Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Mark 13:3-8: And as He [Jesus] sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?" And Jesus began to say to them, "See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains."
The Question to end all Questions:
When will the end come? Every person thinks about this at one time or another. It makes no difference whether it's the end of the world or the end of the life. And Christians, more than any other group, focus on the end because that is when Jesus will return. Then eternity will begin. Some to eternal separation from God. Some to eternal life with God.
So the question is a valid question. The fact that Peter, Andrew, James, and John were asking Jesus about it, means something. And to summarize Jesus' answer, we can say, "Wait for it."
Wait For It:
Jesus' answer didn't leave us blind. And it wasn't very specific either. At the same, in Jesus' answer, we find clues and warnings.
One clue is, there will be natural disasters before the end happens. Mark records Jesus talking about earthquakes and famines. You could include fires, like in California. Destructive as they are to land, home, and people, it's not the end, yet.
A second clue is, wars, rumors of wars, nations and kingdoms at war with each other. One could conclude that nations warring against themselves could be a sign. Does that not sound familiar? People is power and authority wanting someone else's power and authority. Painful to experience and watch are these wars, it's not the end, yet.
The third clue, and for Christians this is the most devastating, false Christs popping up and leading people away from the true Christ. People are being led away from Jesus by false prophets all the time. And saddening and scary that is for Christians, it's not the end, yet.
What Do We Do?
We stay strong in the Lord. We stay grounded firmly on Jesus, the rock of our Salvation. We stay connected to the Vine of Life. We remain in the Word of God that gives us strength and grace. Because we remain in the Word, we experience more fully His grace and forgiveness of sins along with new life.
So with that new life we weather storms, fires, earthquakes, famines, and the like. We deal with knowing that people will not show love to others and that there is hatred and fear. With that new life founded upon God's Word, we see the truth more clearly so that we can expose the lie.
And know this, the end is coming. What we see is "just the beginning." Hang in there.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.