Now while Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” Jesus replied, “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the Christ.’ They will deceive many people. You will hear about wars and reports of wars. Don’t be alarmed. These things must happen, but this isn’t the end yet. Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in all sorts of places. But all these things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end. They will arrest you, abuse you, and they will kill you. All nations will hate you on account of my name. At that time many will fall away. They will betray each other and hate each other. Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because disobedience will expand, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all the nations. Then the end will come (Matthew 24:3-14, Common English Bible).
North Korea, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to name only a few of the worlds hot spots. “You will hear about wars and rumors of wars.” When you look at the way people are treating each other all over the world and even sadder, how people are treating each other in our society and all too often within the walls of our churches. “They will betray each other and hate each other.” There are stories we hear regularly about the rights of Christians disappearing in our land. “They will arrest you, abuse you, and they will kill you. All nations will hate you on account of my name.” I could go on but I think you get the idea.
These are some of the signs of our times. These signs seem not only to point to our times but also to what Jesus was saying in our lesson today. When we start reading all of Jesus’ words it can be enough to make us think the end must surely be upon us.
That is not my prophetic voice you are hearing. Are these signs of our times also signs that the end is upon us? Let me be clear, I DON’T KNOW!!! Further, neither do you or anyone else walking this planet. I do know we are closer to the end today than we were yesterday but that as much as I know.
“Well surely Keith, you have to admit that things look bad these days. And the signs… the signs point toward the coming of Jesus.” And I will say, you are correct. But, in every age people have looked at what is happening in the world around them and interpreted the signs of their time as the signs of the end time. Obviously, they were wrong. And, any in our time who have read the signs in order to arrive at the same conclusion was equally wrong.
The point of all this is Jesus telling his listeners in every age, “Pay attention!” We need to stay awake, alert, and to know the day will come. For some of us, it will come when this world comes to an end. For others, it will come when this life comes to an end. Either way, we need to pay attention to Jesus’ words and we need to pay attention to what happens around us.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved