As I read all the news, wars, and more wars, rumors of wars with China preparing for war with Japan and North Korea threatening to annihilate the US, Iran threatening the US and Israel, Russia threatening the US with possible nuclear war if we intervene in Syria, and all the wars in Africa; I am reminded of Jesus’s words in Luke 21 and where we are in prophecy. There are many prophecies in the Bible, but I am concerning myself with Jesus’s words of warning.
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- Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said,
- As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.
Now, I believe all theologians and scholars agree that this was fulfilled when Rome attacked Jerusalem in 70 AD, and destroyed the temple.
- Teacher they asked, when will these things happen? and what will be the sign that they are about to take place?
- He replied: Watch out that you are not deceived. for many will come in my name, claiming, I am he, and, the time is near. Do not follow them.
- When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.
Jesus tells the disciples first, that the temple will be destroyed, not one stone will be left unturned. The Romans brutally attacked and destroyed the temple in 70 AD, and the Jews of the time were scattered throughout the land. This scattering and desolation lasted almost 2,000 years. They didn’t return until 1948 thus fulfilling prophecy in Ezekial 37. I want to pause here, for a moment and look at the significance of this fulfilled prophecy. What comes after God restores the Kingdom of Israel is a warning for us today. In Ezekial 37, it moves from Ezekial’s vision of the restored Israel to the Lord telling Ezekial that: I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one King over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. So Jesus prophesied their punishment, and God prophesied their return. And when God say’s it I believe it, it’s done! This division that is being pushed forth is against God! Ok, so we have the stage set for the rest of Jesus’s prophecy.
- Then he said to them: Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
- There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
We can all agree that we are seeing these signs today at an increasing and alarming rate. But look what Jesus said after this, this proves that the above signs were not for the current era of the time of the disciples, but for us.
- But Before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.
- This will result in your being witnesses to them.
- But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
- For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
Let’s pause and reflect on the last statement from Jesus. He said for them not to worry about what they would say to captors he would tell them what to say. Now keep in mind this was a prophecy, about the future. A future that would find Jesus resurrected and in Heaven. So this to me can only mean one of the first times Jesus prophesied about Him being the Holy Spirit. How else would he be able to give them the words to say. It is a promise and a prophecy all in one. Jesus told us He would never leave us, and that when he would physically leave the counselor would come. Jesus goes on to describe what the tribulation would be like.
- You will be betrayed even by parents, brother, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
- All men will hate you because of me.
- But not a hair of your head will perish.
- By Standing firm you will gain life.
So Jesus gave the disciples pause to know that before you see the signs in verses 10 & 11 they will see great persecution. And they did, the only disciple not killed was John, and that was even predicted by Jesus. And believe it or not, these words were not written specifically for American Christians. The persecution that Jesus warned about has been increasing rapidly, and continues to increase. Now remember, Jesus said this would be first and preclude the signs. As the persecution increases, so do the signs that Jesus warned of, we are seeing those today. What Jesus said next, I believe was for their time and the current time also. As you will see when we get to verse 24.
- When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.
- Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.
- For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of ALL that has been written.
- How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.
- They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Most theologians and scholars believe that we are fulfilling and reaching the end of the time of the gentiles. And you will see that in what Jesus say’s next.
- There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
- Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
- AT THAT TIME THEY WILL SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY.
- When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, BECAUSE YOUR REDEMPTION IS DRAWING NEAR.
That couldn’t be more clear. It also can’t be more clear that we are the generation that will see the return of our Lord and Savior! How exciting to be living in these times. He goes on to tell them a short parable. One that has caused great debate. Some say it’s Jesus describing the re-birth of Israel, as Israel is symbolized in the Bible by a fig tree. Either way, Jesus is telling us how to look for signs. I’ll just let you decide on the parable. It is significant though, as it tells us summer is near!
Luke 21: 29-36
- He told them this parable: Look at the fig tree and all the trees.
- When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.
- Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
- I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
- Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
- Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.
- For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.
- Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son Of Man.
So, I believe these last words were for us, as we can find parallels in Revelation. But Jesus knew very well his disciples were to face torture and death and much tribulation. But he say’s ‘Pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen…’ This is for us. I am constantly praying that I will be able to stand before the Son Of Man when He returns. This calls for a repentant heart. Not a begging spirit to keep us from tribulation. He is calling us to repentance. Are you ready? These signs are here, and they are rapidly getting worse. In fact if you move to Revelations Chapter 6 you’ll find that we are on the precipice of the 6th seal opening. When this happens things are going to move very rapidly. We are on the verge of the culmination of signs and a great global earthquake, and great war. When this happens there may not be time to repent. I beg you if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior and not born again, pleas do so, you can contact me privately with the email provided. But don’t wait. Talk to someone. And I beg everyone else to examine ourselves for unrepentant sin. So that like Jesus said, we may be able to stand before the Son Of Man. He’s Coming, He’s Close, Can you feel Him?