In Luke 21, Jesus gives a striking description of the end times and exhorts his disciples to tune up so as not to be caught napping. As we look around and see Biblical prophecies being fulfilled, the advice to tune up remains as relevant. What attitudes do we need to adopt?
1. Watchfulness to prevent deception:
8 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. 9 When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”
Deception is a real danger and will be rampant as dramatic events multiply toward the end times. A pilgrim needs to be a student of the word of God and should maintain purity of doctrine in his faith. Avoiding extremes and sincerely imbibing the word of God is crucial to prevent deception. An awareness of the physical events unfolding in the world helps to see world events in the light of biblical prophecy. As a Christian learns to live by the Spirit, he also becomes aware of spiritual movements around him and then watchfulness becomes a daily living reality for him.
2. Willingness for persecution:
12 “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.
Any opposition one encounters to living a godly life is persecution. A Christian will rarely find it possible to live a comfortable life. He will find himself constantly going against the flow of the world and opposition is constant. Everyone who wants to lead a godly life will be persecuted. Unless a Christian is aware of the pilgrimage he is in and the eternal destination he is headed for, he cannot find grace to go through persecution. It is also true that unless a pilgrim accepts persecution, he is not adequately tuned up for the end times
3. Witnessing with grace:
13 This will result in your being witnesses to them. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
As the end times approach, witnessing about salvation through Jesus will increase as well. Everyone will get an opportunity to respond to the life-giving gospel of Christ. Pilgrims will find themselves in situations where they will defend the gospel with a grace far beyond their natural ability.
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14, NASB).
I will cover the other attitudes in the next post. Do comment what you think about the readiness of believers in general for the end times.
- FROM DESPERATION TO HOPE
- TUNING UP FOR THE END TIMES-2