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  • the beginning of sorrows

Is Hurricane Harvey An End Time Sign And The Beginning Of Sorrows?

I know we are seeing the beginning of sorrows. I live in Houston, TX.  On August 26, 2017 Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast.  Because of unique weather systems, Harvey dropped record amounts of rain on the Texas gulf coast. Some recorded rainfall of almost 50 inches.  People suffered. There was loss of life, property, possessions and automobiles. It was and still is a catastrophe.  I live in Katy, TX. I know many people who suffered loss.

In this article, I want to look at this event from a Bible perspective.  That is the only view that matters.  Here are some pertinent questions.  Was Harvey a sign of the end times? Does Harvey mean anything on the prophetic calendar? Does the bible predict such events? What is the underlying message and meaning of a natural disaster? What is meant by the beginning of sorrows?

The first thing we have to understand is that you cannot find the end times by looking at Harvey alone.  To examine the event outside of a full understanding of end times events, leads to silly and stupid you tube videos that the world laughs at.  Follow this faulty reasoning of one video I watched: Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, (meaning body of Christ) TX, and it came four days after a solar eclipse, therefore the body of Christ will be under spiritual attack for the next four months.  How stupid! Such reasoning only makes those who look at prophecy seem ignorant. The only truth is found by examining a full view of end time prophecy.

Let me give you three scriptural facts.

  1. Sin brings bondage and decay even to planet earth.

It is because of that bondage and decay and groaning of the planet that hurricanes such as Harvey exist. Sin has had an effect. The effect of sin on humans and families is already well known.  There is not a human alive who has not felt the effect of someone’s betrayal, or been hurt or damaged in some way.  But what many don’t understand is that when mankind fell, even the ground was cursed.

Note these powerful words from the book of Genesis 3:17-18 NIV

“To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.”

Mankind’s sin has brought a curse to the very ground, and creation began to be frustrated.  There is a bondage to decay that the earth needs to be liberated from.

Romans 8:20-21 NIV “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”

Paul takes the fall of man and its effect on the earth and tells us that even creation is frustrated. Remember he is describing creation and its current state under the reign of Satanic powers and sinful man.   He describes the creation as groaning. By applying this human characteristic to the earth, he is describing the earth as being sick, weak, and in pain.

Romans 8:22 states “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”   I wish I could tell you that righteousness reigns on planet earth, but it does not! Pornography, drunkenness, abortion, abuse, war, and a thousand other sins, cause even creation to groan.

Before the fall of man, we had no hurricanes. But as sin entered the world, the ground became cursed so that all of creation is now groaning.   Hurricane Harvey is a part of that groaning.  And the earths groaning because of sin will only grow worse as time goes on because unfortunately man will continue to sin.

Someone sarcastically said on the internet to someone who had stated that Harvey was a sign of the soon return of Christ something like this:  Well, what kind of a Deity announces his coming by inflicting his pain and suffering on millions of people?  That is a complete misunderstanding of what the bible teaches.

Harvey is not caused by Jesus who wants to “hurt” humanity.  Jesus left heaven and came to earth and wants to rescue humanity.  According to the Bible, sin is the cause of the groaning of creation.  Mankind under Satanic influence is to blame.

The good news is that when Christ returns to set up his Millennial Kingdom is that while He reigns, the curse will be rolled back! (Isaiah 65:25) If we want to be more accurate, we should say that the groaning of creation, Harvey included, more accurately points to the fact that the sinfulness of the world is reaching a moment when God once again will dispense His perfect judgment on the earth during the Tribulation Period.

Harvey doesn’t announce the coming of Christ as much as he does the Tribulation Period.  Christ Return will be in two parts: First to the sky in the Rapture of the church. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) He will then return at the end of the Tribulation Period at “His Glorious Appearing” to set up a 1000 year reign upon the earth. (Revelation 19-20).

