In our study of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, we learn that its primary theme is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus talks about His return, the end of the present age, and the establishment of His kingdom.
The fact is, the Jewish people of Jesus' day wanted to know what the future held. They had been living under the oppressive regime of the Romans and by the time of Jesus they were anxious for it to end. They longed for their Messiah to come and bring His kingdom. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey just a few days before giving His sermon on the future, they thought the Kingdom was at hand. What they could not see was the 2000+ year gap (the church age), where God planned to do a unique work among the peoples of the earth.
In His teaching, Jesus used an interesting word picture to describe the signs that would signal His return, referring to them as birth pains. Birth pains don't happen at conception, they generally signal the end of the pregnancy - the baby is coming soon! They increase in frequency and intensity the closer you get. In this case, the birth pains ultimately signal the Second Coming. So, on that day on the Mount of Olives, Jesus laid out a series of six signs that would be associated with the last generation of people immediately prior to His return.
Life is uncertain, but a relationship with Jesus Christ literally changes everything. Jesus told His disciples, "These things have I written to you that in Me that you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but take courage, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Friends, some days the battle seems fierce; the god of this age seems to be winning. Don't be deceived, it only appears that way for a time. The Sovereign God of the universe is on His throne and will cause all things to work together for His ultimate good purpose.
Pastor Brian Richard