By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
The status of groan and travail refers to the status created in Adam's Fall; which caused misery from then until the present. Scripture reveals: For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain (or suffers birth pangs) together until now (Romans 8:22).
A Bible commentary noted: The whole creation was brought into a state of bondage and corruption, subjected to vanity, attended with troubles, liable to death, groan and travail under present miseries for deliverance, waiting for the heavenly glory, to be freed from the dominion of sin. The present sufferings of creation are the "birth pangs" of the new age to be born, the Millennium (or Christ's thousand year reign).
Scripture reveals: The day of the Lord (prior to Christ's thousand-year reign on earth) will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation (or conduct) and godliness (2 Peter 3:10-11). Nevertheless we, (the believers in Christ) look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. Wherefore, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent, that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless (2 Peter 3:13-14).
You therefore, seeing that you know these things before (or beforehand), beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever (2 Peter 3:17-18).
Scripture reveals: You therefore endure hardness (or hardship) as a good solider of Jesus Christ. No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life: that he may please him who has chosen him to be a solider (2 Timothy 2:3-4). We are seeing many churches in the Western world becoming entangled with the affairs of men, condoning the unrighteousness of man, with acceptance and tolerance towards ungodly lifestyles.
Since the fall of man, in the Garden of Eden, man has twisted and perverted God's Word towards disobedience of its infallible truths. Man has allowed the curse of sin to continue unabated, with its influence bringing many into captivity.
Scripture reveals that the believer is to instruct (or correct) those that oppose (or are in opposition) themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to (so they may know) the acknowledgment of the truth; and that they may recover themselves (or come to their senses) out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at (or to do) his will (2 Timothy 2:25-26).
Scripture reveals: I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). The blessed hope of the Christian looks ahead with anticipation towards the promises of God being fulfilled. One such promise is:
The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump (or trumpet) of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever (or always) be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Scripture tells of Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. In telling of His ascension a promise is noted: After he was taken up a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, two men stood by them in white apparel, which said:
You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11).
The rapture (or catching away) of the church (to meet the Lord in the air) will be the first phase of Christ's return; prior to the Day of the Lord, and Judgment.
One may groan and travail as they see the condition of the world drawing closer to end times, which will be for some a time of weeping; others great joy. Jesus revealed: A woman when she is in travail (or labor) has sorrow: but as soon as she is delivered of the child (or has given birth), she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man (or human being) is born into the world (John 16:21).
Israel was under a groan and travail situation for 400 years of bondage to the Egyptians with hard taskmasters and slavery. But deliverance was on its way; God's miraculous hand of taking them out of captivity into the promised land was on its way. When delivered came from the hands of the Egyptians; groan and travail was not longer a factor; rather great joy at God's miraculous hand of deliverance!
Scripture reveals: For we know that if our earthly house (or physical body) of this tabernacle were dissolved (or destroyed), we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in heavens. For in this we groan and travail earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1-2).
Scripture speaks of those who seek such a home: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded (or assured) of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country (or homeland).
And truly if they had been mindful of that country from where they had came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But not they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he has prepared for them a city (Hebrews 11:13-16).
We are seeing Bible prophesies fulfilled right before our eyes. Jesus said: You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers (or various) places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (or a time of groan and travail) (Matthew 24:6-8).
They shall they deliver you (the believer) to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake (Matthew 24:9). And because iniquity (or lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax (or grow) cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:12-14).
Groan and travail, with the perplexities of life, will be little in comparison to what lies ahead in the Tribulation Period spoken of in the Book of Revelation: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall (or is able) to stand (Revelation 6:17)?
We are seeing ungodliness thrust forward by man, with a seal of approval, by those who are ignorant towards God's Word, who proudly proclaim such lifestyles. Groan and travail expresses disapproval; and a struggle with what is before one.
The people of Noah's day (the Pre-Flood condition) knew not the severity and suddenness of coming destruction; so it will be in end time with many unprepared for the coming of the Lord, the return of Christ to judge the world. Those caught unprepared (as the five foolish virgins in the parable of the ten virgins - found in the Book of Matthew - Chapter 25) will groan and travail such a time.
Scripture reveals: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (the Lord Jesus Christ), that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
He that believes on him is not condemned; but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18). He that believes on the Son has everlasting life; and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:36).
It is sad that there are many today who have rejected God's provision for man to take away the curse of sin. Scripture gives a reason: And this is the condemnation, that light (the Lord Jesus Christ) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19).
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