The Beginning of Birth Pangs

by Mike Ratliff

4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Matthew 24:4-8 (NASB) 

Most Christians I know think of the Church as what they know and experience here in either the United States and/or Canada. However, our Lord Jesus Christ has disciples all over this world. I have friends who have befriended me because of this blog who I will never meet in person until we see each other in Heaven. Why? Some of these dear brethren live in countries where it is illegal to be a Christian. Others live in countries where there are rogue political groups bent on ridding their country of all Christians. I also have Christian friends who live in countries in which most of the visible church there has apostatized.

I remember in 2008 when Barak Obama was elected President of the United States. Many of us discussed him and his cabinet choices as highly suspect and possibly being part of the opening up of the beginning of Birth Pangs. That was nearly 13 years ago. During Obama’s two terms in office he officiated the dismantling of a great deal of what we call the Christian Worldview in how it is related to our government. Then when Hillary Clinton ran against Donald Trump in 2016 the whole world seemed to take it for granted that they would have another 4 years of the same rebellion against God, perhaps even more so. Then out of the blue she lost to Trump and the temper tantrum from those who were rejoicing in their wickedness just went over the top.

I am not saying here that Donald Trump is a God fearing man or not. However, when he was in office all that went on continually was the Left’s temper tantrum against him being President. It was nauseating. I became so tired of it. In any case, I listened to what was going on because that is what I do. The Left wanted to go back to taking this country down that great slide into Socialism and wickedness, while those of us who voted against them continually wanted to stop that. However, what most of us were overlooking was that it did not matter what we wanted or what we did. There was no way that Donald Trump was going to win that election in 2020 even if he did. I told my wife that if he had been confirmed and did get certified the left would have found a way to assassinate him and blame it on some nutcase.

Birth pangs? How does the Left feel about Christians? How do they feel about our rights under the U.S. Constitution? Look what they have done under the Covid-19 restrictions. My wife and I went to church on Zoom for several months before our church finally reopened. Some churches in our city are still on Zoom only. In some states in the U.S. everything is still locked down. We watched Grace Community Church in L.A. stay open in defiance of the lockdown restrictions in L.A. They are being fined for that. In Canada I have two pastors who I have befriended who were both sent to prison for keeping their churches open in defiance of the lockdown restrictions there. Some would say we need to obey the law. However, God is over His Church, not the government.

I lost friends over Trump becoming President and over my support of John MacArthur and those pastors in Canada. However, when I tried to talk with those who tried to support their decisions for rejecting my support for them, they had no way to defend their positions other than emotions.

Have we entered the beginning of the Birth Pangs Jesus spoke of above? Here is part two of that.

9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:9-14 (NASB) 

To be honest, there are tons of false prophets and teachers deceiving the visible church right now. If you want to experience the wrath of the world right now, go preach the Gospel in front of an Abortion Clinic. Try to share the Gospel on a College campus. Try to witness to co-workers. You will find out real quick how much the Truth of our Lord Jesus is hated by the World. My ministry and me personally and many of my friends like the late Ken Silva were mercilessly attacked by many because we stood up against liars and false prophets. I can remember weeks of wading through hate comments because I wrote a post telling the world that Rob Bell was a heretic after he published one of his books. Ken stepped in to help me and they jumped all over him as well. I helped a friend who was being attacked by a false prophet who claimed to hear directly from God. When I did that he began attacking me and my ministry. I actually lost one of my commenters who began following him. Amazing… In any case, after a week of fending him off and a lot of prayer, he gave up and went on his way after putting me on his list of false prophets. That was ironic don’t you think?

Also, we have an invasion in the visible church going on right now by false prophets who use ideological tools such as Social Justice, Wokism, Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality to deceive huge numbers of professing Christians who don’t know any better. This is evil. It is based in pragmatism just as the “Seeker Sensitive” church model was. Pragmatism is not of God. It is of our enemy, Satan.

Look at v12. Abortion is legal. Same-sex marriage is legal, however, it is illegal to do the right and Christian thing to help these people, which is to share the gospel with them. The Left’s goal right now seems to be to support lawbreakers while taxing to death those who are law-abiding, people who work for a living. I have stopped responding to those emails from political parties because all they want is money and nothing ever changes.

What is our hope prior to the Great Tribulation? It is that we must endure to the end and we will be those taken up to be with the Lord forever, but before that we have v14 which tells us that we are left here to be persecuted by the Antichrist and his people in order to preach the Gospel to the whole world. That is going on right now. Then what?

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NASB) 

This is awesome. We are persecuted, but protected and allowed to share the gospel no matter how evil we are being treated during the Birth Pangs. But what happens after that? What happens as a woman’s birth pangs get past the beginning stages and reach that stage of giving birth?

1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NASB) 

Do you see it? We are living here in the beginning of birth pangs. We are obedient to our Lord, but this causes us to be persecuted by the Antichrist and his people, but the Gospel is preached to the whole world during this time. Then we have 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Wow! That should change what is going on is this world big time. All believers will be snatched away to be with the Lord forever. Then after we are out of the way, God begins pouring out His wrath (v3). We are promised that God will never pour out his wrath on us (v9).

Are we in the beginning of the Birth Pangs our Lord spoke of? I think we are on the cusp. Things are most definitely in place, but I am not a prophet. However, if you have lost friends and relatives now is the time to share your faith them.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Beginning of Birth Pangs

  1. Things have been going this way for decades. I’ve long thought most of America’s Christians are more concerned with convenience than with Christ. God help me from drifting into that.

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  2. When I first started my blog back in 2006 I made friends with Alan Kurschner. He wasn’t Dr. Kurschner back then. He was just a blogger like I was. We communicated about stuff. He was always helpful and I could tell his maturity level was where I needed to emulate. He subbed for Dr. James White once when he was traveling. In any case, he sent me his first book back in 2013 about the Antichrist. A lot of this post came from that book.

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