Sometimes we just need a good, “I told you so!” When the disciples asked about The End, Jesus told them this.
Watch out that you are not deceived. For many charlatans will come in my name, claiming, “I am he,” and “The time is near.” Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. This is just part of normal history. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. At times you’ll think the very sky is falling!
But before all this, they will arrest you, hunt you down, drag you into court, and persecute you. They will deliver you into the hands of your enemies and throw you in prison. It will go from bad to worse. Everyone will be at your throat because of me.
You will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that will reduce your accusers to stammers and stutters.
You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But every detail of your life- even down to the hairs of your head- are in my care and control. By standing firm, hang in there, don’t lose faith and you will gain life.
It will seem like all hell has broken lose. There will be sign in the sun, moon and stars. Everyone will be in shear panic. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift us your heads because your redemption is drawing near. Hold your head up high because help is on the way!
Be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation become dull with parties, shopping, and the anxieties of life. Otherwise that day will take you completely by surprise. It will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that is coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:8-36 a combination of the Message Version and NIV)
*****It looks like a mess around here, and it is. But hold on to your seats because the ride is going to get bumpier before it’s over. Just hang in there. Jesus already told us that it’s going to get ugly which means he’s got this under control- nothing surprises him. It’s part of his plan. Why? Because if you don’t think you need a Savior yet, just wait- you’ll want one real soon! So don’t be afraid, dear Christians. The pilot of our airplane is Jesus and he’s just put on the “fasten seatbelt” light. Turbulence is coming, but our pilot can handle it and bring you home safe and sound.