Eschatology, the study of the end times, is filled with differing opinions and understanding. In this chapter alone, trying to figure out when Jesus is talking about the fall of Jerusalem and when he shifts to the end of the earth before His return is not easy. I sometimes want to shout, “UUGH, I don’t understand.”
I wonder sometimes if I need to understand. I mean, is it important to figure it all out? The people of Jesus’ day and seafarers today don’t necessarily understand the science behind weather patterns, but they can read the general patterns.
Red sky at night, sailors delight.
Red sky in the morning sailors take warning.
Ancient Polynesians could tell the presence of a yet unseen island from 100 miles due to slight changes in wave patterns.
My thought, can I understand enough to be able to read the signs???
Can I understand enough to get the big picture?
The big themes I hear from Chapter 21: Life could get rough. I don’t know if I am living in the days before the end but if I am, things could get ugly for Christ followers.
· Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven (10-11).
· You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me (16-17).
· “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken (25-26).
No matter how horrible it might get around us and for us God is with us.
· But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life (18-19).
· For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict (15).
I sit here not really knowing anymore about the end times and Jesus’ return than I did at the start. However, my faith is strengthened because I accept into my heart that God is in control. No matter how hard it gets for me, and around me, God is still with me and in Christ I will win life in the end.
This I believe is the overarching pattern the Lord is showing me this morning.
Praise be to the Lord… He knows. He is in control. He will win in the end. Death and evil will be defeated and all who stand fast in Him will be saved. We will win when we are ushered into eternity with our God –Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit. Halleluiah. Amen.