If one were to describe the ongoing streams of dialogue regarding the time of the end, how current events play into that final scenario, and where we are currently positioned on the timeline, two of the most notable attributes would have to be rumor and confusion. Everyone who gives thought to this issue has a general idea as to how they believe it will play out based on what has been revealed to us in scripture. We understand that we see through a glass darkly and that alterations to our eschatology of choice can be expected as the finished product approaches. For example, there will be a moment when all of us will know for certain where the rapture takes place in relation to the other events that are foretold. At some point, the son of perdition will be revealed and all speculation will be removed from the discussion….at least amongst those who know their God. The moment will arrive when the wheat and the tares no longer grow side by side. The line of demarcation; that spiritual boundary which currently runs through families, churches, institutions, communities, and what have you, will be dissolved and we will see things as they truly are.
Until then, we must prayerfully search the scriptures and remain close to Jesus who has promised to be with us until the end of the world. We must look beyond the rhetoric of contemporaries, and the endless reports of events taking place upon the earth. We must abide close to the Lord Jesus and hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches……hear what the Spirit is saying to each of us individually. This post marks the launching of a look at Matthew chapter 24, (along with accompanying scriptures from other places in the bible) where Jesus discusses the conditions that will precede his return. While these posts are not likely to resolve any of the issues that many of us contemplate, they should encourage us to seek the Lord Jesus on a deeper level and prepare spiritually for anything that we may face in the days ahead. By considering the conditions that Jesus said would mark the time of the end, and abiding close to Jesus we can prepare for any eventuality…..even the eventual fallout from the activity surrounding the Hadron collider in Cern Switzerland.
I make specific reference to the Hadron collider because, of all the events that are currently in play, this is one of the real wild cards. It has the potential to make the world that we have always known virtually unrecognizable and is something that we should be praying against. I’m beginning to get sidetracked here, however, for the past several days It’s been on my heart to pray for delay in judgment; that many who know not the Lord can hear the gospel one more time and that some will believe on Jesus. With all of the speculation in this nation, concerning fallout from the Jade Helm extraction exercise, martial law, economic collapse, and many other adversities believed by many to come to fruition in September, my prayer is for a delay in the judgment that is looming, and for those who love the Lord Jesus in spirit and truth to utilize what little time we have left for the furtherance of the kingdom of God.
The time of tribulation is one of unfathomable sorrow; especially when we consider how many know not the Lord Jesus and how many professors of faith in him are unprepared. And yet, despite the unfolding of events which will cause men’s hearts to fail them for fear, it will be a time when those who know their God shall be strong and do exploits. A time when our full attention is upon that which is eternal and our fellowship with Jesus is on a level that we never knew during the season of advancing careers, attending church once or twice each week, and running the kids to their soccer games. A time of trying, of which Daniel 11:35 reads “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.” A time which, despite the horrific events that will play out, cannot compare to the joy that awaits us on the other side. When our testimony is completed and we are forever in the presence of Jesus along with all who have gone before us, all of the trials of this world will seem as a very small thing.
The closer that we are to Jesus; the more real that our affections are placed on that which is eternal, the less we will be influenced by the trappings, the reports, and the threatenings of this very (VERY) temporal world. With this, the diving into Matthew chapter 24 commences.
Matthew 24:1-2 “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Before considering the boatload of observations that these two verses bring forth, it’s important to consider that had just transpired. In Matthew chapter 23, Jesus expounds in great detail the astonishing hypocrisy of the pharisees and other religious leaders of that time. He then went out where the disciples began to point out, and comment on the physical structures. The temple had been there for as long as they could remember. It was a place of stability – the place where the God of Israel dwelt among his people. When Jesus told them “there shall not be left here one stone upon another“ images of a future that was dramatically different than what they had always known, or imagined would be, entered the equation. (It was somewhat reminiscent of when we talk about the end of the age and people around us become discomforted by the idea that everything in this world that they have known, and worked for, is coming to an end) We don’t know exactly how many minutes passed before they inquired of this matter, however, as Jesus was upon the mount of olives, the ponderings that were sparked by that statement finally led to inquiry.
Matthew 24:3 “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
It’s one of the biggest questions of our day as we consider the present unfolding of events. “When shall these things be? Is this newly rolled out technology be the framework for the mark of the beast? Is this person or that person the son of perdition? How does this geo-political event play in to bible prophecy?” For every question, there seems to be dozens of potential answers and scenarios; each of which has disciples who will defend them vehemently on social media and become critical of anyone who disagrees. Seriously, a short time ago, I encountered a post whose author has concluded that the earth is flat based on their interpretation of certain scriptures. This simple posting, concerning an issue that can be resolved by simple observation, generated more than 80 comments in very short order; some for and some against the idea. A few even defended the idea with comments like “well NASA is covering up for the illuminati and we cannot trust them.” It seemed silly, and yet this is what the dialogue has been reduced to in many venues.
“What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Where is this all leading to? We long to receive as much understanding as possible; that we can prepare accordingly. If we are born of the Spirit and love Jesus, we long for the moment when we are forever in his presence. We do not want to be caught unprepared, or deceived. We do not want any root of unbelief to spring up within our heart and we do not want to be lured back into the world by failing to keep our hearts with all diligence. These are a few of the reasons that we approach this topic soberly and with a hunger for truth. knowing that many pieces of the puzzle have yet to fall into place, we proceed prayerfully and cautiously; especially when we consider the first thing that Jesus said in regards to this inquiry.
Matthew 24:4 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”
The single biggest danger to any of us is that of being deceived. Charles Spurgeon addressed the issue with this quote: “discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” This statement is even more profound today than when it was first uttered. Deceptions from the twisting of scripture, deceptions in the physical world as eventually false signs will cause multitudes to follow after a lie, and deception from technologies that seem to blur the lines between what is real and what is fabrication. I expect that technology will eventually enable the displaying of holographic images that which look so real that they will be indistinguishable from the surrounding venue. Staying close to Jesus and staying in his word is the only way to insulate ourselves from deception. Referencing back to the person who believes in a flat earth, she did make one good point. She stated words to the effect of “we must believe what we read in scripture, even if the physical world seems to suggest something different.” While I still believe the earth to be a sphere, she was spot on with this particular observation. Because soon the lies are going to be backed up with physical manifestation on a level that we cannot fathom at the present.
This is an ideal place to conclude the first installment of this series. There is so much information in Matthew chapter 24 insofar as what to prepare for, even though many specifics are not forthcoming. If we stay close to Jesus; ensuring that he is our first love above all else, diligently hide his word in our heart, try the spirits to see if they be of God, and love not our lives in this world, we will be prepared to face any eventuality, even if fleets of spaceships suddenly appear all across the globe……or the disc. (in case the earth really is flat. Hee hee)
Blessings in Jesus name.