3 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?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 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. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 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: 3-14)
Those words, spoken by Jesus to His disciples, give us the signs to watch for that will tell us that the time of His coming again is nearing soon. How many of those events are in the headlines right now?
- Wars, and rumors of wars. Things are heating up in the Middle East — Ezekiel 38 and 39 could literally happen this week.
- Earthquakes — how many were there in the last couple of weeks? Almost every other day there was a report of another serious earthquake in various parts of the world.
- Many, many, many people are falling away from the true faith, choosing instead what may seem “logical” or “fair.”
- Famine is rampant in parts of the world.
- Christians are increasingly seen as “evil,” and and even so far as “domestic ter*orists,” by some high ranking members of the government. (Granted, I think the ter*orist comment may have been targeted at a specific group of people who CLAIM to be Christians, but do not show ANY QUALITIES of the love we are supposed to be known by. The media and the rest of the world don’t make that distinction, though.)
Friends — We are in the LAST DAYS. Jesus WILL be coming back. We don’t know when, but if we truly believe that Heaven and Hell are real, then what on EARTH is keeping us from sharing the truth to all of the people in our lives that do not really understand?
I am asking myself this as well. I am not an overly vocal person. I wear my cross, and I show love to all, and try to be the listening ear, and I bring my friends to the throne of my Father in prayer all of the time. But as a former atheist (and a vehement one), I know exactly what it feels like to be witnessed to. But when I stop and remember the times when it was done in love, I may have thought my friend was crazy, but I still loved her. I was only ever burned and offended when I was not witnessed to in love.
But this Sunday, my husband got me thinking again. He called us to the carpet. If we really, and truly believe that the end is near, then we need to take Jesus’ final command to go out and make disciples of all nations seriously! I do believe. From this moment forward, I will be asking for boldness, for opportunities, and for the words to speak the truth. But always, always, always . . . in LOVE.
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