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…But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Signs of the time. The birth pangs are intensifying once again.
Reuters has reported that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia is set to commence the largest war games since 1981. Vostok-2018 (East-2018), involving 300,000 troops and thousands of aircraft and naval vessels, will take place in central and eastern Russia next month.
For what purpose? Are they suddenly ramping up unprecedented levels of training just to stay sharp, or is there an ultimate objective they are working toward? I suspect the latter. With a tumbling economy and oil riches at stake, could it be the shark-like czar smells blood in the water?
Meanwhile in Syria, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami has signed an agreement stipulating Iran’s assistance in rebuilding the Syrian military. He also issued a warning against “foreign aggression,” seemingly in defiance against America’s stance on Iran’s support of the Assad regime.
Saber-rattling, or are Syria and Iran up to something? Signs of the times…
Beyond that, French President Emmanuel Macron is pressing for an EU defense project in cooperation with Russia and Turkey. Seemingly, his plan is to abandon NATO policy, in preference to a stronger EU. (Think: revived Roman empire!) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host a summit in Istanbul in September, where France, Germany and Russia will send representatives.
Friends, we know for certain that Damascus will one day be utterly destroyed (Isaiah 17:1), and that Russia, Iran and Turkey will lead a coalition of others in an attack on Israel (Ezekiel 38-39). Jesus Himself told His disciples that war and rumors of wars, and nations rising against one another, will happen in the last days. (Matthew 24:6-8)
Verse 8 says these things are the beginning of birth pangs. Matthew 24:14 tells us that, ultimately, the end will come. We are watching the birth pangs happen right before our very eyes! Thus, the question: How long before we are called to meet Jesus in the air?