Read thru the New Testament-March 11

Mark 13:14-37

Mk. 13:14-22-The“Abomination of Desolation” speaks ofthe time when the Antichrist will stand in the Temple and proclaim himself to be god (see February 6, Matthew 24:1-22). This event will begin the second half of the 7 years of tribulation (the“great tribulation”…”great” referring to intensity level).  It will be the worst time period in the history of the world (:19)…but it will only last for a short period of time (:20).  Even during this time there will be false Christs and prophets who will perform miracles in an effort to try and lead the elect (the saved) away (the elect will be intensely persecuted, :20 and will be intensely deceived, :22).

Mk.13:23-“But take heed: behold, I have told you everything in advance.”…by “everything,” Jesus means everything that we need to know in order to make the right decisions and in order to remain faithful and strong.  What an incredible word of encouragement.  If Jesus will give those who go through this period of the most intense persecution that the world has ever known everything that they need in order to remain faithful…can we not also rest assured that He will give us everything that we need to go through those times of difficulty that we face?  Thank you, Lord!

Mk. 13:24-29-“after that tribulation”, the intense period of time that He just spoke of…“then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds…and then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds…”  This is the second coming of Jesus Christ…the time when He will come back to the earth.

Mk.13:30-31-“this generation”…speaks of the one that sees the signs, the events just described…“will not pass away until all these things take place”.  The parable of the fig tree teaches us that summer is near…and soon there will be a harvest.  Even so, the generation that sees these things take place will see the harvest take place…they will not die before it happens.  Jesus guarantees that this is the way things will transpire by saying that it would be more possible for Heaven and earth to cease to exist…than it is for His word to not come true.

Mk. 13:32-37-While Jesus gives us the timeline for these events and even some details of the events…He does not tell us when they will begin.  Only the Father knows that.  Since Jesus is fully God, why wouldn’t He know when these things would begin?  (Ryrie, from the note on Philippians2:7)-“The kenosis (emptying) of Christ during His incarnation does not mean that He surrendered any attributes of deity, but that he voluntarily took on the limitations of humanity.  This involved a veiling of His pre-incarnate glory (John 17:5) and the voluntary waiving of some of His divine prerogatives during the time He was on earth (Matt. 24:36).”  Since no one knows the exact time that these things will take place…we should live in such a way that we are always ready and prepared…on the alert.  Jesus could come back at any time and we need to be ready.

Prayer: Lord, help me to live on the alert…eagerly anticipating Your return.

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