Matt 24:7-8, 38-40 "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains...For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."
Luke 21:10-11 Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven."
Events in the last few weeks (earthquakes in Christchurch, NZ, China, now Japan) plus devastating floods all over the globe have caused many to wonder what is happening to planet Earth? Earthquakes & floods trigger off famines in some places as food becomes scarce. Jesus' words (quoted above) sound eerily contemporary: "they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away." This sounds like some kind of tsunami or flash floods that we have witnessed in recent months in many places.
But Jesus calls these events "the beginning of birth pains." Like the contractions that precede the birth of a new baby, what we have seen recently are just the "beginning" of the birth contractions which will get more intense as the new baby is arriving. What Jesus is saying are both good and bad news: the bad news is that such events like earthquakes, floods/tsunami will increase in frequency & intensity. But the good news is this: something new is about to arrive on the global scene: these convulsions are signs that a global event is coming - the birth of the Kingdom of God, which will usher in a new heaven and a new earth!
Just as pregnant mothers have to go through the birth pains, but they endure them because of what will come next -- the birth of a new life--so we have to endure these sufferings because of what is to come!
Dr. Samuel Doctorian received a vision of 5 angels in June 1998 that speaks of worldwide earthquakes and floods, including the collapse of twin towers in New York, earthquakes in China, Japan and floodings. He also saw catastrophic earthquakes in Switzerland & Australia (not happened yet). However, the angels told him that these are signs of the imminent coming of Christ. (Attached video is an interview with Samuel Doctorian about his visions.)
Father, give us a sense of urgency to fulfill Your Great Commission in our generation while there is still time. Amen.