The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 93

“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is yet to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. All these are the beginning of birth pains[Matt 24: 4-8, KJV, italics and emphasis mine].

The world is gripped with fear of a third World War. It cries ‘Peace! Peace!’ even while it continues to pursue ungodliness with great vigor.

Undoubtedly, we are in the season that the Bible describes as the ‘end times’, the time immediately before Jesus’ return. The signs given are likened to the labour pains heralding the birth of a child. Therefore it is important that Christians maintain the correct focus in these times. This is particularly so in the light of the great deal of confusion being caused by numerous self-proclaimed ‘prophets’.

Regarding such people in these last days, Jesus warned, “Watch out”. Why? Because false prophets take one away from what is really important. They confuse the real issues. Because they speak according to their own inclinations they give false hope and also foster fear. They mask their false messages by quoting scripture.

In the long talk known as the ‘Olivet Discourse’ (Matt.24), Jesus foretold the signs of the end of the age and the establishing of his Kingdom, which would follow. To this end he told three parables (ten virgins/ talents/ sheep & goats) linking his coming with his selection of persons fit for the kingdom. Now, HERE IS THE DANGER. We can fall into the trap of focusing on the signs to the detriment of the more important requirement of preparedness to enter his kingdom.

The import of Jesus’ talk, if I may say it in my own words was “Be prepared. Don’t be complacent. Recognize, when you see these signs that my coming is near, that I’m right at the very door.”

Predictions about the Antichrist, Babylon etc. are of interest to scholars and to those who indulge in sensationalism. Focus, rather, with joyful anticipation, on the return of our Lord Jesus. Far better in these last days to pay greater attention to the high calling of Discipleship! Jesus summed up discipleship thus: “If you love me keep my commandments”. Simple, powerful and necessary!

Keep your focus on Jesus. Set your heart on being his disciple. If you do this, then you will be prepared for his return, regardless of what happens in the world!

We know we are prepared when our works give evidence of our faith. Get ready!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues