August 2020 Beacon
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Are we living in the ‘end times’? The multitudes of change we are experiencing in our world may cause you to wonder. There are some sharp minds out there that have lived over 80 years and probably cannot recall a time when there has been so much turmoil, upheaval, and confusion! The events of our day can cause one to question if we are ‘near the end.’
When Jesus walked the earth in the first century, His disciples raised similar questions. After Jesus left the temple and was walking away, they approached Him. He had completed His discussions with the religious leaders and was on His way to Bethany by way of the Mount of Olives. His followers were wrestling with some of His teaching. If Jerusalem and the temple were to be destroyed, how would there be a nation for Messiah to rule? Jesus responded saying, “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another, every one will be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:2)
It is interesting to consider how, when things are going well, it can be difficult to imagine hardship. We live in the greatest nation ever. The prosperity we enjoy and the freedoms we have been privileged to experience are remarkable. They are too often taken for granted, when we should be on our knees thanking God for His abundant and generous provision in so many ways.
The disciples pointed out the buildings of the temple area to Jesus as if to impress Him with their magnificence. What could possibly happen to such impressive buildings? Jesus said that it was all coming down! With that kind of information, they wanted to know more – WHEN! “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 the end of the age?’”
Do you want to know when the end will come? Would it help you live your life if you knew when Jesus was returning?
In the first century, Jesus warned about deception. He spoke of wars and famines and earthquakes. Persecution of Christians was highlighted. He also predicted that many would turn away from the faith – even betraying and hating each other! Verse 12 of Matthew 24 provides a summary from one end of the spectrum to the other: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
And then He said it…then Jesus said something we all need to hear – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Pray for many to come to faith in Jesus during these trying times. Share His truth!