Mark 13 gives us a glimpse of Jesus telling His disciples about the coming of the end times and the end of life as we know it on earth. They are looking at some of the great buildings of their day, and Jesus gives them a very graphic description of what is to come: “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down”. Are you getting the picture? When He comes again, when this life on earth ceases to be as it has been, it all changes and is destroyed. We spend our entire lives building and accumulating stuff that will be gone in an instant when He comes again. There are a number of things that will happen first, and we would do well to know what is to come: “wars and rumors of wars….nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…..earthquakes…..famines”. Any of that sound familiar to you? There is a very specific set of things that will happen before our Lord returns, but we are definitely moving toward that day. Will it be a cakewalk? Absolutely not. “You will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them”. It is not going to be a painless and enjoyable time for Christ Followers to experience. Yet it is what is to come. But before it can occur, Jesus tells us “the gospel must first be proclaimed to all the nations”. God will not rush on this. His will is that none should perish but all have the opportunity to find eternal life through Jesus. So there is a lot of work to yet be done. There are many who have not yet heard, and that message must be spread to all.
Jesus goes on to tell us “in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now”. There have been some pretty horrific things occur over history. Lots of them actually. But scripture tells us that we haven’t seen anything yet. It is going to get rough for sure. “False christs and false prophets will arise…..to lead astray”. There will be people who come telling folks things that are not true preying on their fear. We need to know scripture clearly so we can identify what is false. We need to be able to recognize truth and know what is of God versus simply from an impostor. Jesus tells us to do a few things: “be on guard…..stay awake”. Two simple rules we need to heed as we watch for His coming. We must be careful not to be led astray by those who are trying to keep people from the Father. We need to guard our faith. It isn’t as simple as just believing and then sitting and waiting for Him to come again. We need to be diligent to protect our faith by prayer and fellowship and study of His Word. We need to work at being a strong Christ Follower. We also need to stay awake and pay attention, because the attacks will come when we least expect them and from places we would not look for them to originate. We need to be alert. We need to watch and pray and be ready for God’s timing. Are you ready? Have you put your life in order and know where eternity will be spent? It is time. Get things right with God!