Wars & Rumors of War
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Last week we looked at the ris of false prophets and cults as a sign that the end of the age is drawing near. We could say that from the moment that Christ ascended the “Last Days” began.
It is important to understand that endurance is required to maintain our Christian worldview and way of life
Paul put it this way
For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As the world becomes more hostile to Christianity and secularism sweeps the populist movement, we are called to stand in faith and love holding fast to the trough we know through Christ
Jesus now speaks about another sign of His impending return:
War and rumors of wars
There was peace in the unified empire during this period of time but it would not remain that way.
Since the rejection of Christ, the sword has never left the house of Isreal
The passage starts off with the word mellesete - It is an interesting verb in the Future, Active, indicative, tense meaning “inevitably” “You will absolutely hear”
There is no doubt that conflict was on the horizon for the Jewish Nation
There appears two types of conflict in this discourse, this on and on at verse 7
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
The first “wars and rumors of wars” is directed to the infighting that would eventually lead to the dispersion of the nation. Jew was fighting against jew for political and religious control of the nation
The second speaks of a greater conflagration engulfing larger entities - nations and kingdoms
Small war between factions was possible but the technological advancements of the 20th century of communications set the stage for world wars!
Now Nations waring against nations with the support of other nations has resulted in famine and genocide the likes of which mankind could never imagine.
Jews exterminated by the millions, African tribesman slaughtered in their sleep by tribal nationalists; Christian & Yazidi women enslaved for sex trade; Total Nations being destroyed from the inside out made possible by the interference of other nations
Nuclear weapons, Biochemical extermination of combatants and civilians by genetically engineered diseases; Billions of dollars poured into the continent of Africa to meet the needs of people only to end up in the personal coffers of tyrannic despots who’s only goal is power and wealth
In the past 3400 years of recorded history, human kind has been at peace for 268 of them that’s 8% of the time!
In the 20th century alone some 187 Million people have died as a result of 262 different wars. It is estimated that more than 1 billion have died over the 3400 years. More than 50 million were recored dead during WW2
So we see Isreal experienced internal wars and rumors of wars and now the fulfillment of the second part of the prophecy Nations and Kingdoms battling for control
But in the midst of it all Jesus tells them “See that you are not troubled!”
The word here is “to be in a state of fear as a result of intimidation”
Coupled with it is the word “must” come to pass
Here we find the emphasis on the inevitability of the event again in the Imperative tense - “these thing will take place”
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
We need to remember that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Until what day? The day that Christ abolishes death and bring life to us!
I love that Verse, “He is able”
Dunatos - stress the factuality or capacity to deliver - one who has the power!
It entails the whole of ability - Physical, Spiritual, Intelectual
You may recognize Dunamas
It means anything can happen, or anything is possible, anything can be accomplished!
The Greeks believed that one needed to participate with and know this mystical power! It is not a mystery anymore as we know it through Christ!
Paul is reminding us that the ability that he rests on is not his own but rather that of Christ
We now also have the same access as Paul through the ministry of the Holy Spirit! That’s why Satan attacks the ministry and empowering gifts of the Holy Spirit
So we see that to have peace through these perilous times we need to know the one who has the power over our foe
There is a dark power at work in the world today and the Scripture tells us that man goes from worse to worse
The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
“For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.
It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.
Speaking of Jesus
But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, And of justice and might, To declare to Jacob his transgression And to Israel his sin.
For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
My friends, as we look around and see the world overcome by famine, disaster, wars, and pestilence…do not fret on moment for He is hold us in His hand but we must exercise our position of authority and trust in His delivering power!
Remember that these are just the beginnings of the birth pains!