Matt.24:8 – But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.
Rom.8:22,23 – For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
I was recently praying about the recent prophetic events unfolding in Israel and asking the Lord about what was going on in His church in this new season that we have apparently entered. I found myself thinking about the time Jesus was in when He made this prophesy. The Lord had been dealing primarily with Israel for many centuries, since the time of Abraham. The appearance of the Messiah and the rejection of Him by the nation marked the end of that season and the beginning of what Jesus said was the age of the gentiles. Here is how Jesus said it as recorded in Luke’s gospel.
Lk.21:20-24 – “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are inside the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of punishment, so that all things which have been written will be fulfilled. Woe to those women who are pregnant, and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
Jesus was prophesying that Israel would be scattered through the nations and there would be a season that He called the “age of the gentiles”. The age of the gentiles is the church age, these last 2000 years when the Lord has been gathering His people from the nations of the world. Jesus also prophesied that the age of the gentiles would end indicating the Jewish people would control Israel again before His return to the earth. Jesus lived during the end of the season God had dealt with the Jewish nation, we live as the age of the gentiles is ending. What does that all mean? There is not much time. Just as there was a change of God’s seasons at the time of Christ, there is a change happening right now. The season of the Lord gathering the gentiles is ending, the harvest of souls in the Jewish world is about to begin. For those who know the Bible the time of ‘Jacob’s trouble’ is upon us. There will be a time of Great Tribulation and a great harvest of the Jewish people. These are our last moments to gather the gentile nations to Christ.