord and love for His people.
Provost & Research Professor of Theology, @GBTSeminary Owen Strachan said, “The thief in the night is coming, so keep your bags packed and ready by the door. I urge you to pray for the church in this hour, saints. Denominations aside, Satan is pressing his attack on the bride of Christ. Pray hard for the strengthening and endurance of the body, assaulted from all angles as we are. Pray that we will trim our lamps and await our King.”
Christian, please continue praying. Stay strong, appealing to the Holy Spirit to stand us upright. Now is not the time to quail, cower, or quit. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:14-15).
The world needs the light of Jesus now more than ever. Be that light, in prayer and in love.