From Matthew Chapter 24
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
One thing I will never claim is that I'm a prophet. Unless God gives me the gift of prophecy, any opinions that I give, remains just that- opinions. That said, as I was thinking about the above verses, I was thinking about the first, famine, in that it is not only physical famine, or lack of food, but also spiritual famine- lack of belief and/or faith. Let me explain what I mean here. Famine as Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary explains is 1) A widespread scarcity of food, 2) scarcity of anything.
We are used to seeing pictures of people around the world when there is a famine from food- sad pictures of little kids with extended stomachs, surviving on very little if anything every day. The mothers looking as frail and skinny as skeletons. This kind of famine is unfortunately a typical way of life in many poor countries around the world- many countries who's leaders could avoid slow starvation of their people, but for power or egotistical reasons, refuse. Places like North Korea, who's Kim Il Jong would rather spend any money coming into the country on building up the military, acquiring nuclear arms and putting dissenting citizens in concentration camps. Places like Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan, where people are terrorized because of their religion, or who are caught between opposing militias trying to gain political power often lead to the innocent men, women and children having to either leave their homes and belongings, or being burned our driven out by warlords. Some places suffer for lack of water and crops, insect infestations and other catastrophes.
For many decades, it has been countries like the USA who have been at the forefront of sending aid to these countries, tons of bags of wheat, rice and other food stuffs. Now, we are seeing problems in this country- in that some places are experiencing over farming and soil erosion, some places are experiencing insect or other natural disasters, just a couple of winters ago in California for example, lost much of it's crops due to snow and ice storms. here in Florida, many of us lost crops due to frost and freezes. The animal industry is also experiencing problems with mad cow, resurgence of hoof and mouth disease and with the 'bird flu', could wipe out much of the world's beef and poultry supplies. One only has to look at food recalls lately as well to see that there are serious health issues with cross contamination and uncleanliness. There is also a mysterious killing off of and disappearance of bees around the world. Bees which are necessary to pollinate crops. The economy in recent years as well, with rising fuel prices and scarce crops have actually caused shortages on some food items in the grocery stores.
There will definitely be famines and food shortages to come, possibly worse than anything ever experienced in the world.
As for spiritual famines, I believe we have been seeing this for decades- both inside and out of the Christian church. There is a slow demise of the church and culture is influencing the church more than what it should be- as it used to be, the Church's calling to influence culture by spreading the Gospel and loving people by the Truth has been disappearing. I read a few interesting stories that are not all that uncommon, that show the spiritual starvation of so many people, that they are not being fed the Truth of the Gospel, so they are turning elsewhere to be fed, or they are sampling from the 'smorgasbord' of beliefs that are available. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness with a loaf of bread, His answer to Satan was "Man can not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Jesus was and is talking about God Almighty- not new age gurus, not Mohammad, not Rev. Moonie, not any and every other god- but The God- author of all time, the beginning, the end and everlasting creator of the Universe. Jesus knows that people can survive physically on food, but without His Word, people will die spiritually- from famine.
For those who equate Jesus as just one of the many good teachers or prophets of ages past, another enlightened and good teacher- He believes in the God Breathed Book of Holy Scriptures- He knows that the Bible is Truth, or He wouldn't have quoted it so much. Therefore, either He was a liar, quoting something He knew to be corrupt or nothing more than fairy tales, some book that could be changed or interpreted according to societal and cultural changes, or He is who He says He is. It is your choice in which to believe, but how can a good teacher, or enlightened prophet be a liar?
For the next part of this prophecy, Jesus tells of earthquakes in various places. This is happening now, in places that aren't usually the places you'd think of earthquake prone areas. Last year, some in South West Florida felt a tremor that was from an earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico. The deadly Tsunami a few years ago that was caused by such a massive quake in the Ocean off Sumatra, that it literally knocked the earth slightly off it's axis. Earthquakes are happening quite frequently, as they most likely have throughout history, but there will be major ones to come such as the Oakland/San Francisco Bay area quake back in the late 80's. There are more people in quake prone areas, so there will be terrible loss when they happen more violently in the future.
For the last part of this prophecy, this is happening in many countries around the world already in countries such as China, Cuba, Eritrea, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bhutan and so many others, and if the so called hate crimes bill passes and becomes law here in the Untied States has it has in Canada and other countries of Christian roots, many more people of Christian faith will be dragged into courts, forced to pay large fines or thrown in jail for their faith, and Pastors at Bible believing churches could lose their tax exemptions or even their church.
Many of the Prophecies told to us by Jesus are happening already, and are only going to get worse until He comes back. Some might claim it's just coincidence, or that people like Nostradamus predicted similar things. While there have been many psychics and seers, none of them have proven to have every prediction come true as the Bible prophecies have and will.
Are you willing to stake your eternal future on coincidence or some seer that died centuries ago, or will you put your trust and faith in the Living Jesus, who has forgiven all already, paid the penalty for all sins, leaving you only to accept or reject Him?