“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
This is God’s inspired Word and every word was chosen carefully. Destruction is coming suddenly as the birth pangs of a woman about to deliver a child. The woman here is a lost, wicked, godless society and judgments are going to come like labor pains. When the moment of birth draws near, the pains begin to increase both in number and intensity. They can be an hour apart, then half an hour, then ten minutes apart. She is taken to a hospital, and the pains keep increasing. Suddenly, constant labor pains—travail. Its spiritual application is that the final destruction will begin with painful warnings which will intensify and become accelerated.
I believe America is already headed for the labor room. When hundreds of American marines were suddenly destroyed in Beirut, Lebanon, without a warning, we stood by—helpless! A few years later when America’s space shuttle Challenger blew up in the heavens, the world watched in horror as seven astronauts plunged to earth—and again we were helpless.
AIDS was declared a plague upon America by alarmed doctors and its spread was terrifying. Drugs have exploded upon our society—another plague. Drug abuse is spreading like the black plague of past centuries. Gangs now roam New York, Los Angeles, Chicago—killing, robbing, mugging! Paul warns us that it is all going to intensify, and God is now quickening the pace of troubles and sorrows.
The Holy Spirit is also blowing the trumpet louder and it sounds more ominous. Never have we heard so many warnings. Never have there been more watchmen crying from the wall. In fact, there have been so many warnings that many of God’s people have turned a deaf ear. Society is in travail—judgment is breaking out—and people are turning to idols and toys. Jesus said we are to rejoice when we see all these things coming to pass because it means our redemption is near.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).