Luke 21:23-24 NASB
“Woe to those women who are pregnant, and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Emphasis is mine.
In Luke 21:7-28 NASB, Jesus tells us about what will happen in the world as we move towards the times of the Gentiles being fulfilled. Please take the time to read it.
Notice what Jesus says in Luke 21:9 NASB: “And when you hear of wars and revolts, do not be alarmed; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Emphasis is mine.
“…for these things must take place first..” That “must” that Jesus says, is there for a reason. Why do you think Jesus used that word which indicates that these things that Jesus said would happen, must indeed happen? The reason is straight forward, Jesus is telling us that they will happen, must happen, before the end comes. Jesus did not say that they “may” happen or that they “could” happen, He said that they MUST happen. We really need to understand this.
If you are like me, adapting to the changing times has not been easy. The arrival of Covid19 has been enlightening, to say the least, and its repercussions are not over yet. But there is more. Many of our previous norms within our society are also rapidly changing and once again, adapting to these changes is not easy. The list is long and the hand writing has been on the wall for a significant amount of time.
For those of us who have been disciples of Jesus for a substantial number of years, we have witnessed the slow but increasingly prevalent erosion of many previous Christian mainstays, such as marriage only between a man and a woman, divorce, sexual limitations, abortion availability and freedom of expression, to name but a few, being challenged from the previously accepted Christian norms and now being realigned to encompass our changing societies more liberal acceptance of variants, moving towards a broader and more accommodating and less restrictive perspective in our society.
One really doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand why Christian values have lost ground within our society. The reason for this is quite simple, the Christian Church has increasingly lost ground in numbers who followed Christ, over time within our society. A watered down Gospel, less committed Christians, plus a hundred and one additional reasons and factors, have all combined to produce a less than dynamic Church of true believers, who truly strive to love one another and our neighbours as ourselves, and follow the Great Commission to make disciples, within our society, who in turn, would or should adhere to Christian values.
And this reality happened not because Jesus was found wanting, but rather because far too many wanted more than they anticipated or understood, than Jesus offered. The Church failed to disciple and to teach what it means to be a disciple. We increasingly became a society of people that focused on what we could see and experience in the here and now, the material that we can see, versus the unseen spiritual. And when we cannot achieve what we think we should be achieving, in numbers, as the Church, what do we do? We resort to associations and affiliations that give us power to enable under law or authority, that which we deem appropriate. We endeavour to put our values, on those who do not hold our values. We switch our priority from changing the hearts of the unsaved, to controlling the actions of the minds of the unsaved. Is it any wonder that we are a house divided? Personally I think not. None of this is new, read the Old Testament.
And then or course, just to make things more interesting, we have all the variables within Christianity, from one extreme to another. To be fair, one could include those variables within the previously stated “one hundred and one additional reasons and factors”. The overall end result being that there are many differences of opinion within Christianity. Jesus is not undecided but we, as “Christians” certainly are. This also is not new, read the New Testament.
False doctrines currently abound. False teachers and prophets currently abound. Few and far between can be bothered to check the entire counsel of God’s Holy Word anymore, on what is in agreement with God’s Word and what does not agree with God’s Word. Cherry picking has become a fine art form and many there be that just focus on what they want to believe, versus what the whole of God’s Word actually says and asks us to follow. Never confront, just love everyone (non-Christians and Christians alike) like Jesus did and God will take care of the rest is a prime example of a distorted Biblical truth that is continually pumped out by those who do not want to address their Christian responsibilities such as defending our faith and correcting false teachings. Fortunately the Apostle Paul and others within the New Testament did not have that problem. Had all of God’s children taken this to heart in the past, maybe we would not be in the situation that we are now in.
So what is my point in this post you ask? Good question! My point is this:
Jesus specifically told us that this all would happen. I am just an ordinary lay person. I will address false doctrine or teaching when I see it, if God leads me to do so and if it is not accepted, I will walk away. I will advocate what I see in God’s Holy Word when God leads me to do so, if you disagree, state your case, if I am wrong, I will admit it. If you cannot adequately state your case that includes Scripture(s) that disagree with your stated belief and you still disagree with me, I shall walk away. I shall consistently endeavour to address the issue being discussed and not demean you as a person, but that does not include my acceptance of your stated non-Biblical stand. When Jesus addressed the woman who was caught in adultery He did not condemn her because His first appearance was not for judgment, but Jesus did tell her to go and sin no more. (John 8:11). Jesus never condoned sin. Never. And yes, Jesus did indeed indicate that repentance was necessary to enter into the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:17). And as a further point of interest, no where in the New Testament does the Apostle Paul or any of the other writers, condone false teachings. They address it, they do not condone it.
Due to necessity, time I spend on posts for this blog is now limited. I would like my posts to count towards building up brothers and sisters, just as I am built up by your posts. Earlier on this morning I responded to an excellent post authored by Annie which you can view here. Annie correctly noted how faithful Christians are being accused of doing what unfaithful Christians have done. I will share here what I responded to her:
“What you have identified Annie is true. The prince of this world is conditioning its inhabitants and unfortunately his tactics are gaining momentum in all quarters. Truth is being turned upside down and the current of opposition grows daily. There is a hatred for all that Jesus stands for and reversing the freedom Jesus gained for us is the aim. Lambs being led to the slaughter will indeed be a reality because rebellion currently reigns. Nibbles have become bites and now large pieces are being devoured. Intent to destroy is no longer hidden but is now brazenly displayed. The internal weight of what is coming can be heavy, if we forget and lose sight of the reality of what really is. Jesus told us that these things must come to pass (Luke 21:9) and not to fear nor be alarmed. The commandments of Jesus have not changed and neither has the final outcome, nor will it. Jesus is the first born of many brethren, death, where is thy sting is the reality and Jesus is still Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Our heavenly Father has decreed this and it is so. What must come to pass is not the end but merely the beginning. Persecution will indeed follow and we have been instructed not to defend ourselves (Luke 21:14) but rather to use this as an opportunity to witness and give testimony. And even though some will be killed, not a hair on our heads will perish. That is the final reality! Ultimately there is but one reality and even Satan cannot change that. The times of the Gentiles is being fulfilled. Fear not nor be dismayed. Colossians 3:15 comes to mind: “Let the peace of Christ, to which you were indeed called in one body, rule in your hearts; and be thankful.” I’m thinking that “rule in our hearts” is key. God’s continued blessings on you and yours as always. Love in Christ – Bruce”
Time is short. Understand what is coming. Love one another as Jesus loves us. Be true to God’s Word.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!