Is this the End?
By rob hall
April 22, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
For the past two Sundays, we’ve hosted a question and answer session after the live stream service. They’ve been really fun albeit a bit stressful for me! There was one question I knew would be coming, “Do you think this is a sign of end times? If so, how can we prepare?” In our New Testament passage today, Jesus helps us to begin answering that question.
Jesus says, “Don’t believe anyone who tells you the end is near.” Why? Because only God knows (Mark 13:32). Then he encourages us to not be frightened when we see signs of The End. Why? Because we know who’s we are (we belong to Jesus!) and who’s in control (Jesus!). Next, Jesus summarizes all the awful future events the disciples (and us!) will have to endure (wars, natural disasters, pestilences, etc.). This is meant not to scare us but to prepare us. Jesus even warns of personal harm and persecution to come. Sheesh! But, I always handle things better, when I know what to prepare for.
Thankfully, in this passage, Jesus says two very hopeful things that encourage us. First, “19 Stand firm, and you will win life.” Jesus is reminding us of the goal of the Christian life, to run the race with perseverance and cross the finish line. And when we do, we will “gain our lives” and “be saved” (Cross-reference the other three Gospels for more insight). Second, “27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” We’ll know when the end is here, when we see King Jesus returning with power and great glory. At that point, you can expect full redemption. Jesus is coming back for the people he bought by his blood. To be redeemed means you’ve been bought with a price and set free to live for God.
So, do I think this is a sign of the end times? Yes and no. Yes, we are living in the end times. No, there have been countless signs of the end times since Jesus ascended to heaven.
How can we prepare? Stand firm! Persevere! And keep looking to Jesus awaiting his return!
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then
choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the
Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land
you are living. But as for me and my household, we will
serve the Lord.”
— Joshua 24:15