End times – The Father knows
Mark 13: 14-23
14 ‘When you see “the abomination that causes desolation” standing where it does not belong – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequalled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now – and never to be equalled again. 20 ‘If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.21 At that time if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Messiah!” or, “Look, there he is!” do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything in advance. 24 ‘But in those days, following that distress, ‘“the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” 26 ‘At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. 28 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 ‘Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”’
Over the next few days I will just stay on this passage and see what we can draw from it.
In 168 BC Antiochus Epiphanes slaughtered a pig on the altar and offered it to Zeus in the Temple in Jerusalem, it became known as the abomination of desolation.
But in AD 70 Titus and the Roman Army moved in and fulfilled this prophecy of Jesus. They reduced the Temple to rubble and took the holy artefacts back to Rome. During this abomination of desolation over 1 million Jews died. However the Jewish Christians heeded Jesus warning and when the Romans were approaching fled the city.
In Matthew and Luke we have other details of this prophecy of Jesus which clearly speaks of AD 70 but as with all Biblical prophecy it has more than one event in mind. So our thoughts are on his Second Coming also, Jesus describing himself as coming on the clouds.
There is an abomination to come, for many, they are currently experiencing it. The spirit of the Anti-Christ is in the world increasing in every generation its abhorrent acts against God’s people.
Many write their interpretation of the end times using this and other passages. It is a minefield of understanding. Do we have a detailed plan of what will happen and what to look for? No. The variants are many. But this is what we know from this passage …
The Father knows
Only the Father knows when but the point is He knows also what.
Today there are estimates of 20 Christian martyrs per hour. How do they go through this? Surely by knowing that the Father knows.
Is there someone reading this who is going through the trauma of their worst day? Your Father knew it was coming and He knows what you’re going through.
God doesn’t always give us what we want.
But He is certainly the God who determines what is best. He has perfect timing, who appoints everything. He permits, assigns, chooses, selects, prescribes and establishes. Everything works according to His will and purposes which are perfect.
It takes faith and discipleship to be able to say this abomination is known by my Father.
We all love this verse in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
But it only applies if we submit to verse 35 also: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
The end times show us that they are days of great difficulty and we never know when these days will begin for us but the Father knows.