"It comes during the final week of Jesus' life. He knows that the agony of the cross looms just ahead. And here, while His focus is fixed firmly on eternal matters, His disciples want to party and talk politics," Ross says.
"Jesus is focusing on Calvary, trying to prepare Himself for inevitable death--His earthly destiny--and His disciples just don't get it."
"That's when Jesus drops the prophecy bomb," says Ross.
"More than cryptically-coded predictions about famines, wars, pestilence, and deceptions, Matthew 24 contains vital information for a pathway of safety through the End Times."In other words: Matthew 24 is not meant to frighten us. Its purpose is to enlighten us and to prepare us for what will surely come.
"Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:42-44).Whether it's the hour of our death or the resurrection of the saints, we can't know when Jesus is coming for us. But rest assured--He is coming.
So how can we be ready?
Second Corinthians tells us to examine ourselves to be sure we're in the faith. And with good reason.
Many, Jesus said, who believe they are saved are in for a nasty surprise.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).What?! You mean there's more to salvation than just believing Jesus existed?
You bet there is.
We must be living our lives based on a proper relationship to Christ that is ongoing. A decision made in the past that has not radically transformed us will not cut it.
We must be 'born again'.
"Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).The new birth, or regeneration refers to the work of the Holy Spirit. True repentance and the continual process of Christian living is enabled by the Holy Spirit, resulting in growth in character and good works" (Titus 3).
Jesus said the Holy Spirit is like the wind--invisible--though everyone can see evidence of it. Likewise, if the Holy Spirit is really living in us, there will be evidence. So let's continually examine ourselves to be sure we're in the faith since we can't know when He will come for us.
A wise man once said: "True faith in Christ delivers us from the ultimate consequence of our sin--eternal separation from God. It also empowers us to change and live a new life" -- Stephen Arterburn, author.
"And how can we be sure that we belong to Him? By obeying His commandments. If someone says, 'I belong to God', but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in truth. But those who obey God's word really do love Him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did" (1John 2:3-6).News:
- CBC News: Obama warns of 'consequences' for Russian actions destabilizing Ukraine.
- USA Today: Jews ordered to register in East Ukraine and provide a list of property they own "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation, and see assets confiscated.
- DEBKAfile: Temple mount closed for second day due to Muslim riots; police are evaluating situation.