“When you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.”
In Luke 21, Jesus speaks of the end times of life on earth. What sorts of things will happen?
For one thing, Jesus says that people will try to deceive others by claiming to be the Messiah. That happened around A.D. 70, when Jerusalem was destroyed; 29 people claimed to be the Messiah. Could they all have been the one? It has happened more recently too. In the early 1990s more than 30 people in Korea predicted that the second coming would soon take place. Did it happen? No.
The Bible predicts that wars, earthquakes, and other disasters will be a sign of the end times. There are lots of these today. There are also many who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ. In 2 Timothy 3:2 we read that in the last days “people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.” All these things are happening today.
But let’s be careful. All of these things have also been happening for 2,000 years.
One key to understanding Jesus’ warnings is in Luke 21:9: “Do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” And in Mark 13:32 Jesus explains: “About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” The point is to “be on guard! Be alert!” (Mark 13:33). Are you ready for Christ’s return?
Father, until Jesus returns, help us not to be deceived but to live for you each day, and thus to be ready—and to share this good news with everyone. Amen.
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