The world is filled with deeply distressed people, either from COVID, loss of work, family matters, global politics, fights about Critical Race Theory, financial challenges, politics, constant conflicts, mysterious illnesses, and random killings.
Add to this, warring politicians, and the social values of all nations corroding and collapsing, a possible war in Europe, and a worldwide rush toward lower standards in everything from healthcare to social interaction and everything in between.
The only way to get through this is to trust in Jesus.
Who He is, how He lived, what He did, and what He said are all significant.
We can trust God’s word. Jesus is God in the flesh, living, dying, resurrecting, and then ascending, so that we might be justified and have life everlasting.We can trust God's Word. Jesus is God in the flesh, living, dying, resurrecting, and then ascending, so that we might be justified and have life everlasting. #bgbg2 #EndTimes Click To Tweet
Luke, the physician, traveled with Paul to record the spread of the gospel across the ancient world. Luke didn’t know Jesus in person. And so, to write his gospel, Luke consulted the accounts previously written (Mark was first). He interviewed the apostles and other followers, such as Jesus’ mother Mary and the women.
Luke’s account lists the women who helped Jesus’ ministry: “Mary, called Magdalene; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager; Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their means” (Luke 8:2b-3 ESV).
This is similar to what we view on The Chosen series. The women acquired food and necessary items, travelled ahead to set up camp and to prepare meals. They ministered to women converts. By donating, they made life as comfortable as possible for the Savior and His disciples. The Spirit inspired Luke to record the involvement of these women.
Luke was led by the Holy Spirit to sort out the events in the final days. His physician’s brain led by the Spirit organized the timeline into now and the future.
The coming calamities upon Jerusalem and all of Israel in the first century are explained right alongside the End of All Days predictions in the far away future. And yet these are also clustered together as their own category.
Luke 21:5-9, Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple, fulfilled in 70 AD, and then he moves on to signs of the Second Coming, which will occur in the future.
Luke 21:10-18 Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution, which is common to both events — the destruction of the temple and also the final days before Jesus returns.
These are the final days, the end times, the period when the return of Jesus is imminent. It is going to happen, and every day that passes brings it closer. As we live in these last days, remember how the apostle John labeled this era.
“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patience endurance that are in Jesus“ (Revelation 1:9 ESV). Clearly, tribulation was already at work when John wrote that it was.These are the final days, the end times, the period when the return of Jesus is imminent. It is going to happen, and every day that passes brings it closer. #bgbg2 #EndTimes Click To Tweet I, John, your brother in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus" (Revelation 1:9 ESV). Tribulation, life in the kingdom of God, and patience learned from our trials all occur together. Click To Tweet
When was this written?
“The apostle wrote the book of Revelation while he was imprisoned on the Island of Patmos. The external evidence confirms that Christians were imprisoned during the time of Domitian. The evidence agrees with Revelation 1:9. Persecution of Christians reached a peak during Emperor Domitian’s reign (A.D. 81-96).
“John was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities…banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses. Among such offenses were the practices of magic and astrology. Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category.”1.
Until Christ returns, these three are always mixed together: life in the kingdom of God, tribulation, and the patient endurance we learn as we grow and adapt to life often filled by tribulation.Until Christ returns, these three are always mixed together: life in the kingdom of God, tribulation, and the patient endurance we learn as we grow and adapt to life often filled by tribulation.#bgbg2 #EndTimes Click To Tweet
These three — life in the kingdom of God, tribulation, and the patience we are to learn from our trials must all be juggled at once, today as well as then.
The hardships of this time, the needs and commitment to the kingdom of God on earth, and the patience of bearing up under our hard circumstances all provoke growth.
As life in the kingdom of God moves forward, having begun as soon as Jesus departed, we know that at the end there will be an even greater Tribulation.
Christians all over the world are already persecuted and even put to death for their faith. This could happen to us. It could happen to those we love.
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famine and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven, for before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you gain your lives“ (Luke 21:10b-19 ESV).
The passage gives us great encouragement and specific direction, so that we may be prepared for any persecution that may come to us as believers.
- Remind yourself that this is your opportunity to bear witness.
- Settle beforehand that you won’t meditate on how you will answer.
- Remind yourself that Jesus will give you a mouth that speaks wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
- No matter who delivers you to the persecutors and no matter whether you’re hated because you love Jesus, not a hair of your head will perish, for your body will be made new for eternity.
- By our endurance, we demonstrate true faith, thus gaining, with the help of His Spirit, the eternal life that Jesus has won for us.
One of our pastor’s suggested these as well:
- Refuse to be ruled by fear and worry.
- Simultaneously, don’t be a pessimist.
- Don’t be blind, acting as if nothing is going on.
- Anchor your heart in Jesus’ promises, and remind yourself often of these.
So, how should we then live in order to be prepared for Christ’s return? Whenever God has determined, it will happen.
We must learn to balance tribulation while meeting the needs within the kingdom of God, and also bearing up under hardship.Believers, we must learn to balance tribulation while meeting the needs within the kingdom of God, and also bearing up under hardship. Click To Tweet
Many of us are already doing this, for hardships have been prominent since Christ ascended. Some of us still have much to learn.
All of us want to be ready when Christ appears, ready to give an account, certain of our salvation because of the love and kindness of our Savior.
1. source, Never Thirsty website: https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/was-the-book-of-revelation-written-by-the-apostle-john-and-before-a-d-47/