Tuesday, 12 January 2021
“By your endurance you will gain your lives” – Luke 21:19
Jesus explains the signs of the End times to the disciples. The first century Jews were fervently waiting for the Messiah to come and deliver them from the Roman rule. Many people claimed to be the Messiah. Jesus warned His disciples not to be fooled by such claims. In this context Jesus is giving a systematic explanation to the various incidents that will happen at the end times and at the end he explains what should be the attitude of a disciple towards all those situations.
Patient allegiance to Jesus leads to eternal life. (Luke 9:24)
It shall be understood very clearly that there will be an end to the current physical world – whatever we see will perish. The political system will change, the physical laws of nature will be in chaos, the very attitude of the world towards a disciple of Jesus will become hostile.
The main features described by Jesus can be listed as follows:
Fall of Temple (Vs.5,6): This was an immediate fulfilment in AD70. But it is a picture of the destruction in the last days (NKJV Study Bible).
False christs (V.8): Over the centuries we see many “self-proclaimed Christs” who have been out to deceive people. We need to be diligent not to believe in any claims of those who come like wolves in sheep’s clothing! (Matt.7:15)
Fights between nations (Vs.9,10): This phenomenon has become so frequent in the times we are living. Both cold wars and open demonstrations are slowly leading to nations taking sides against one another.
Famines, great earthquakes, plagues, terrors and great signs from heaven (V.11): Cosmic event and natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and pandemics (like the ebola) are continuing in our days.
False accusations against believers (Vs.12-15): Standing for Christ has brought false accusations, oppositions and being caught to make a defence for the faith- but these are opportunities for testimony and gospel advancement (1 Peter 3:15)
Fierce persecution (Vs.16,17): Just as Christ was persecuted while He was on the earth, His followers in every era went through persecutions- some were martyred; some burned at the stakes, given to the lions, etc. Persecution against believers is on the increase today, pointing that the end is near! 1 Peter 4:12,13 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
Now these things are bound to happen- but the believer is to keep his head above all these situations; for Christ Himself said in Luke 21:28: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” The believer is called to endure in the midst of these alarming events and “… run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:1,2).
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to guard my faith, keep me my mind stayed on You in the midst of all the disquieting events that happen around me, knowing that my redemption in You is near. Amen.