Regarding the title above, I don’t mean to imply light being shed on the Tribulation–although that is part of what I hope will be done. By using the term “Tribulation light,” I mean we are now seeing issues and events occur in this Age of Grace much like, but not actually those prophetically scheduled for, the seven years of worldwide horror leading up to Christ’s Second Advent–i.e., those issues and events are but similar to those much more horrific, apocalyptic events; foreshadows of things to come.
There are several specific prophecies expounded upon by Jesus while giving His Olivet Discourse that I would like to examine as being “Tribulation light” events in our headlines today.
The Lord gave these as recorded in the following prophecy:
Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21: 20-21)
I would like to probe a bit into the less-prominent “Tribulation light” prophetic indicators within the above Scripture before getting into that which I view as most pronounced in these days so near the end of the Church Age.
Jesus was foretelling that these troubles will be unprecedented in their ferocity during the Tribulation era when God’s wrath will fall upon incorrigibly wicked mankind. He exhorted that when those with discernment see these things begin to happen, they are to know that His return is drawing near. Note, the Lord said when these things “begin” to come to pass, those with discernment are to “look up…for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).
Jesus said as recorded in other places that these issues and events will be like birth pangs. They will come upon end-time’s mankind like pains a woman experiences during the incrementally increasing contractions of having a baby. That is, these pains will begin in a milder manner than they will become the nearer the moment of birth.
Earthquakes, Jesus said, will mark the beginning of “sorrows” (birth pangs). Again, these, obviously, staying within the birthing analogy, will be lighter in severity than they will become during the full-blown Tribulation when Christ’s return is about to happen. We are told in Revelation that there will occur the ultimate earthquake as Christ is breaking through the black clouds of that terrible time. Every mountain will fall. That describes a mighty earthquake indeed!
Anyone who reads the news as presented in our Rapture Ready News section knows of the reports of tremblers from around the world. There seems no geographical region of the planet that isn’t experiencing seismic activity on an increasing scale. All of these quakes are light in severity when compared to the Revelation description of the final quake that will bring every tall structure on earth crashing down. However, the cumulative effects have prophetic evidentiary significance, it becomes ever more obvious.
Just within the past days, we have the following posts:
- 5.7-magnitude earthquake felt in New Zealand capital
New Zealand’s capital city Wellington was rocked by 5.7-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday (Feb 9), according to the country’s earthquake monitoring service.
- Massive earthquake hits near Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit near the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville early on Tuesday morning. The undersea quake struck at 3.19am local time…
- Taiwan Quake Kills at Least 18 as Search for Missing Continues
A strong earthquake rocked a region of Taiwan that’s a hub for chipmaking suppliers to the likes of Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., killing at least 18 people
- 5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal, Tremors Felt In Bihar
- Earthquake shakes Tokyo, no tsunami risk
An earthquake has struck close to Tokyo, shaking much of the metropolitan region. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami
- Chile earthquake: Strong tremor strikes near Tongoy and La Serena
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 has struck off the coast of central Chile, centered off Tongoy and La Serena, seismologists say.
- Strong earthquake hits Solomon Islands
A magnitude 6.4 earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands at 12.19am today, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department.
Such reports continue in a never-ending cyberspace headlines crawl. The tremors are coming with increasing frequency and intensity.
The second “Tribulation light” indicator I pluck from the Luke 21:20-21 Olivet prophecy Jesus gave is the matter of “pestilence.”
To be brief, I bring to your attention the things we have seen develop most recently in this regard. Remember the Ebola scare of a few months ago. Think of the HIV natter that was on the front pages and growing, seemingly, uncontrollably. And now it is the Zika virus that is apparently spread by mosquitoes and which has no medical defense to combat it.
There is growing concern among the medical research community that many of the pestilences are in the process of mutating–developing resistance to antibiotics and other forms of combating disease.
The Tribulation era will see these diseases become full-blown. The toll in human life will be beyond comprehension.
All of these above-mentioned developments are but sidebars to the real story regarding signals that show how near this generation is to the Tribulation era.
“Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom”: This is the real scriptural crux of proof in thinking on where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline.
“Nation” in the Greek language, as used here, is “ethnos” or “ethnic” in English. Jesus was predicting that the very end of the age would produce great ethnic upheaval. People will be raging against each other for reasons of race. Likewise, the Lord said that “kingdom against kingdom” will mark the era leading up to His Second Advent.
Is there any doubt whatsoever that these indicators are in our headlines today? In the very streets of America, there is ethnic rage that sometimes boils to the uncontrollable level. The rioting in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, leap instantly to mind. Such rage is at the heart of problems around the world. Religious fervor, inciting ethnic hatreds, mark this generation as the one Jesus must have had in His omniscient mind when giving this prophecy.
We are experiencing today “Tribulation light” prophetic birth pangs on a moment-by-moment basis. It will be fascinating, as watchers on the wall, to see what 2016 will bring. We, as born-again believers, hope it brings the shout of the Lord Jesus: “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1)