Prediction of "the time of Tribulation”

When the first federal income tax was being debated in the US Senate in 1913, a senator speaking in opposition to the bill stated: “If we allow this 1 percent foot-in-the-door, at some future date it might rise to 5 percent.” (Original Source Unknown, Lou Nicholes - Mis … More

Future

One day as Jesus was going out to the Temple, which was built on top of Mount Moriah, His disciples commented on how beautiful it was (v. 1). Josephus  in his writings tells us how it was built of beautiful white marble stones that were 40 feet long, 12 feet high and 18 feet thick. The total  height of the sanctuary was said to have been over 100 feet and the roof inside was covered with gold. Is it any wonder that these Galilean disciples were amazed by it? Jesus’ comment was that, “There shall not be one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (v. 2).” This prediction came to pass some 40 years later (A.D. 70) when the  Roman armies under Titus destroyed Jerusalem.  Josephus in his book on “The Wars of the Jews” tells us that 97,000 were taken captive and 1,100,000 either perished by slow starvation or died by the sword. 

A little later Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to Jesus with a question, “When shall these things be” (vv. 3-4)?  This portion of Scripture is often referred to as the Olivet Discourse because Jesus gave it on the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem. He warned that many would come saying they were the Messiah (vv. 5-6). He said that there would be wars and rumors of wars but the end was not yet (v. 7). In addition there would even be earthquakes and famines and they would even be beaten because of their faith and, “hated by all men for my name’s sake” (vv. 8-13). Jesus never told  His followers the Christian life would be an easy way, but it is a proven fact that Christians are wonderfully strengthened by  trials.

We need to realize that this chapter describes a period of time known as “the Tribulation."  The Old Testament prophets wrote about this period and called it “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), a time of wrath (Zeph. 1:15-18), and a time of indignation and punishment (Isa. 26:20-21). Jesus was warning his followers about the future so that they could learn how to live in the present. Many of the predictions Jesus made in this passage have not yet been fulfilled. His purpose was not to cause us to guess when they would be fulfilled but to help us stay alert and prepared for His return.

Application

If I knew that the world would come to an end in six months, how would I change my lifestyle?  What does this scriptural passage make me want to do?

 

Mark 13:1-13 (English Standard Version)

And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!" And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down." And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?" And Jesus began to say to them, "See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. "But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."

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