The Coming End
Jesus’s disciples ask him this question, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” Mark 13 and Luke 21 also have recorded this same discourse for us to read and consider. Over the next few weeks we will listen as Jesus answers his disciple’s questions. First let’s note that Jesus is on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem. This location is very important because over the next few day’s Jesus will pray in this same location. He will be betrayed by a kiss from Judas in this same location. After his resurrection from the dead he will ascend to heaven from this same location. (Acts 1:11-12) When he returns for his second coming it will be to this very location. (Zechariah 14:4) Jesus responds by telling his disciples to see to it that no one leads you astray. Ever since the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ there has always been someone claiming to be Christ trying to lead people astray. They do so through deceptive teaching that causes people to wonder from the truth of Scripture. When a person is not grounded in the word of God so that they know what it says and teaches that person who is in a vulnerable position misunderstanding and misapplying the word of God to their lives. Even today around the world there are people who claim to be Jesus Christ, unfortunately there are people who fall for their lie and send them money and give them support. Secondly, Jesus told his disciples that they will hear of wars and rumor of wars. Today our world is at war. If a person were to just stop and think about it since the founding of this nation, we have been at some kind of war almost all of the time. Today we are fighting a war on terror and it looks like we are entering a second cold war era. Third, Jesus mentions that famine and earthquakes will happen in various places. Jesus re-enforces to his disciples that we should not be alarmed. He teaches us that these are but birth pangs. Birth pangs are the contractions that a woman has before giving birth. The contractions become closer together and sharper in their pain until delivery of the child takes place. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, there is something that we can do to help us from being led astray and from living is a state of fear. First, we are to hide God’s word in our heart. Second, we are to meditate on it so that the Lord himself can change us through his word. Third, we are to respond to him in prayer and obey his commands. As we prepare for the coming end, we share the good news that the Lord Jesus is willing to save others from their sins and can have his peace as well.