Luke 21:5-38: Getting Ready for the End
The "evil empire" of the once-powerful USSR has disappeared, and their former allies are left dangling for military aid. We praise God for this. But some "scholars" of biblical prophecy have to rewrite their books about who is the antichrist and who are the nations that will meet for battle in Magog. Sensational interpretations of "the last days" can stir up some people, especially when the Middle East is in the news. Others react against what they perceive as scare tactics by avoiding any consideration of biblical prophecies. In today's chapter the Lord Jesus shows us how to keep a balance by being properly informed and obedient to his instructions.
Warming Up to God
What feelings does talk about the last days create in you?
Discovering the Word
- What are your general impressions of Jesus' discourse on the end of the age?
- At least three important events are evident. The first is Jesus' delivering this discourse to his disciples in A.D. 30 in Jerusalem. What are the other two (vv. 20-24 and vv. 27-28)?
- But Jesus also says some positive things will happen during this time (vv. 12-19). (These activities can also be applied between the second and third events.) What in Jesus' message gives you hope for an otherwise uncertain future?
- In verses 8-9 Jesus has said that certain activities are not signs of the end. But what does he say will be signs of the end when he returns (vv. 25-28, and probably vv. 10-11)?
- How is Jesus' parable of the fig tree (vv. 29-31) related to his preceding teachings (for example, 19:41-44; 20:16)?
Applying the Word
- Earthly preoccupation can keep us insensitive to spiritual realities and unprepared "to stand before the Son of Man" (vv. 5, 34-36). What aspects of modern living tempt you this way?
- Which one of Jesus' promises gives you strong incentive to be well prepared (vv. 14-15, 19, 24, 28, 31, 33)?
Responding in Prayer
Pray that you would be made ready.