God’s perspective on time differs from ours — a thousand years are like a day, whereas for us, a thousand years are an eon spanning multitudes of generations.
Because of God’s viewpoint, we often see prophecy weaving events together. Jesus’ prophecy of what was soon to occur in Israel (the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D.) is side by side with the prophecies which have not yet been fulfilled (the return of Christ and the close of the age). The prophecies of these two occasions are interwoven in Matthew 24:3-28.
The events that were fulfilled when the Romans sacked Jerusalem, tore down the temple, stone by stone, took all the gold, and enslaved/dispersed the Jewish people were a foreshadowing of the worldwide event coming during the last days.
And so the disciples asked, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” (Matthew 24:3b ESV).The disciples asked Jesus, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?" (Matthew 24:3b ESV). #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
We are witnesses of these types of birth pains occurring now during our time.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away away[stumble] and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come“ (Matthew 24:4-14 ESV)."This gospel of God's kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come"(Matthew 24:14) #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
Wisdom, Courage, and Endurance
Jeremiah the prophet detailed what the efforts of a false prophet or teacher look like. To ascertain what is true, wisdom, courage, and endurance are required.
“For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream,[Hebrew: your dreams, which you cause to dream].1. for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:8-9 ESV).
Paul writes of the coming of the lawless one, an end-time ruler propped up by Satan.
“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 ESV).
Wisdom, courage, and endurance are acquired by meditating on God’s Word and applying it. This comes through the power of the Holy Spirit and His help to comprehend, to be courageous, and to hold fast to the Scriptures.Wisdom, courage, and endurance are acquired by meditating on God's Word and applying it. This comes through the power of the Holy Spirit helping us to comprehend, to be courageous, and to hold fast to the Scriptures. #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
Are we prepared to be wise in these final days? Are we spending time and thought and prayer over our study of God’s Word? The Holy Spirit will help us.Are we prepared to be wise in these final days? Are we spending time, thought, and prayer in our study of God's Word? The Holy Spirit will help us. #bgbg2 #EndTimes Click To Tweet
Stand Firm: Plant your feet. Do not waver.
Several passages prepare us to be able to stand firm.
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:6-8 ESV).
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[elementary principles]2. of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:8-10 ESV).
13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits[chose you from the beginning]3. to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 ESV).
John states it simply: “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7 ESV).
As Christianity splinters from our focus on Christ alone and obedience to him, as we mix politics with our faith and explore science that attempts to mutilate what God has created on this earth, and as fewer people love the Lord or care what he has to say in the Scriptures, we will need the character to stand firm.
Again, this comes from Wisdom, Courage, and Endurance. Our source of strength is the Word of God and living out the Word as the Lord has prescribed. We can stand firm by the grace of God and with the power and strength he supplies.The character to stand firm comes from Wisdom, Courage, and Endurance. The source is the Word of God and living out the Word as the Lord said. We stand firm by the grace of God and with the power and strength He supplies. #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
“But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:43-44 ESV).
“The Son of Man is coming at an hour that we do not expect” (Mt. 24:44 ESV).
- ESV Study Bible, Crossway Bibles, Wheaton, Illinois, 2008. In parentheses, the translation note that accompanied Jeremiah 29:8.
- Ibid. Translation note on Colossians 2:8.
- Ibid. Translation note on 2 Thessalonians 2:13.