Current Events – Beginning of Sorrows

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Matthew 24:7.

Indecisive end to Gaza conflict—Fifty days of fighting has left more than 2,200 people dead, most of them Palestinians and more than a quarter of Gaza’s population has been displaced by fighting. How long with this current ceasefire last? is the unanswered question. With the cleanup other problems arise–a health risk. With damaged pipelines and sewage floods the local water authority is now providing 50 percent less water and there are concerns about contamination. BBC News August 19, 2014.

Ebola Outbreak—‘It’s even worse than I’d feared,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said of the Ebola outbreak rampaging through West Africa. “Every day this outbreak goes on, it increases the risk for another export to another country.” More than 2,600 people have been infected by Ebola in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the outbreak began in December. Nearly 1,500 have died. CNN News, August 27, 2014.

Syria—Thousands of foreign fighters from 50 nations are engaged in Syria and who are affiliating themselves with extremist groups to take part in its bloody, messy civil war.

“More than a million Christians have fled their homes in Iraq alone, after being given the ultimatum by the group to convert to their radical form of Islam or be put to death. One report stated that Yazidis converted to Islam against their will in order to avoid death.”

“There are children who are only eating once every three days,” Dr. Ali Albayati, who lives in the town, told the BBC. “It is a humanitarian disaster – 20,000 people in Amerli are fighting off death.”

As terrible as these wars are, could they be the devil’s smoke screen to hide the ultimate enemy of Christianity?

Seoul, South Korea—Pope Francis ended his five-day visit to South Korea with the same message he delivered the moment he first stepped off his Alitalia flight August 14: a call for reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.

Between that first wish and his last public prayer August 18, Francis built on the theme of reconciliation coupling it with calls for forgiveness and inclusiveness, especially keeping in mind the poor and otherwise marginalized of society. …

Francis’ vision of international reconciliation goes beyond the Koreas. He made this clear several times during his visit. He encouraged a group of Catholic bishops and young people on the last day of the Asian youth gathering to evangelize their continent “through dialogue and openness, even with others suspicious or intolerant of the church.” …

Reconciliation requires a transformation of heart, attitude and lifestyle, Francis told every Korean he encountered, explaining such transformation requires payer, hard work and the grace of God.

“And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.” Revelation 13:3. “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them.” I Thessalonians 5:3.