In Matthew 24, Jesus answers the disciples' question about the signs of the end of the age and the signs of Jesus coming, and asked when will all these things happen. Three questions, from verse 1-3 and from verse 4-8 Jesus began His answer.
"And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 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. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs."
Then in verse 9 He deepened the answer and referred to tribulation and perilous times by specifically mentioning certain events. He then speaks of the Abomination of Desolation. Some scholars use the break at verse 8 to interpret that Jesus meant that the birth pangs would encompass the entire time between Jesus' ascension and second coming, and verse 9 onward being the Tribulation, and others interpret those first 4 verses as included in only the Tribulation period of 7 years along with the rest of the Discourse. I take the former view.
Here: "The Bible predicts a downward spiral of catastrophes, human sin, and religious apostasy before Christ returns. Paul writes, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. . . . evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13). The world will continue to reject God, His Word, and His people. ... The erosion of peace and increase of turmoil that precedes the Rapture will reach epic proportions when untold numbers of people disappear from earth."
I believe the world has been in pangs since Jesus ascended, though like contractions are wont to do, start off mild and unnoticeable, increasing terribly as the birth nears. Then the water breaks, and I believe the rapture is that event we can liken to water breaking. When the water breaks, things really get serious in the labor pains and birthing process. The birth is near once the water breaks. What is being birthed? The Kingdom of Jesus Christ that will last 1000 years. (Revelation 20:2-7; Luke 1:32-33' Ezekiel 43:7).
Jesus said one thing to look out for is wars and rumors of wars. It was the second thing He said to look for, after false Christs. War rhetoric has always been with us on earth, we are a warlike and rebellious people. The Middle East since Israel's re-birth has especially been rife with wars and rumors of wars. But never to the degree that the epicenter has seen today. Seven or more nations are on war alert, live drills with live missiles are taking place. Rockets are being moved. War Ministers are readying troops. Ambassadors are being recalled. Warships are moving into place. The following headlines are from the past two days. They are extraordinary. In my opinion, they exemplify "wars and rumors of wars" to a high degree.
I believe that final, final pieces are being readied for the last days prophesies to be fulfilled quickly. If that is the case, then the rapture is even sooner.
'Iranian forces go on war alert'
Iran moving missiles to secret sites, Western officials tell British paper; earlier, Tehran residents reported to stockpile goods, fearing imminent strike
"Growing panic in Iran? The commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards has ordered his forces to raise their operational readiness ahead of a possible war or strike on the country’s nuclear facilities, the Telegraph reported late Monday."
"The British newspaper quoted Western intelligence sources as saying that Iran is repositioning ballistic missiles, explosives and troops into defensive positions, in order to offer a quick response in the case of an attack by Israel or the United States."
Iran's downing of US drone rattles Washington
"U.S. military officials have expressed concern over news reports that Iran recently downed a U.S. spy drone that had violated the country’s airspace.On Sunday, an unidentified Iranian military source said that the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic had downed a U.S. drone along the country’s eastern border, the Fars News Agency reported.“An advanced RQ-170 unmanned American spy plane was shot down by Iran’s armed forces. It suffered minor damage and is now in possession of Iran’s armed forces,” the source said, according to Fox News.The official also stated that Iran would give a crushing response to any violation of its airspace, saying the response “will not be limited to the country’s borders.”
US officials say Pakistan leaving liaison centers
"Pakistan is pulling its troops out of at least two of the three centers meant to coordinate military activity across the Afghan border in apparent retaliation for NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, U.S. military officials said."
Pakistan recalls ambassadors for consultations after NATO attack
"Pakistan recalls ambassadors for consultations after NATO attack Islamabad has recalled a number of its ambassadors for urgent consultations in the wake of NATO’s killing of 25 Pakistani soldiers, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. The envoys will be instructed on new foreign policy which has been reviewed in the light of last month’s attack, Itar-Tass reports. Ambassadors in the US, the EU countries, Russia, India, Afghanistan and other states were called back, the ministry said, adding that they will be familiarized with the new foreign policy doctrine. Earlier, Islamabad warned it would review its ties with the US and its allies."
Rare attacks on Afghan Shiites kill 60, suicide bomber strikes Kabul mosque
"A suicide bomber struck a crowd of Shiite worshippers who packed a Kabul mosque Tuesday to mark a holy day, killing at least 56 people, and a second bombing in another city killed four more Shiites. They were the first major sectarian assaults since the fall of the Taliban a decade ago. ... Religiously motivated attacks on Shiites are rare in Afghanistan although they are common in neighboring Pakistan."
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Prime Minister: If Iran attacks Israel it will be gone the next day"
"United Arab Emirates' PM downplays concerns about nuclear Iran, tells CNN he believes Israel will destroy Iran if attacked. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) discounted on Tuesday the West's concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran.
Sectarian bloodshed worsens in Syria amid uprising
"Dozens of bodies were dumped in the streets of a Syrian city at the heart of the country's nearly 9-month-old uprising, a grim sign that sectarian bloodshed is escalating as the country descends further toward civil war."
China's Hu urges navy to prepare for combat
"Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday urged the navy to prepare for military combat, amid growing regional tensions over maritime disputes and a US campaign to assert itself as a Pacific power."
As Matthew Henry said in his commentary on the Matthew 24:6 verse, "Our Saviour cautions his disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. And he foretells wars and great commotions among nations. From the time that the Jews rejected Christ, and he left their house desolate, the sword never departed from them. See what comes of refusing the gospel. Those who will not hear the messengers of peace, shall be made to hear the messengers of war. "
Make sure your heart is at peace with the Savior.