S (Scripture): Mark 13:24 [Jesus said to his disciples: ] “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then everyone will see the Son of Man arriving in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send angels and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.”
O (Observation): Jesus talks of what the end of times will be like. He mentions some signs of things to come. He also mentions that there will be an “elect” that will be gathered.
A (Application): People have written all kinds of Christian fiction about the end times. Movies (and movie series) have been made about this subject. And quite often, the focus is on “the elect” and what one must do to be part of the elect.
People have built denominations on this kind of stuff…scaring people into believing Christ, or giving them “hell” as the alternative.
I don’t see this Mark text is a scary thing, but as an invitation to believe in Christ.
We cannot deny that Scripture points to some kind of ending that will bring turmoil, but I also see visions of an end that will ultimately bring peace and hope. I see “heaven coming to earth;” I see a purification that will be like a death…but a death of the old sin that rests in us. That sin will die forever, but not without a struggle.
So I hope and believe and pray that I am of the elect. As a baptized child of God, that is my confidence. That confidence is the source of my hope for the times that I stick my neck out to support my Muslim neighbor, to continue to remain close to two men I know have just joined their lives together in marriage, to continue to welcome and accept all people around me, in the same way that Jesus would dwell with his disciples AND dine with “outsiders.”
What is your thought about the end of times? What impact does that have on you today?
From where does your confidence come? Does it come from within? Can it come from within?
Please share below.
P (Prayer): Lord, you bring us to a place of hope and joy. Let us be filled with your grace so that we can face the struggles we need to face today, resting in the hope that our eternal glory is in your hands alone. Amen.