There is a often a vast difference between what the End Times Speculation community teaches that the Bible SAYS, and what the Bible ACTUALLY SAYS. Case in point: what Jesus said about signs of the coming kingdom and labor pains.
The rhetoric of the Ends Times Speculation community says that Jesus told people (in the 21st century) that just prior to His return, we would see an ever-increasing number of wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes and other catastrophes.
They say that Jesus compared the advent of these things to “birth pains”, and like birth pains, the frequency and intensity of these things would increase more and more, all the way to the end, or “the birth.”
But is that what Jesus actually said?
According to Matthew’s written account, Jesus said the following directly after the disciples asked Him for the signs of the end:
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
First, we can see that the things Jesus said would be happening include many false Christs, a sign that most Speculators ignore. We have always had false Messiahs, earthquakes and wars. Have we seen an “increase” in false Christs? Not that the Speculators have pointed out. But Jesus says that MANY false Christs were the beginning of birth pains. Does it make sense to claim that Jesus said “many false Christs will come, and then many more will come in frequency and intensity”?
Secondly, the Speculators miss the word “beginning.” Notice that Jesus never once stated that wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes would increase in frequency and intensity. He says that these things would be the beginning of birth pains. That tells an entirely different story. The beginning of birth pains are those that are the LEAST intense and frequent. Aren’t they?
Why would Jesus tell the disciples that these things are the BEGINNING of birth pains? Was He telling them that the real birth pains and labor, and eventually the birth, was to follow?
If we look at Luke’s Gospel account of the same conversation (and yes, it’s the same conversation), we get a little more information:
Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
Luke 21:9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
Key verse: Luke 21:9. Keyword in that verse: “by and by.” That phrase means “near.”
In other words, Jesus is telling His disciples that such things would come to pass, but they did NOT mean the end was near.
So, to sum up:
- Jesus told His disciples that many false Christs, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, famines and pestilence, were the beginning of birth pains.
- Jesus said that such things indicated the end was NOT near.
Judge for yourself. Is this what the End Times Speculation community is teaching?
Is it biblical?