IN THE SCOPE OF THE rise and fall of nations, our last lesson revealed that
governments are not advancing toward better things, but are moving toward
greater deterioration; there is no evolving to a greater state of affairs.
Governments are not isolated in this lack of advancement. This principle also
affects our relationships with one another, deception, natural disasters,
diseases, and hunger. All that is in this world is affected by the sin disease
that moves all it touches toward decay and death.
In this lesson we will look
at the world�s movement through
three ages of sorrow. These will give us insight to where we are on the prophetic
Let us turn to the gospel of Matthew chapter twenty-four.
In this chapter the disciples came to Jesus and asked him when the buildings
would be destroyed, how they could know when he would return, and how they could
know when the end of the world was upon them? Jesus answered the three questions
according to the troubles that the world would be going through as it moved
through the ages.
The first age is the age of everyday sorrows (Matthew 24:4-6). After sin entered
the world through the sin of Adam and Eve, man killing man immediately took
place. Killing and war and rumors of war became part of everyday life, and have
been since the day that Cain killed his brother Able
We are not to let wars
trouble us�they are part of life. In this age of everyday sorrows, there will
also be those who seek to deceive us, saying they are Christ; saying they have
the answers to life and man�s existence outside of the teachings of Christ.
Again, this deception that strives to draw us from the way of God should not trouble
us�it is part of the everyday troubles we must endure and resist. This first age
took place after the fall to about 5 BC when God appeared as man through Jesus.
The second age is the age of the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:7-8). When
Christ appeared on the earth his appearance ushered in the end times. From the
time of his death, around 33 BC, until sometime in the twenty-first century, the
world would experience an increase in the frequency and intensity of one group
fighting another because they are not of their nationality or special interest
group, nations warring against other nations, famines, diseases, and earthquakes
in various places throughout the world. These events would start out like a
woman who doesn�t feel her pregnancy, and then finish like a woman in great
anguish and pain because the baby is about to be born. Our world today is crying
out because the pain and anguish has increased. These are only the beginning of
troubles. These are the days in which we now live. Let us learn to have faith in
Christ now, to prepare us for the sorrows to come.
The third age is the age of great sorrows (Matthew 24:9-31). A political leader
will gain great power, find favor with the Jews, be given control over
Jerusalem, and will make a mockery of and defile the Jews most holy place. This
man will be the Antichrist. It is through him that the age of great sorrows is
released. It is a time of great trouble for all who belong to God and who trust
in Jesus. During this time there will be great misery. God�s people will be
killed and hated of all nations. Many of God�s people will be upset by what they
see happening and will depart the faith, betraying and hating those who they once
called brother�sister. Many of God�s people will be greatly deceived and because
sin is so great, the love of many Christians will become cold. This time will
require great endurance from God�s people and great faith to permit them to
suffer and die for the one who created them. In the midst of this age of great
sorrows, God�s message will be heard throughout the entire world as a witness
against the nations. It is this age of great sorrows that will usher in the end
of all things, the rapture, and the return of Jesus in the clouds.
The witness of Scripture and our age is clear that we are living in the end of the age of
the beginning of sorrows and are fast approaching the age of great sorrows.
Scripture also gives witness to four ages that the Jews will pass through.
We will look at these four ages of the Jews in lesson four.
Hold fast till Christ returns!