By Allen White
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.” Matthew 24:15-25
Jesus continued to warn His disciples. If His coming death wasn’t going to be bad enough, they needed to understand how things would go from bad to worse. The resurrection would bring new life, but Jesus never promised an easy life.
Again with this prophecy, portions of Jesus’ prediction related directly to the early church, while other parts are yet to be fulfilled. These words were partially fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The balance of the fulfillment is yet to come.
The spirit of Jesus’ words is for His disciples, including us, to be prepared, but not overly prepared. He wanted them to be aware, but when these events went down, His instructions were “Don’t turn back. Don’t get your coat. Don’t waste time grabbing extra stuff. Just go.”
Practically speaking, they shouldn’t be overburdened when they fled. Spiritually speaking, they had to leave all of the “stuff” they depended on, and in turn, solely depend on God.
Think about how we face a crisis. If we’re short on funds, we grab our credit cards. If we’re short on comfort, we grab a Twinkie. If we have a headache, we grab a pill. If we’re faced with adversity, we grab a weapon. What is your go-to when you face hardship?
What will it take for us to learn? When we’re short of funds, we grab hold of God. When we’re short on comfort, we seek our Comforter. When we’re sick, we use our God-given common sense, and we reach out to our Healer. If we face adversity, we realize we’re playing on the right team.
Following Jesus is a dangerously, wonderful adventure. He warned us it wouldn’t be easy, but neither is the alternative.
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