What Jesus Did! 'The First Pains!' — Matthew 24:6-8

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

You will hear about wars that are being fought. And you will hear stories about other wars beginning. But don't be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes.
— Matthew 24:6-8
Illustration of Matthew 24:6-8 — You will hear about wars that are being fought. And you will hear stories about other wars beginning. But don't be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes.

Key Thought

Life in the end times for Jerusalem will be tumultuous. Wars, famines, earthquakes will be on the earth. But these are merely like the labor pains of a woman in childbirth. They were not to become frightened or disoriented. The Lord who reigns, the Lord who will conquer, is still in control and things will happen at his command. Nothing will be left to chance. Nothing will happen at the Evil One's demand. While these events anticipate the downfall of Jerusalem, they are only the beginning of the end of the old age. They were not to be afraid. The Lord who passed through death, the Lord who triumphed in crucifixion, is Lord of all. They would not go where he hasn't been before. No, they were to go about doing what they were supposed to do. They were to be alert! They were to be ready! They were to be faithful! But, is he talking merely about the fall of Jerusalem or about the end of time? It mattered to those who lived through the destruction of Jerusalem, but the point is basically the same for us whether Jesus is talking about a major disaster or The Major Disaster. We are to be faithful and ready and unafraid. He will not forget, abandon, or leave us. When he comes in Glory, we will share in it too! We are to be faithful, ready, and unafraid!

Today's Prayer

O Lord, Master and God of all time, and the One and Only God who dwells above time, give me a sense of hope, a heart of patience, and an eye of expectancy as I await your deliverance, whether it is from the problems that press around me now or whether it is the ultimate deliverance of your return! Marantha! O Lord come in Glory. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus left the temple area and was walking away. But his followers came to him to show him the temple's buildings. Jesus asked the followers, "Are you looking at these buildings? I tell you the truth. They will be destroyed. Every stone will be thrown down to the ground. Not one stone will be left on another." Later, Jesus was sitting at a place on the Mount of Olives. The followers came to be alone with Jesus. They said, "Tell us when these things will happen. And what will happen to show us that it is time for you to come again and time for the world to end?" Jesus answered: "Be careful! Don't let any person fool you. Many people will come and use my name. They will say, 'I am the Christ. ' And they will fool many people. You will hear about wars that are being fought. And you will hear stories about other wars beginning. But don't be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes. Nations will fight against other nations. Kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. There will be times when there is no food for people to eat. And there will be earthquakes in different places. These things are like the first pains when something new is born. "Then people will treat you badly. People will give you {to the rulers} to be persecuted (hurt) and killed. All people will hate you. All these things will happen to you because you believe in me. At that time, many believers will lose their faith. They will turn against each other and hate each other. Many false prophets will come. They will cause many people to believe wrong things. There will be more and more evil in the world. So most believers will stop showing love. But the person that continues strong to the end will be saved. The Good News about {God's} kingdom will be told in the whole world. It will be told to every nation. Then the end will come.

Matthew 24:1-14

Related Scripture Readings

Now, brothers and sisters, we don’t need to write to you about times and dates. You know very well that the day when the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief who comes at night. 3People will say, “We have peace and we are safe.” At that time destruction will come to them quickly, like the pains of a woman giving birth. And those people will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not living in darkness. And so that day will not surprise you like a thief. You are all people who belong to the light. You belong to the day. We don’t belong to the night or to darkness.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

This is the LORD's message to Jeremiah: “Jeremiah, stand at the gate of the Lord’s house. Teach this message at the gate: “‘Hear the message from the Lord, all you people of the nation of Judah. All you who come through these gates to worship the Lord, hear this message. The Lord is the God of the people of Israel. This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: Change your lives and do good things. If you do this, I will let you live in this place. Don’t trust the lies that some people say. They say, “This is the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord!d” If you change your lives and do good things, I will let you live in this place. You must be fair to each other. You must be fair to strangers. You must help widows and orphans. Don’t kill innocent people! And don’t follow other gods, because they will only ruin your lives. If you obey me, I will let you live in this place. I gave this land to your ancestors* for them to keep forever. “‘But you are trusting lies that are worthless. Will you steal and murder? Will you commit adultery? Will you falsely accuse other people? Will you worship the false god Baal* and follow other gods that you have not known? If you commit these sins, do you think that you can stand before me in this house that is called by my name? Do you think you can stand before me and say, “We are safe,” just so you can do all these terrible things? This Temple is called by my name. Is this Temple nothing more to you than a hideout for robbers? I have been watching you.’” This message is from the Lord.

Jeremiah 7:1-11

So don’t lose the courage that you had in the past. Your courage will be rewarded richly. You must be patient. After you have done what God wants, you will get what he promised you. He says, “Very soon now, the one who is coming will come and will not be late. The person who is right with me will live by trusting in me. But I will not be pleased with the one who turns back in fear.” But we are not those who turn back and are lost. No, we are the people who have faith and are saved.

Hebrews 10:35-39

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.