3As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
So, let’s look at this passage. Jesus was sitting directly across the Kidron valley from the Temple Mount with his disciples, and from their vantage they could see all of the city of Jerusalem. Jesus then tells them that no stone will be left standing upon another in the city when its fall comes. This prophecy came true in 70 AD when Rome sacked the entire city and destroyed the Herodian Temple. But then Jesus continues by saying there will be people claiming to be a messiah, maybe even THE messiah…don’t fall for it. Does this sound like any of the preachers and politicians we know? And there will be wars and rumor of wars…sound familiar? Nations will be against each other…check. There will be famines…check. There will be earthquakes…check. And then He says that these are all like birthing pains. You see, the Earth is also subject to our sin nature. All was perfect in the Garden of Eden until Adam and Eve sinned. And once that happened, all of creation was tossed into a turmoil.
So, I think we have sufficient evidence to be fairly assured that we are approaching the end times, which could last days or centuries, as we see the increase in natural disasters which is a response to the fallen nature of creation. That does not mean we like it or want it. But, like with Hurricane Harvey, we see how bad nature can be and then we get glimpses of what life in a love-filled, Christ centered world could look like…and I know that life under God in eternity with no sin will be immeasurably better…and I am ready for it. But in the meantime, I will try to do my part here and now to spread the gospel message of the Love of Christ to the world. And I hope that people will see His hands and His feet in me and seek His face as well.