We get surprised – a few or a lot of times – about facts, phenomenon or situations when we do not need to. On the contrary, we need to be properly equipped by the Word of God so we avoid surprises and disappointments, as all are told and written in the Bible. The Lord is not a liar, the Lord is fair, He is straightforward and He desires to teach us, inform us and prepare us through the Bible’s scriptures.
The Bible does not only exist – given to us – to show His love for humanity; it was not only written to give us instructions and recommendations; it was not only written to show us a Christ like lifestyle. It was given to us to inform us for what it is to come, to prepare us and to arm us with what we need with the aim of standing on our testimony for Him, for His glory!
“So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign [will there be] when these things are about to take place?” And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am [He],’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them. “But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end [will] not [come] immediately.”
The disciples were curious as each one of us about what would happen in the future. Normal human curiosity! It is interesting that He responded immediately by one and very essential principle: deception! The Lord knows all; no doubts about it! He knew that false prophets would come, as happened in the past. He, additionally, knew that we could easily be deceived due to our flesh but also due to lack of knowledge. That’s why in Hosea 4v6 it is written that “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. I believe that it is not addressed only to the fact that people do not know or accept Him but also, it is addressed to believers who spend no time to meditate and study the word so they can obtain the knowledge. Obviously, those believers will be easily deceived caused by lack of knowledge. They will be lost forever.
“Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute [you], delivering [you] up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.”
He clearly described what was/is/will be to come. It might not be portrayed in extreme details but I think that we get the picture. Believers debate whether some of the signs happened already, whether more is to come, whether the end is too close or not and so on. We need to combine the above scriptures with Matthew 24v36 that says: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
Signs happened already and are just happening this moment. Additionally, it is more are to come!
One vital point is that they will lay hands on us and persecute us! We know that this event previously happened when the first church was persecuted. We know that there are believers still persecuted in various nations and I am convinced that great persecution will take place as the time goes on! As we read the following verses of Luke 21v16, we learn that we will be betrayed (a kind of persecution or abandon us in the hands of the persecutors) by our own beloved. So, let’s not be surprised when our beloved ones make fun with our faith, they oppose it or they become defensive towards us. It is a small taste of persecution! It hurts, I know!
What we need to remember that all happens for our Lord’s sake! It is not about us, it is about Him!
“But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.”Therefore settle [it] in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; “for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.”You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put [some] of you to death. “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.”But not a hair of your head shall be lost. “By your patience possess your souls.”
I love this: “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.”
Aha! Good point! What I understand is that no matter what’s happening, it is always an opportunity to give our testimony and gain souls for the Lord, give the glory to Him, participate in His work and vision! Knowing this, I believe, that we can stand any difficulty!
It is even more encouraging to know that we do not need to prepare what to say, how to give our testimony. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, He lives inside us and He is our counsellor! Simply, He will bring the words and we will speak them out. It is like writing: sometimes, when I read some older articles of mine and teachings, I can’t believe that it was typed by my own fingers! Truly, it is not I, it is He. We are just the vessel used to deliver the spiritual into the physical!
It is amazing when having the confidence that what we speak is so good that no one can contradict or resist it.
The whole teaching of Jesus ends with a beautiful declaration: “But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.”
Don’t be surprised when in your life not all goes smoothly! The Lord had promised us His protection but He also warned us that in this life we would have troubles! When He says that not a hair of your head shall be lost, I understand that no matter our good times or our bad and troubled times in our life, at the end of the day nothing will be lost and nothing will go on waste! It is mostly about our eternal life spent with Him. There is a way to succeed this task: patience. By patience based on knowledge, not even a hair of our head shall be lost, not even one effort and event will take place in vain!
This teaching might feel stressful and scary regarding the future to come. I agree that it is. Nevertheless, when we focus on the knowledge and on the benefits, when we focus on His glory and know that He will stand with us, He will give us the provisions and the words…all seems certainly achievable!
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