This world can be a dark place. Sometimes it’s hard to see light and hope in the midst of all disease and natural disasters wreaking havoc in different places around the globe. We don’t have to be alarmed. Because He’s told us ahead of time what to expect, we know from His word, “such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” Mark 13:7
This world can be a dark place. Sometimes it’s hard to see light and hope in the midst of all the suffering and pain that surrounds us. Just this year, we’ve seen incredible evil take many innocent lives. We’ve seen terrorist attacks and heard rumors of war. We’ve seen hurricanes and natural disasters wreak havoc in different places around the globe. Top news headlines reveal constant struggles, pain, and brokenness that people everywhere are facing.
Maybe you’re facing it too.
Our own personal losses and hardships remind us that this life is far from perfect. Yet as believers we can be grateful that this world is not all we have. We have the very hope of heaven in our hearts.
God’s words are true, every single one. And He is faithful to bring them all to pass. He never tells us to live in fear, worry, or dread of what’s to come. But He does remind us to live aware, not to be surprised, to be wise and watchful.
We don’t have to be alarmed. Because He’s told us ahead of time what to expect, we know from His word, “such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” Mark 13:7
1. False prophets and false Christs will appear and deceive many:
“Many will come in my name claiming, ‘I am he, and will deceive many.’” Mark 13:6
“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look here is the Christ! Or ‘Look there he is! Do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect if that were possible.” Mark 13:21-22 (also in Matthew 24:5, 23-24)
With all the prophecies and signs of the end times that Jesus shares in these verses, He also says this over and over:
He warns us to stay aware.
Though it’s clear that no one knows the day or hour of Christ’s return, He does remind us 7 different times through Mark 13 to be on guard, watch out, be alert. He longs for His people to “wake up” and not be deceived or unaware of what’s going on around us.
– “Watch out that no one deceives you…” v. 5
– “You must be on your guard…” v. 9
– “So be on your guard, I have told you everything ahead of time.” v. 23
– “Be on guard!” v. 33
– “Be alert!” v. 33
– “Therefore, keep watch…” v. 35
– “If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!” v. 36
2. There will be wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and natural disasters:
He reminds us that we will know these are prophetic words coming to pass when we hear of “wars and rumors of wars,” when we see certain events unfolding, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.” Mark 13:7-8 (also in Matthew 24:6-8)
Many around us may be feeling anxious and fearful in these days. Let’s choose to trust and believe that God is working in our world, even behind the scenes where we can’t fully see.
3. Believers will be persecuted, hated, and put to death, and the gospel will spread and be preached to all nations:
“You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations…Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me…” Mark 13:9-13 (also in Matthew 24:9-11)
4. There will be an increase in wickedness in this world, and many will grow distant from God in their love and stand for Him:
“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13
This will be hard for those who remain faithful to watch. But we can trust that God will sustain us who believe in him and help us remain in His love while the rest of the world increases in wickedness and those we thought were faithful turn away.
5. The times will be very difficult and distressing for all:
“How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning…” Mark 13:16-18 (also in Matthew 24:15-22)
Thought this is distressing to think about, as believers, we have hope in Christ. We know beyond a doubt He is moving in every nation and that He will come again, just as His word says. For Christians, His second coming is a very good thing.
6. No one will know the day or hour of Christ’s return:
“…for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2
May God draw many to Himself in these days. And may we be found living as light in a world that so desperately needs His great peace. May He help us not to grow weary or become busy with other things.
7. There will be signs in the sky, the seas will roar, and heavenly bodies will be shaken. And then, in the blink of an eye, at the trumpet’s sound, Jesus promises that He will come again:
“But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. And that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” Mark 13:24-27
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:25-28
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52
Let’s keep working while it is still day…
It’s truly what matters most in this life.