Are You Prepared for Jesus to Return?
While Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem, one of His followers admired the Temple’s dazzling beauty. Jesus said it would be totally destroyed.
Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked when this would happen. What signs will precede it? Some see in Jesus’ response a timetable to predict His Second Coming. That misses His point entirely. He challenges you to watch. That includes living like a Christian during times of distress and upheaval.
Watch out because you can be deceived (Mark 13:5–8). Jesus warned that some will come falsely claiming to be the Messiah. They’ll try to convince you that the time for watchfulness is past. Contrary to the caption on the accompanying picture, He hasn’t yet returned.
Wars and natural disasters are merely the beginning of birth pangs and occur in every generation. They aren’t final signs of the end. “The end is still to come” ( Mark 13:7, NIV).
Be watchful because you might have to suffer for your faith (Mark 13:9-13). All the Twelve did except Judas. So did many early Christians. So do many Christians around the world today.
Jesus said that before the end comes, “… the gospel must first be preached to all nations” (Mark 13:10, NIV). Don’t look for the signs of the end. Get busy and spread the gospel. Doing so increases the likelihood of persecution, especially in places where other religions are the official religion of the land. Vital faith endures trials of every sort without folding. Those who stand firm to the end will be saved (Mark 13:13).
Watch out for the abomination that causes desolation (Mark 13:14-23). It has multiple fulfillments. Antiochus Epiphanes profaned the altar of burnt offering in Jerusalem in 186 B.C. The Romans desecrated the Temple in A.D. 70. The final abomination that causes desolation will feature the Anti-Christ in the end time. Such trying times will be fertile soil for the signs and miracles of false Christs. Watch out. Don’t be deceived.
Watch out for Christ’s glorious return (Mark 13:24–37). It’ll be with power and great glory to gather His people from everywhere that they might always be with Him. Endure suffering and you’ll reign with Jesus. If you disown Him, He’ll disown you (2 Timothy 2:12). You can’t accurately predict when Jesus will return (Mark 13:32-37). You need to watch. You’re like a football player in the midst of a game. Don’t focus on the number of minutes left in the game. That’s the coach’s concern. Your part it to throw the next pass, catch it, block, run with the ball, or tackle as best as you can. That way, whenever the game is over, you won’t have to be ashamed. Be actively serving the Master when He returns. That’s what faithful watchers do. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
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