“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.”
In beginning to answer the disciples’ question about the signs of His second coming, Jesus Christ first pointed out the need to beware of religious deception (Matthew 24:3-5).
He followed this with warnings about wars and rumors of wars—continuing scourges of the human race through the centuries, but apparently crescendoing in the end times.
War often contributes to the famines and disease epidemics that Jesus mentioned next. All these, plus earthquakes, are like the beginning of sorrows. This literally means “birth pangs,” which “will increase in intensity and frequency until Jesus returns in glory” (Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible, note on Matthew 24:7-8).
Read more about how Jesus’ prophecy ties in with the prophecy the apostle John recorded in Revelation 6. See “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”