Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Matthew 24:4-14


Question #2-What is the sign of the end of the age?

4 And Jesus answered and said to them, ``See to it that no one misleads you. 5 ``For many will come in My name, saying, `I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. 6 ``You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 ``For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 ``But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. It's not so much the fact of famines and earthquakes, but the frequency and intensity like the birth pangs of pregnancy. 

9 ``Then they will deliver you to tribulation and will kill you and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 ``At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 ``Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 ``Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. 13 ``But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 ``This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Some believe that the "nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom" was the 1st world war, then the increase in frequency and intensity of the famines and earthquakes, great persecution, false prophets rising up and deceiving many, lawlessness increased, love for one another will be more and more scarce, THEN, the gospel of the kingdom will be presented in the whole world as a testimony of God and THEN THE END WILL COME.

So, the end of the age will come after several, cataclysmic events and the ugly atmosphere of a loveless world will prevail. What do you think? Is it near?

I used to believe I had the prophetic end-times all worked out. I could draw the charts and come very close to nailing down the time of Jesus' return and the end of the world as we know it. The more I've learned about simply and really following Jesus, I've come to realize that maybe I didn't know as much as I thought I did.

What fascinates me the most out of this passage is verse 14: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations and then the end will come." Now that we are working with the many cultures of the world where people are becoming followers of Jesus without abandoning their cultures, WHEN Jesus comes back is not nearly as important as focusing on the WHO of Jesus Himself. He is already showing up within the many cultures of the world. Now, that is thrilling to me!