3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
As Christians we yearn to be with our Lord. Students of the Old Testament scriptures knew He would return permanently. Jesus and His closest Disciples were sitting on the Mount of Olives, looking at the splendor of the temple. He had just told them that it would be completely destroyed, with “not one stone standing on another.” The Disciples were waiting for the scriptures to be fulfilled, that the Messiah would return to reign and rule the earth. They were waiting to put an end to Roman occupation and the misery it produced.
Jesus informed them that He would not be staying to rule (yet). Instead, He warned them there would be many counterfeits, or anti-Christs. They, and we, were commanded to not be fooled. He went on to say that to know when the end was near, we should look for the signs, and we should not be concerned.
In the end there will be great calamity on earth. Nations against nations, natural disasters, famines. While many have argued this same point in times past, we seem to be at the beginning at these birth pangs. Things occurring in the world often don’t make logical sense. National leaders make decisions that have us scratching our heads. Natural disasters are increasing. Want a good example? Search the web for “earthquakes over time chart.”
Are we in the beginning of birth pains talked about by Jesus? We are not to be alarmed. We don’t have to be worried. Instead, we look forward to being re-united with our Savior. Until then we are the light of the world. When people ask if you’re worried, you can point them to the gospel and Words of Jesus. Calamity will occur all around us, but we live in view of our true home.