Scripture reading for February 3rd: Matthew 24
Jesus was asked by the disciples: “Tell us, they said, “when will this happen and what will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?” Jesus answered them with a warning: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” (Matthew 24:3-4) He went on to tell them of the deception and persecution that would mark the times of these last days before He returned and the age ended. Their job would be to fulfill His command to reach all the world with the Gospel: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the wold world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Many church people today are focused on the signs that Jesus described and live in fear. There are wars and rumors of wars but Jesus told His followers not to be alarmed! (Matthew 24:6) This was normal birth pains before His coming! He told them of persecution and many falling away from the faith and betraying believers. There would also be many deceivers and false prophets who would cause the love of believers to grow cold. Jesus encouraged His followers to stand firm in the truth of the gospel and keep on preaching! In doing so, they would be saved and Christ’s coming would be hastened!
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:35-36) We must stay close to the words of Jesus! A relationship with Him is essential to be ready for that day of His return! “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:42)