Focal Passages: Matthew 24:9-14, 39b-44; Revelation 7:9; 22:12-14
Wars and rumors of wars are some of the signs of the end times. Some countries have been experiencing civil war for years leaving refugees and others in their wake. In the midst of suffering and deprivation, many wonder when will the end come.
In Matthew 24, Jesus drops a bombshell of information on His disciples sharing that there is a time when nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. He speaks of how the church will be placed in the midst of this conflict. Even so, His promise in verse 13 is that those who stand firm will be saved in the end – a promise brings a secure hope to each believer. Stuart Weber notes that, “Each one who stands firm to the end in spite of persecution, false teaching, and the hardening of society’s conscience would enter into the eternal kingdom of heaven with the Messiah.” What a promise – a promise that only God can deliver.
As the end of time draws nearer, what is the church to do? Verse 14 has the answer – the gospel of the kingdom should be preached worldwide as a testimony to all nations. This testimony could win the listener over, and it could also condemn the guilty. The Good News is only good for those who accept it. There is an eternal difference for those who listen and accept it than for those who do not. The Bible says that the end is coming.
Consider the parable of the faithful and wise steward. What does it teach us about readiness, stewardship and judgment? What does it teach us about serving and witnessing to others? Jesus said He is coming again. If you knew that the world was going to end in six months, what would you do, and how would your lifestyle change? No one knows when Jesus will return. Signs are increasingly being fulfilled in our generation. God is on time – never early and never late. Be alert, be aware, and be ready. How are you preparing for the second coming of Christ? No one knows the day or the hour. Are you ready?