Let me give you another scriptural fact

  1. As we draw close to the Tribulation Period, the signs will increase in intensity and in frequency like birth pangs.

Harvey alone is not enough to say that we are getting close to the end times. Harvey and Irma together aren’t enough.  But when you take a complete look at the biblical prophecy that seems to be converging in a wave of signs. It becomes apparent.  Everything from Apostasy in the church, to the recreation of things necessary for temple worship.  We are closer to the Tribulation Period than ever before!

Some of those signs are seen in these current headlines:

Death toll now at 90 as aftershocks rattle southern Mexico

Japan Earthquake: 5.3 quake hits shortly after Mexico disaster

More Than 100,000 People Have Been Displaced By Flooding In Nigeria

Shin Bet: Temple Mount crisis sparked huge increase in terrorist activity

CAN WAR WITH NORTH KOREA BE AVOIDED? MERKEL AND PUTIN WILL TALK ABOUT IT

Why 20 Million People Are on Brink of Famine in a ‘World of Plenty’

I could list many other end time signs that are apparent to those who watch bible prophecy, including God’s super sign, that Israel has become a nation once again. Bible prophecy watchers understand that end time signs will become more prevalent and stronger and closer together as we approach the Tribulation Period.

Jesus himself compared the signs to a woman in labor.  A woman in labor begins with pains that are far apart and not too intense, but as the time grows near, the pains come stronger, sharper, quicker, and with a fierce intensity..

We must remember the words of Jesus found in Matthew 24:3-8 “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.”

What we are seeing by the convergence of all of these signs and many other signs that are not mentioned is just what Jesus predicted, “the beginning of birth pangs.”  Harvey alone is not a sign of the end times but Harvey, Irma, Katrina, Ike, Allison are all the beginning of birth pangs.

Hurricanes are listed as part of the end times scenario.  Jesus said these words in L uke 21: 25-26  “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. “

  1. The purpose of these signs is that mankind might get ready for the Rapture of the church.

If your child was playing in the street and an on-coming car was approaching at rapid speed, you would do all that you could to warn your child to get out of the way in order to save his / her life.  The closer to your child the car came, the louder you would speak!  God has placed the prophetic passage in the Word of God as a warning to mankind.

As we observe the groaning of the earth and the birth pangs of many signs coming together in a quicker stronger way. We should be able to hear the loving voice of a Savior by the name of Jesus who is calling to each of us.

His words are plain: Get ready! Now is not the time to be playing around with sin! Repent! Come to me for forgiveness and in this way, you will be a part of the Rapture of the church.

Luke 21:34-36 says, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.  For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth.  Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

If you don’t know Christ. Now is the time! Today is the day! Get right!

In review, let’s look at those opening questions one more time.

Was Harvey a sign of the end times? Yes, Harvey is a part of the “groaning of creation” that will culminate in the end time birth pangs that Jesus spoke about.

Does it mean anything on the prophetic calendar? Yes, because it comes alongside many other signs that are converging, it shows that we are nearing the Tribulation Period.

Does the bible predict such events? Yes! The phrase “…the roaring and the tossing of the sea…” more than likely refers to Hurricanes.

What is the underlying message and meaning of a natural disaster?  God uses everything he can to get our attention.  When mankind suffers the loss of physical property, we are all reminded to think of what is really important: Eternity and where we will spend it.  God wants for the church to wake up and spread the good news. Jesus loves and Jesus saves.  He wants for those who are not believers to realize   just how much God cares for them. So much in fact that He allowed prophetic warnings so that all might find salvation through the blood of Jesus.

What is meant by the beginning of sorrows that Jesus spoke about? It refers to the signs given in the Word of God that tell us that we are close to the Tribulation Period.  The Rapture is a sign less event and could occur at any moment.

Interestingly enough, the beginning of sorrows can become the beginning of great joy as you turn to Christ and receive His love and forgiveness.

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About the Author:

Bob Millsaps is a graduate of North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the pastor of Fountain of Life Christian Center in Houston, Texas. He is happily married to his wife Jureen and they have three sons, and one grandaughter. Bob has served the Assemblies of God as a missionary, pastor, youth pastor, and evangelist. Bob currently resides in Katy, Texas

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