The Beginning of Sorrows

How to make Sense Out of World Disasters

Luke 21:25,26


DATE: Sept 11, 2005  PM    

PLACE: BBC Ballincollig


I.         Introduction (Luke 21:25,26)


A.      Why Disasters Happen – not just personal problems, but BIG disasters


1.        Like Job’s wipe-out – lost everything

2.        Like the cataclysmic flood of Noah’s day

3.        Like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

4.        Like the collapse of a tower in Galilee killing eighteen


II.       The State of Our World (Matthew 24:4-8)

III.     And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars…


A.      No period witnessed the escalation of wars as the 20th Century with hundreds of wars and millions killed!

B.       The Red Cross estimated that over 100 million people have been killed in wars since the 20th Century began. Up until 1914, war had never been universal… But then came:


1.        World War I and World War II

2.        Then the Korean War

3.        Then the Vietnam War


C.       Have we become numb to news of atrocities and tortures, mass rape and murder?

D.      These only show what horrible savagery modern man is still capable of when he is unrestrained by God.


IV.    And there shall be famines


A.      Irish Potato Famine 1840-1845

B.       Incredible increases in famines in Africa

C.       During the decade of the the 1990's more than 100 million children died from illness and starvation.

D.      The World Health Organization estimates one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed, and one-third is starving!

E.       Things haven’t gotten better


V.      Pestilences


A.      AIDS (an unknown disease 50 yrs ago) has killed 25 million

B.       Over 100 different kinds of cancer (also unknown 100 years ago) now kill over 5 million people every year.

C.       Epidemics of typhoid, diphtheria, and even the Black Death, have afflicted large areas of India and the former Soviet Union.

D.      Deadly new strains of Malaria, Tuberculosis and Cholera are becoming resistant to all known anti-biotics and are killing millions of people every year.

E.       Even the common bacteria that causes pneumonia, children's ear infections and many other every day diseases are changing into forms untreatable by all known medicines, threatening a chilling post-antibiotic era where even the simplest infections could quickly escalate into fatal diseases.


VI.    Earthquakes


A.      An earthquake registering 6.3 hit Iran on
26 December 2003 killing 50,000.

B.       On December 26, 2004, almost 300,000 people in 11 countries were killed by a tsunami caused by a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Indonesia. 

C.       The world's most lethal earthquake struck the Chinese city of Shaanzi back in 1556. No magnitudes are quoted, and of course no recordings exist, for the event which is said to have claimed the lives of 830,000 people. But nobody knew about it for months. Now the whole world knows about disasters AS THEY HAPPEN!


VII.  Matthew 24:9-12


“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”


VIII.      Hatred of Christians


A.      Roman Persecution – 250 years
5 million martyred

B.       Roman Catholic Persecution – 1,000 years
50 million martyred

C.       Modern Persecution

D.      Muslim killings and torture throughout the world

E.       Society’s mass rejection of Jesus Christ

F.       Intolerance of Biblical Christianity by modern “christians”


IX.    Hatred and Violence


A.      Jesus prophesied that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days just before He returns.

B.       And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

C.       The earth also was corrupt before
God, and the earth was filled with
.” (Genesis 6:5,11).


X.      Many False Prophets Shall Rise, and shall Deceive Many


"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies ..." 2 Pet. 2:1


A.      Benny Hinn – false miracles, false prophecies, lots of followers

B.       Kenneth Hagin – Hisses like a snake getting people to slither out of their chairs, teaches Jesus had to go to hell to pay for our sins, teaches we all have as much authority and power as Jesus when we just have enough faith

C.       Marilyn Hickey – false miracles, false prophecies, lots of followers

D.      Kenneth Copeland – says Jesus became the devil on the cross, promotes “creative visualization”, has given many false prophecies and false miracles

E.       Elron Hubbard (Scientology) – “we are all gods”

F.       Joseph Smith (Mormons) – “we can become gods”


XI.    Luke 21:25-26


A.      And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;

B.       the sea and the waves roaring;

C.       Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.


XII.  “The sea and the waves roaring” – Hurricanes and Typhoons


1970, November 13       East Pakistan (Bangladesh)        Up to 1 Million

1737, October 7             Bengal, India                                 Over 300,000

1881                                Haiphong, Vietnam                      300,000

1876                                Bengal, India                                 200,000

1882, June 6                   Bombay, India                              Over 100,000

1864, October 5             Calcutta, India                              50,000 to 70,000

1965, May and June     East Pakistan (Bangladesh)        35,000 to 40,000

1942, October 16           Bengal, India                                 Over 35,000

1963, May 28-29           East Pakistan (Bangladesh)        22,000

1780, October 10-12     Caribbean Islands                        20,000 to 30,000

2005, September           Louisiana, USA, Katrina            10,000 (up to $100B)

1992                                Miami, Hurricane Andrew          26 ($25B)


XIII.      But Why? Is There a Reason? The Truth About Disasters


A.      They Are a Warning to All - Heed

B.      They Are a Judgment for Sin - Flee

C.      They Are a Call to Repent - Today

D.      They Are Going to Be Finished – Soon!


XIV.      Fair Warning


A.      Sorrows are Intentional – God’s in control, not Mother Nature!!!

B.       Sorrows are Incremental – will only increase. Things will NOT get better!

C.      Sorrows are to be Instructive


XV.        Things to Come… Are Only the Beginning


A.      Even Worse Natural Disasters are to come

B.       More Wars – at least TWO World Wars

C.       Disasters in the Heavens – Asteroids, etc

D.      New out-of-control Diseases

E.       More Falling Away by Christians

F.       But very soon… The Rapture!


XVI.     The Judgment of God


A.       Disasters are not always a judgment, but many times they are

B.       Against Sin in General – part of the curse of Genesis 3

C.       Against Sins in Particular

D.      The entire world of Noah’s day

E.       The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah

F.       Entire Nations (Ps 9:17; Jer 18:7-10; 2Kgs 24:3,4)

G.       Often includes the innocent with the guilty (as it did with Daniel and his friends being taken captive with rebellious Judah)


XVII.    A Call to Repent (Luke 13:1-5)


A.      Don’t worry as much about who deserves the judgment, as whether you are right with God yourself!

B.       With every disaster, God always warns and makes a way for people to escape

C.       John the Baptist (Mt 3:7)

D.      Jeremiah before Jerusalem fell

E.       Noah before the flood


XVIII.  Disasters Will End Soon (Revelation 19:11-15)


A.      Everything is building towards a climax – the Second Coming of
Jesus Christ

B.       After that, the earth will be restored to Eden

C.       After 1,000 years, even the earth and the heavens will be completely replaced and made perfect – new heaven and new earth

D.      There will be “NO MORE CURSE!” (Rev 22:3)


XIX.      Two Final Thoughts


A.      And (even though) ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass. Matthew 24:6

B.       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