The signs of the end times

This is written by Henry Fry. He has been coming to St Mary's since he was a student, is married to Charlotte and father to Bertie & Bella.

Mark 13:14-31

14 'When you see "the abomination that causes desolation" standing where it does not belong - let the reader understand - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequalled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now - and never to be equalled again.

20 'If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Messiah!" or, "Look, there he is!" do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything in advance.

24 'But in those days, following that distress,
'"the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken."

26 'At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

28 'Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.


"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

We know that Jesus made a great impression on people. They were struck by everything about him. The way he acted with such integrity, kindness and purity. They were also amazed by his actions; he never failed to heal any sick person who came to him however advanced the disease; and demonstrated that he was able to control nature itself. But most of all people were impressed by his teaching. No one they’d ever heard spoke to them as Jesus did, and the challenge Jesus presents to us lies, above everything else, in his words. His way of speaking, his unusual yet provoking parables, and above all how he referred to himself and the extraordinary claims which he made were all life changing.

What is therefore important to remember then is that we see in these verses (31) that though the Earth will pass away, his words will not. Why is it then that we put so much faith in what we think we see and so little in his words. His word will never leave, it is the unchangeable truth! This is what we need to recognise and apply in our lives. When we face fear, heartache, and the pressures of life, we become so confident the thoughts and feelings we have are true, but what is true are the words of Jesus, even in tough circumstances.

Lord, help me not to take your word for granted. Where would I be without it? Because of your words I am able to know you and can know you more. Thank you that you send your spirit to guide me in how to know you more. Help me to put my trust in you even when I am afraid.

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