The events that are taking place today are striking in how much they reflect the words of Jesus.
Mark 13:7 — “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”
Mark 13:8 — “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains..”
The war that broke out between the two brethren nations: Russia and Ukraine, is something we simply cannot grasp with our mind. How could this happen?
Then there’s a series of recent earthquakes that swept through Turkey, Syria and was even felt in Israel.
The events Jesus described have always taken place throughout history, however nowadays it seems they have intensified into a snowball effect that keeps growing and gaining momentum.
Despite all this, Jesus says in verse 7, “do not be alarmed, such things must happen.”
How does it feel when you read about these events and see them happening right before your eyes? Does it make you afraid? Outraged? Anxious?
When I read about the events that the Bible speaks about and then see them happening before my eyes, on the one hand, it kind of calms me. Why, you ask? The answer is simple, because I see that God has everything under control. Everything is happening exactly as He said it would.
On the other hand, it is actually quite scary to witness everything taking place. People are dying in the war! Some people are imprisoned for the truth. However, Jesus says to us even today, “Be not terrified.”
Understanding that the time is near should motivate and mobilize us even stronger for God’s cause. We need to focus our attention on the essential, not the mundane.
In Mark 13, Jesus warns his disciples four times saying (Be on guard) Βλέπετε in verses 5, 9, 23 and 33.
His warning has three aspects:
-Be on guard that no one leads you astray (verses 5, 22-23). This is the time when we need to be rooted and grounded in the word of God and His truth, more than ever before. Jesus reveals to us the plans of the enemy “to lead astray, if possible, the elect”.
-Be on guard when you see war and death, injustice and grief, earthquakes, hunger and disease, betrayal and persecution, as described in verses 7-13. Do not let the enemy of your soul harden your heart. It is so easy to succumb to temptation, to hate those who hurt others, who bring death and destruction. It is so difficult in fact, that it becomes a serious test for all of us.
-Be on guard in verse 33 is to be alert and pray.
Based on the Mark 13, there are three necessary aspects we need to be mindful of in order to not turn away from God’s path: be established in the Word of God (vv. 5, 22-23); be alert in steadfast in prayer (v. 33); and not harden your heart in the face of trials (vv. 7-13).
Let us stand together in preaching the word of God, praying and supporting one another, while being a true light in today’s darkness.