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Beautiful Words Blog | Jesus Is Our Hope by Pastor John Moropoulos | Gateway Christian Fellowship

AI generated photo of an imagined End Times.
*Photo is AI-generated to illustrate a possible End Times visual.

"And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds,

from the furthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven." Mark 13:27

Mark 13 is a wonderful chapter. It starts with Jesus and His followers conversing about the Temple construction. The disciples marveled at it. Jesus said it was coming down, totally, stone by stone. This led the disciples to ask the Lord about the timing of His return, and the signs that would indicate its approach. They got an earful.

Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, horrible persecution, divided families, a worldwide rejection of the Savior and the Gospel, and a manifestation of evil so grotesque and dark it would leave utter desolation in its wake. Cosmic failure, the entire created order, everything material in its makeup, gone. Stars shaken from their places. The very physical laws that govern all of the created order, suspended.

That’s a lot to take in. It’s a lot for us and it was a lot for a first century disciples too. I wonder whose wonderment was greater. The first-century followers of Jesus had seen the destruction of war, of violence on a massive scale. If they had not personally experienced a massive earthquake the evidence of such was easy to find. If they hadn’t experienced famine it was only a matter of luck. Perhaps their “less sophisticated” knowledge of science, geography, and astronomy, made the description of events to come easier to accept.

On the other hand, we have the benefit of human imagination combined with amazing technology. If we have not personally seen the things Jesus described, we can easily visualize them happening (on screens of course), thanks to advanced computer-generated imagining. The ease with which our creative musings can be transformed into believable images is really breathtaking.

But therein may lie the problem. We can visualize it, but only as the product of imagination. The wars and famines part, or the persecution and betrayal--those we can accept as real. But the whole cosmic structure falling apart... Matter destroyed, gravity ceasing to have any power, energy as we know it, all done. The entire physical world just shutting down. Really? It has to be some kind of apocalyptic figure of speech, right?

But Jesus doesn’t describe it that way. The persecutions He talked about are real enough. They started immediately after the resurrection and continue to this day. Wars, we’ve got them. Those things were and are real. So why wouldn’t the other things be just as real?

They will be. We don’t know when, but they will be. And we need to be prepared for them, not so much in the storage room full of food, water, and all the other stuff, sense, although that isn’t a bad idea. But it's not really being ready. Really being ready means living with a Kingdom mindset that reminds us daily this world is not our home. This world isn’t permanent. This world is passing away.

What is permanent, what doesn’t pass away, is our relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ. Our relationships with other believers are permanent. Our living in His presence, worshiping and serving Him for eternity, that is permanent.

So Peter asks the question, “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?”

It’s a question that should guide us every day. Let’s pray it does.


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