By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Groan and travail refers to Adam's Fall which caused misery from then until the present. A Bible commentary noted: The present sufferings of creation are the "birth pangs" of the new age to be born, the Millennium (or Christ's thousand year reign).
From the Fall (Genesis 3:1-6) unto now, creation has been groaning over having been made a curse (Genesis 3:14-19). It eagerly looks forward to the time when the curse will be lifted. Scripture reveals: The whole creation groan and travail in pain together until that time (Romans 8:22).
The whole creation was brought under a curse because of Adam's sin. The curse will be removed when Christ restores the creation to the way it was in the beginning.
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.
Scripture reveals that the heavens and the earth which are now, are kept in store, reserved unto fire until the day of judgment, and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7).
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 these things shall be dissolved what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conduct and godliness. 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 3:10-14).
Seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness (2 Peter 3:17).
We are seeing many churches in the Western world become entangled with the affairs of men (2 Timothy 2:4), 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 such in meekness, those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him to do his will (2 Timothy 2:25-26).
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 trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we 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 4:9-11).
The rapture 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 His judgment.
One may groan and travail as they see the condition of the world stepping closer to end times, which will be for some a time of weeping; others great joy. Jesus revealed how a woman will groan and travail, because her hour is come. But as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world (John 16:21).
Israel suffered 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!
We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (or physical body) were destroyed, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in heavens. For in this we groan and travail earnestly desired 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: Who confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. They declared that they seek a country. 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 (Hebrews 11:13-16).
We are seeing prophesies fulfilled right before our eyes in our present generation. We are seeing the rise of nuclear holocaust, alliances of biblical proportions, wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, described as the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:8).
Jesus said: They shall deliver you (the believer) up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall 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 24:9-14).
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: The great day of his wrath is come; and who 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 is to express disapproval; travail to 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 (Matthew 24:36-39). Those caught unprepared (as the five foolish virgins) will groan and travail such a time (Matthew 25:2).
Scripture reveals that 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.
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 3:16-18). He that believes on the Son has overlapping life; but 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: Light (the Lord Jesus Christ) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil (John 3:19-20).
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Product of the world are those who have become addicted to sin and wickedness through various means available.
A coming out! A day of reckoning; past offenses being revealed, with many being called to task for former abuses, with a new found freedom not formerly granted.
The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (or suppress) the truth in unrighteousness.
Ungodly persuasion has been on a upswing; with open reign towards exploiting the ungodliness of man, opposing any who would attempt to countermand.