It is the last week of January in the year 2020 and we are reading as a church through the New Testament. I am still on track but somewhat behind but this is my summary and reflection of Matthew 24.
Matthew 24 documents the signs of the times , the great tribulation and the second coming of Christ. As I am writing I realize that the scripture is being played out right before our eyes. You have either got to be dead or asleep , deaf or blind if as a child of God you are not sensing the shifting and the warning signs.
Last night my dear old praying mother rang from Jamaica to tell me that there had been a massive earthquake at a scale of 7:7 which shook the ground. Of course this isn’t the first earthquake that we have heard about over the last decade, I think it was 2009 when i was tossed from my bed in the UK by an earthquake that shook the foundations. Matthew warns us this is the beginning of sorrows and of birth pangs.
Right now in our time, we see other levels of devastation and destruction, nations rising against nation, famines and pestilence – the current virus in China which is claiming many lives – the exposing and failures of our governments , human kings and princes . We see that every that everything that can be shaken being shaken.
Here we see the disciples looking into the Lords face and asking ‘when will the end of things be? But theirs was not to know but to discern and to perceive with their spiritual eyes hearts and ears. If we knew the time the train was leaving we would perhaps like the description of the evil servant between verses 45 and 51 ) continue in our sins and leave everything to the last minute. I fear our trust , thrust and faithfulness( as ministers /believers) if we knew the exact time would be compromised. The Lord says not even the angels in heaven know the exact time of the second coming of Christ, rather that we should watch and pray and learn and understand the parable of the fig tree (please review verses 32-33) for your own learning.
What are the others signs Linda you might ask – we see and hear of arson assaults and attacks on the physical church throughout the world at different places. Men and women of God having to go underground to pray and to worship. Our brothers and sisters incarcerated for the Truth of the gospel; We see and feel the infighting and breakdown of social order , even amongst ourselves, our families , our churches and there is a constant falling away. Deception, deceit and murder is normalized and for the slightest conflict, men trying to change the natural order of things and our children following suit. We see a mixture coming into the House, merchandising and false prophets abound, things that look and sound like…. but are not of God. We need to ask for increased wisdom in these dark days.
Do we faint when we see and hear of these things? The Lord through Matthew would implore “hold on” He encourages us to stand up in the face of the attacks and the adversity for it is those that endure to the end who shall be saved. How might we endure? Hayford describes endurance’s as calm perseverance under pressure an active resistant to defeat . I would say it like this Seeing, knowing, but still doing, as men and women of God. The Lord asserts at verse 14 that despite these perils the gospel of the kingdom ie the good news – (the a promise of life after death and resurrection with him ) is sure . It is to this we hold on and exclaim whatever we hear and wherever we go.
Father , we thank you for your pre warning of the signs of the times and what we are to look out for. You have not left us ignorant. You desire for us to be on watch and on guard knowing that the time is drawing near when you our Master and Lord will return to give a reward unto every one according to the work we have done in the Body.
Help us to be faithful to the call,to remain watchful and vigilant , persevering in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
Your words and your world stand sure and will not pass away,. Help us to look up with great expectation for that moment , that hour you put in an appearance and come to call us home.
Your daughter Linda J
29th January 2020