The increase of labour pains - Bob Hines
Bob Hines shares with us the hope that comes from the prophecies about Jesus' return. He highlights that these can help us to have a glass half full and be filled with joyful anticipation.
Our glasses half full
As a male, I cannot know the discomfort and pain that a woman endures through pregnancy and childbirth. But I am always amazed by the fact that most women gladly endure this for the prize at the end – the birth of a child!
As I listen to those around me, including many Christians, in this year of 2020 I hear many lamenting the fact that the world has gone mad! They despair over what they see is in – or not in - their future. Their glass is half empty and they see little to be happy or positive about.
But Christians should be positive about the future. I am often amazed by the fact that very few Christians know, or even want to know, about one of the most uplifting and important aspects of God’s Word - future prophetic events heralding the return of Jesus for His Bride. A promise that should make our glasses half full!
Prophetic events in the Bible
Of course, salvation through grace and God's commandment to love one another is the basis of our faith and the most important lesson for us to learn. But what about the one-third of the Bible that is all about prophetic events yet to occur at the time they were written? Why is this important subject seldom taught within our churches?
God didn’t cause a major portion of His Word to be written around this subject just for His church to ignore it! Many times in The Bible we are warned that we must be ready and waiting for Jesus' return. Jesus tells us to be watchful or that day will come upon us as a thief in the night!
God likens the days preceding Jesus' return to a woman going through labour pains preceding the birth of a child. Even a couple who have not experienced childbirth before will have been made aware of what to watch out for so that they will know when to call in the midwife or doctor.
Knowing the signs and being prepared
The wise parent's to be will already have a bag packed and as the pains increase in frequency and intensity they will have everything ready for the trip to the hospital. Few of them will be caught by surprise! They will know the signs!
If we have been taught what The Bible has to say about the days preceding Jesus' return we will be aware of the many signs (labour pains) heralding this wonderful event that all Christendom has been waiting for since Jesus rose into heaven nearly 2000 years ago.
Have you been taught enough to recognise that it is highly likely that the labour pains which will culminate in the return of Jesus for His church may have already started? If you have then your glass should be half full as we endure this year of 2020! Of course, the labour pains will be uncomfortable and painful but we as Christians should be looking towards the end result - the return of Jesus.
Often the happy couple, anticipating the birth of their child, keep themselves busy preparing for the baby's arrival. They prepare a nursery, they learn all they can about what to expect at the birth. They read books on childbirth. They ask for advice from their elders and they make themselves ready!
And that is what we should be doing as Christians in these days. Knowing what to expect and making ourselves ready for Christ’s return is exactly why God has given us so much information around this event in His Word.
Information from within the Word
Do you know that in those days there will be a worldwide one religion where everyone is made to worship the same false god under a single false ‘religious’ leader? God’s prophetic Word warns us to not be drawn into this trap. If you are aware of this then you might be able to see that this one world religion is even now starting to take shape on the world stage.
Do you know the names of the nations who will form alliances to fight against Israel in those days? God’s prophetic Word gives us strong indications of who these nations are and the wise ‘expectant parent’ can see these alliances forming even now.
Do you know that Jesus could not return until the nation of Israel was back in its God-given land? Many believe the birth pains started from the time of the return of the Jews to their ancient land. An event that has occurred in my lifetime!
Do you know that God gives us a list of events to watch out for that will point to his near return? Many say that these events have always occurred but a wise ‘expectant parent’ will be aware that all of these events are even now increasing in pain and frequency as ‘the birth’ draws ever closer.
These, and many other signs, are given to us by God to prepare a wise parent for the soon coming ‘birth’. Most of us would not neglect the opportunity to learn all we could in preparing for the birth of a child so why should we be less so in preparing for the return of Jesus?
Filled with joyful anticipation
My own belief is that the Church will be ‘snatched up’ (raptured) to meet Jesus in the clouds and that this event is, and has always been, imminent! Even more so now as prophetic events escalate around us. How can I possibly be in despair at current events when I have that promise to fill my heart with joyful anticipation?
Of course, we cannot know the length of time that we will endure the labour pains. For some women, it is a much shorter time than for others. But If we are wise and can recognise the times for what they are we should be cheerfully looking forward to the future whilst we endure the present. Our future is bright indeed!
Bob Hines is a Windsor Park Baptist Church legend!
//Photo Credit: Caleb van Essen.
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