Sunday, November 13, 2016

Luke 21:5-19

Some people were milling about outside the iconic temple, commenting on the beauty of the stones and the memorial artwork on the walls. Jesus chimed in, 6 “Enjoy it all now, for the time is coming when the temple, symbol of Jewish life, will be in complete ruin. Every single stone will be knocked to the ground!”

7 Assuming that Jesus was talking about the end times, they asked him, “Teacher, when are you expecting this to happen? What are the signs of impending doom?”

8 Jesus replied, “Watch out! Don’t be deceived! Many phonies will come along claiming my authority. They’ll each be saying of themselves, ‘I’m here! The time of the Messiah has arrived!’ Such people are full of baloney and don’t deserve your attention. Certainly you shouldn’t fall in line behind them. 9 Also you’re going to hear about war and rebellion. But you need to maintain calm. These things aren’t really signs of the imminent end. It’s just nasty stuff that happens all the time.” 10 Then Jesus added, “Expect that nations and kingdoms will fight it out with each other. 11 There are going to be disastrous earthquakes, destructive famines, and life-ending pandemics. You can also expect that there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven. 12 Even more imminent will be the persecution. Because of your faith in me you’ll be harassed and arrested. You’ll be handed over to the religious authorities and end up in prison. Then the government will be involved in the prosecution. 13 This will be your chance to testify about me. 14 Don’t worry about coming up with some kind of prepared defense. 15 As you’re in the middle of it all, I’ll give you irrefutable words and wisdom. 16 However, some of your closest family members and friends will testify against you. And some of you will be executed. 17 The haters will have a heyday with you -- all because of your relationship with me. 18 But I’m going to take care of you so that your life will be preserved -- not even the hairs of your head will become casualties. 19 Hold fast and even if you are killed you will win eternal life.