When the “end of time” is mentioned in church or scripture, why does it often feel negative and heavy? Perhaps it’s because of the frightening events prophesied in the Bible. Hello! No one wants to be persecuted or surrounded by plague! Although the end of time sounds absolutely terrifying and downright horrible, we must believe in our God and His plan for our lives.
“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you. They will hand you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to bear witness. Therefore make up your minds not to prepare your defense ahead of time, for I will give you such words and a wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict… You will be hated by everyone because of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. By your endurance, gain your lives.” Luke 21:12-19
Our Father in Heaven promises to watch over us. Even though turmoil and harm may come to us, it will be because of HIS name. I don’t know about you, but I believe living and acting on His name is a worthy cause. It is because of what He’s promised us that we must be proper warriors full of endurance.
Let’s address the obvious — you and I might not be around by the time Jesus comes back for His people. No one can know when the end of time will take place. So, while I can’t tell you if these words will ever pertain to anyone living in the present day, it is still our responsibility to address the future.
“Then there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and there will be anguish on the earth among nations bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world, because the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.” Luke 21:25-28
Goodness, can you just imagine with me for a moment? Jesus, our Savior, coming to our rescue on the most beautiful cloud ever to exist — now that’s a sight worth waiting for. I think it’s pretty incredible just how deeply the Lord’s affection runs for us. As if the selfless act upon that cross wasn’t enough, all this time He has been planning to bring us home on His magnificent cloud.
Now, let’s keep the image of Christ in the forefront of our minds, because the end of Luke 21 instructs us to remain watchful..
“Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all of these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36
Despite whether Jesus is coming tomorrow or 200 years from now, we must all adhere to this valuable bit of guidance spoken by the Son himself. To get caught up in the distractions and worries life brings is to be ill-prepared for the day Heaven calls us home. Instead, be intentional about focusing on the truth He speaks over you, your circumstance, or your pain. Practice endurance now. Stand strong in who you are and who you belong to, because no matter what, we’re always one day closer to the marvelous arrival of our valiant Rescuer.