This began as a private message to one person, but it seems worth posting here as well in slightly edited form.
I believe we are in a period Jesus calls “the beginning of birth pains”, in the Greek: “πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων” (Matthew 24:8), which translates almost word-for-word to “But all these are the beginning of birth pains” (some translations move “but” — post-positive δὲ — to just before “the beginning”; not exactly what it says but a plausible rendering). The KJV for some reason translates ὠδίνων as “of sorrows” rather than “of birth pains”, which doesn’t look quite right to me, but it still fits. The allusion is to birth pains that start out as relatively mild and infrequent, but grow in frequency and intensity. They’re growing rather quickly, too.
I could be off in labeling our time this way, but it wouldn’t change the warning. [Edit: I think I am off, but the warning still applies.]
Disclaimer: I’m not an Ancient Greek scholar, but I have a level of familiarity with the language.
I find it interesting that five words in the Greek require nine words of English just to translate literally. It has to do with possessive (genitive) case endings and implied verbs & articles. Ancient Koine Greek is a highly expressive language, even though it was merely the “street Greek” of its time. That time spanned something like four centuries.
A modern vernacular/idiomatic version of this verse might render as “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet”. What we see now appears to be developing into a special “last opportunity” time for witness, as more and more people sense something very wrong with their world and seek to understand what is happening, and I am far from alone in this observation. Those who seek and find will be spared what comes next — the social, technological, and governmental foundations for which are already being laid.