“‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.'” Matthew 24:35
At the beginning of this chapter, the disciples have come to Jesus on the Mount of Olives and asked Him to tell them about the signs of His second coming and of the “end of the age.” Jesus tells them about false Christs, war, famine, sicknesses, earthquakes, persecution, and the gospel being preached throughout the world.
Doesn’t that sound like a description of our time?
Today’s quote comes right after this description. Jesus tells His disciples that these occurrences are signs that the end/the Second Coming is near; in fact, they are “at the door”, which I take to mean “occuring very soon.” He then assures the disciples of the truthfulness of what He has just said, and that these things will indeed take place.
Whether the verses in this passage refer solely to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., or are a reference to the Second Coming, is a matter of debate, and one I won’t pretend to have the knowledge and understanding to go into myself. Either way, we know there will be a Second Coming; there are many references to it in the New Testament. We do not know when it will be; verse 36 says that only the Father knows.
The times we live in fit the description of the end times. The Second Coming may not be tomorrow, next week, this year, or this decade. It may not even be in our lifetime. But it will happen some day, and we need to be ready; if it does come during our lifetime, we do not want to be caught unaware and unprepared.
I’m not just talking about stocking up on cans of food and bottles of water-some people do that, and I’m not saying whether it’s a good or bad thing to do, just that it’s not the kind of preparation I’m talking about here. We need to ready our hearts and our minds to receive Jesus; we need to invite Him into our lives. We need to study His Word, both so that we may come to know Him, and so that we may recognize the signs and prepare ourselves for what will come. The end times will not be easy to endure, but if we do endure, we will meet Jesus and be gathered to Him at the end of them.