March 29, 2023
Mark 13:14- 27
14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter,19 because those will be days of distress unequalled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equalled again.
20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.24 “But in those days, following that distress, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
Tribulation, the last day, the day of the Lord, this event will come.
Nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, earthquakes, famine, these things are the beginning of the birth pangs of the new age.
Much of this occurred shortly after Jesus’ death and many at that time expected his imminent second coming. We see the same occurrences today: wars, nature catastrophes, famine, floods – exactly what Jesus predicted!
Are we in the end times? Is the day of the Lord at our door?
We do not know but, what we do know is that in the Bible, in the Old and the New Testaments and in these verses, it is Jesus himself who tells us that this day will inevitably come.
The Bible also tells us what to do in order to be prepared for when he comes; namely to lead a God-pleasing life in order to be prepared.
What does this mean? A good place to look, but by no means the only, are the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-10. We will never completely attain what is prescribed there, but we are asked to strive for it. To be poor in spirit, to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to mourn, to be meek, to be peacemakers, to be merciful, to be ready to be laughed at and possibly even insulted for our faith.
None of us knows whether or not we will see the day of the Lord, the last day, and from what we read about it we would be glad not to be around when it comes.
But what we do know is that one day we shall die, and the same preparation as outlined above goes for that event too.
Here are some lines a friend of mine in Belarus sent:
Jesus is coming to earth again, what if it were today?
Coming in power and love to reign, what if it were today?
Signs of his coming multiply, morning light breaks in the Eastern sky
Watch for the time is drawing high, what if it were today?
Prayer: Father, help us to lead a godly life, a life Coram Deo; a life “in your presence”.