Saturday, October 12, 2013

Are we in the end times?

Some friends and I were discussing the end times. Are we in the end times? There was a lot of information about how it could be the end of days. But my big question was AND? I thought about this for several days, reading and considering what we, as believers, were instructed to do. We should be aware of signs that point to the end times, and continue to spread the gospel. (Shine the light of the Lord into the darkness). And, overwhelming, not let our hearts be troubled, and go our way.

As I read Mark, I saw how scary it would be. However, I understood that the only way to endure is to trust God. If we are given to persecution, we are not to worry, but to speak the words the Holy Spirit gives us. We are urged to be aware that many will come in the name of the Lord, but they will be false. In other words, we should be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

It’s important to drop the fa├žade that we are able to endure, and realize that only Christ in us will endure. Personally, I listen to God. I test the words I hear by comparing them to what God says. I take myself out of the mix, and realize that my wisdom is really limited. I am a person of the world, and my language and thinking have been shaped by the society in which I grew up. My only hope is in Christ and the wisdom of God.

I wish I could tell people how to do this. But I know that each person has their own walls and gates that guard their hearts. I know that whenever I find a locked place I recognize it before God and ask Him to open it. It is a constant challenge, one that will never be complete. But I live in hope, for as long as we breathe there is hope. When we stop breathing, we will be with God, and know the truth.

Mark 13:5-11 (NKJV)
And Jesus, answering them, began to say: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and will deceive many. But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.  But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 24:3-36 (NKJV)
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"   And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.  "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near--at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

Daniel 12:11-13 (KJV)

And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.