Beginning of birth pains

As my colleagues were planning for trips to China and Japan in recent months, we inevitably spotted reports of earthquakes in these areas and more during our media monitoring. In fact, I can recall at least three earthquakes that happened within the last two months (Japan, China and off New Zealand). (And just yesterday afternoon, parts of Singapore were shaken by tremors from the earthquake that happened off Southern Sumatra, Indonesia.) This excludes other disasters, such as typhoons, that have ravaged countries in the region. My colleague couldn’t help but wondered aloud what’s happening to this world. One explanation I could think of is that maybe earthquakes have been occurring at these frequancies annually for ages past, but the pervasiveness of today’s media push such news to us indiscriminately, leading to greater awareness of global events.

But there is another explanation, one which Jesus spoke of when He responded to His disciples’ query on the end of the age, in Matt 24:1-14. Jesus explained that earthquakes, along with famines, wars and rumours of wars, are ‘begining of birth pains’ that forewarn His return. When He does, that would be the end of the age.

Frankly, there has been one too many doomsday prediction that has failed, and perhaps we have stopped expecting. Yet, no one knows the day or hour, and we have been warned to keep watch.

I can’t help but heighten my watch. Is the end near?

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