So, yesterday came and went, and we are still here! Perhaps you missed the stream of tabloid and online articles proclaiming that yesterday was the end, or at least the beginning of the end.
Matthew 24 is incredibly helpful regarding the ‘end times’. Jesus says a number of vital things to his disciples to bring clarity and context. Here are some highlights that I hope you will find useful and reassuring.
- Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name. (v4)
- You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed such things must happen but the end is still to come.
- Famines… earthquakes: all these are the beginning of birth pains. (v6-8)
- Persecution is part of the process. (v9-15)
- False Christs and false prophets will appear… to deceive the elect. (v24)
Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear… They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with power and great glory. (v29-31)
- No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father. (v36)
- Matthew 24:45-51 sees Jesus urging his followers to ‘keep watch’, serve well and carry on with the master’s business!
In the uncertainties of the days we live in, let’s not live in the preoccupation of fear and speculation; let’s keep our focus on good news, Jesus, and on our mandate to bring the hope of his gospel to a world that desperately needs to know!