The Beginning of the End
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
Jesus had just predicted the total destruction of the Temple (which came to pass in A.D. 70) and that brought many questions into the minds of the Disciples…and those questions continue to this very day. When will the “end times” come? What will the signs be? Prophecy will remain a hot topic until it all comes to pass, but what are we to do with it in the meantime?
I’m not going to drive down any eschatological (the study of end times) roads as we look at this prophetic chapter in Matthew’s Gospel, as appealing as that is. The main thing I hope we can all take away from this is PEACE!
P = peacefulness: knowing that in the end, everything will be OK.
E = encouragement: we operate FROM victory, not striving towards it.
A= assurance: the struggles in this life will be worth it in the end.
C= courage: we have the power we need via the Holy Spirit to press on.
E= ending: this story will have the happiest ending imaginable.
As depressing as the news can be, one thing is for sure: it’s all setting up nicely, isn’t it? The world is clamoring for a Savior...one man that can solve all of our problems…a “one stop shop”, if you will. Sadly, the world has yet to confess that God has already given us the One we so desperately need. That day WILL come, friends. The big question is this: on that Day, will YOU be able to confess Him as your Lord and Savior, or will you be forced to confess Him as Judge and King?