Posted by: missionventureministries | March 19, 2020

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR WHAT IS COMING? – Luke 21:8-11

“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. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:8-11)

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 (v 8). Jesus knew that many would come after Him, claiming to be the political and military messiah for Israel. One remarkable example of this was a man named Bar Kokhba, who many Jews considered to be the messiah. He started a widespread revolution against the Romans and enjoyed early success, but was soon crushed. This happened within 100 years after Jesus resurrected and since that time we have had an uncountable number of false messiahs.

When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (v 9-10). Romans were frequently at war with the Jews, the Samaritans, the Syrians, and others during this time. Since then, wars have increased in frequency.

Jesus also told them that there will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven (v 11). 

The Roman Empire experienced notable earthquakes before Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. They also experienced the fearful event of the destruction of Pompeii in 79 AD by Mount Vesuvius volcano which covered the area with 4 to 6 meters of ash. There were famines, such as the one mentioned in Acts 11:28. Another example of a natural disaster that happened in the ancient Roman Empire was the earthquake on Crete and the tsunami that followed in 365 AD.  The tsunami destroyed Greece, Libya, Egypt, Cyprus, and Sicily.  The tsunami was so great it killed thousands and hurled ships nearly two miles inland.

As we read historical facts, we see that there have been numerous famines, plagues (pestilences), earthquakes, and fearful events and signs from heaven since that time. Yet Jesus specifically said that none of these things are the specific signs of His immediate coming.

Matthew 24:8 described these things as the beginning of sorrows, more literally the beginning of labor pains. Just as it is true with labor pains, we should expect that the things mentioned (wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences etc.) would become more frequent and more intense before the return of Jesus; without any one of them being the specific sign of the end. But that these things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.

As we see from the few examples mentioned above, the signs that Jesus mentions have always occurred and will continue to happen on a more frequent and greater scale as Bible prophecies are being fulfilled. 

Christians should be prepared for the coming of the Lord. It is vital that we be spiritually ready because we never know when our time on this earth is up. Therefore, we need to make sure that when we die, that we will be forever be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus warned us that the coming of the Son of Man will be at a time that we don’t expect (Matthew 24:44). 

When we read the account of Noah we notice that no one, not even Noah, knew the exact day or hour that the flood would come (Genesis 7:12-17).  Noah had spent many years building the ark. He knew that the season for divine judgment was near, but he did not know the exact day. Then one day God gave orders to board the ark. It was God who closed the door, and then He sent the flood. When judgment came, it came quickly, and there was no opportunity for those under judgment to change their minds and to board the ark, their decision to be disobedient sealed their destiny and they all perished. 

The same will occur in last days (Matthew 24:39). There will be no dramatic indications that “the day” or “the hour” has come. Two men will be in the field, going about their normal daily routine; one will be taken, the other will be left. Two women will be grinding grain, just as they normally would; one will be taken, the other will be left (Matthew 24:40-41).

Before Jesus’ returns, times of trouble, persecution and testing will come to all Christians; some will be very subtle and some will be very obvious. Therefore we need to be prepared and trust in God.

Many people think that if we prepare materially with provisions for our family it shows lack of faith in God, but that is not so; Noah obeyed by building the ark and making provisions for his family as the Lord had directed him to do. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household” (Hebrews 11:7).

With all that is happening in the world today, it is sad to see Christians who have not and are not making any provision for hard times, they are not preparing themselves spiritually or physically. Noah was warned by God of things to come and Jesus warned us that times like those are going to happen again; and He provided us with a detailed forecast in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. Among the things He says is to “be prepared.” Being prepared means being ready both spiritually and physically for the hardships believers will have to endure. If it wasn’t so, we would not have been warned by Jesus Christ himself.

When God gives us warning about impending disasters, believers are supposed to listen and act responsibly. No, none of us can be prepared for every unforeseen circumstance, but that’s not an excuse for not taking God’s warnings of the escalating judgment seriously.

In Genesis 41 Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream about fat cows and lean cows and healthy wheat and withered wheat. It was a dream God gave to Pharaoh about an impending drought throughout Egypt and much of the Middle East. The solution was to prepare for the famine ahead of time by storing food for seven years. Joseph was not only given the wisdom from God to interpret the dream but was also given the job of implementing the plan as Pharaoh’s chief operating officer. His work and obedience not only saved Egypt but Israel, too.

God is providing all the information we need to prepare.  However, aren’t we being disobedient by ignoring what He has revealed to us as believers? Jesus clearly tells us in His Word that conditions on the Earth are going to deteriorate before His return. He already issued the warnings, so we must obey and prepare; because not preparing ourselves spiritually and physically is unwise and irresponsible.

We need to trust God. He’s warning us of what’s coming. He’s telling us very clearly. He’s commanding us to be prepared.  Remember, all events taking place in this world are unfolding according to His Sovereign plan. Physical preparedness and spiritual preparedness must go hand in hand, because physical preparations should be an outward sign of obedience to our spiritual preparedness.

Please pray and ask the Lord to give you discernment and spiritual strength (Philippians 4:13), to listen, obey and get to get ready to use this time in history to share the Word of God with yours kids and family because an opportunity like this might never happen again.

Isaiah 26:20-21 says: “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of His dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.”

It is as if God’s is giving each one of us another chance to share His Word with our loved ones before it is too late. Think about it dear friend, and may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7); remembering that the Lord will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is steadfast, because they trusts in Him (Isaiah 26:3).

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