This passage covers the period before the second coming of our Lord that Jesus tells us about in Mark 13:6-8. It is about calamities, tumults, and chaos that are expected in suffering because of the impact and veracity of sin in the world. It is a continual experience, as the people in John’s time were going through this and, in varying degrees, we have already or will go through it. But, this is also an apex and a climax coming just before the final judgments, when the world gets a “break” and an opportunity to know Christ before His final pronouncement (Matt. 24:14). This passage’s primary purpose was not to predict the details of final events; rather, it was meant to encourage us to go through them with increased faith and our eyes focused upon our Lord. It is not important to know what takes place when, what our presumptions are, or which “end times” theory is best, as we will all be wrong on that. The important lessons are how Christ will be glorified and how we will learn and grow through it!
The sufferings and trials of life did not derail this crowd from His plan and purpose. Not even their hurt feelings, their being betrayed themselves, or the tribulations of life, whether overt or benign, dejected them. These are the Christians whose faith is real and applied. They have succeeded in their faith and now they take their triumphant entry into His presence and their reward. It is always worth it, because no matter what we face or what we go through, there is an intention from our Lord; His leading is what is best for us, including our growth and rationale. In Christ, we will succeed and prevail!
Questions to Ponder:
- What would cause a Christian to praise Christ one day, and on another day betray Him? How so?
- What does it mean that Christ is also your Shelter and your Hope? How do you feel that He will get you through your life and circumstances, no matter what you see, feel, or face?
- Do you have a favorite theory of “The Great Tribulation?” How can our theories get in the way, and cause us to miss the main point? What is the main point of The Great Tribulation?
- How have you celebrated victory andor God’s faithfulness in your life? Right now, carefully consider how you can celebrate God’s work in your life. How would it strengthen your faith and demonstrate victory to others?
- How can you better point to Christ, showing others they have the opportunity to get their priorities in line with God’s? Think of it this way, evangelism is basically one homeless person telling another where the shelter is.”
© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org