Now, learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know without being told that summer is near. 29Just so, when you see the events I’ve described beginning to happen, you can be sure that his return is very near, right at the door. 30I assure you, this generation£ will not pass from the scene until all these events have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.
In Jesus’ day the world seemed concrete, dependable, and permanent. These days many people fear its destruction by drought. Jesus tells us, however, that even if the earth passes away, the truth of his words will never be changed or abolished. God and his Word provide the only stability in our unstable world. How shortsighted people are who spend all their time and energy learning about this temporary world and accumulating its possessions, while neglecting the Bible and its eternal truths!
I need to be ready for the end times. Some of the signs that will precede his coming are war, hunger/drought, earthquakes, false Christ‘s, false prophets, rumours of wars, loss of faith, persecution of believers, the increase of evil, and the preaching of the Good News to all the world.
I was with American soldiers, near the front line at Danang. Can you imagine what it meant to them that an old lady came to see them? Their wives and mothers were far away in America…. At first I made them laugh heartily. Americans have a great sense of humor. But then I spoke to them very seriously. “Boys,” I said, “we all know that you are in danger of your lives. It is possible that tomorrow you will be killed. Are you ready to look a righteous God in the eyes? It is possible if you repent and take your sins to Jesus. He wants to forgive you and to cleanse your heart with His blood and fill it with His spirit. He said: “Come to Me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37).” Many of these boys and men came. It is quite possible that now they are in heaven.
What about you who are reading this? Perhaps you will say: I am not on the front line of a war; my life is not in danger. But we all know that every person will have to die one day and after that the judgment – everyone, whether he wants it or not. Are you ready?
If Jesus took me today, would I be among those who welcomed him or who dread his coming? I need to keep on reconsidering my priorities and stand ready to go at a moment’s notice.
You, dear friends, are the children of God.
There is no language or human medium
that can communicate the beauty and significance
of that blessed relationship.
It is altogether beyond the comprehension
of earthbound creatures.
Yet it is this that God makes possible
for you through Jesus Christ.
It means that you need no priest to stand
between you and God.
Nor do you need sacrificial altars
upon which to offer your gifts to Him
or stately temples in which to worship Him.
As a little child boldly approaches his father
in love and need, so God is your Father,
and you may confidently come to Him,
worshipfully, penitentially, joyfully,
daring to air your doubts, your fears,
your problems and needs
knowing that He hears,
that He rejoices in the faith of His children,
and that He responds to their urgent requests.
You must, however, be open to God and your fellow beings.
As you claim His divine forgiveness,
so you are to relate in forgiving love
to those about you.
As you relate your needs to Him,
you must submit to His will for you.
As you seek His gifts, you are to share such gifts
with your brothers and sisters.
As you look to Him for guidance, you are expected
to walk in the paths He lays out for you.
When you worship or pray or sing His praises,
be aware that this is done to relate to God –
not to impress your peers.
Your Father knows your needs far better than you do,
yet He desires that you communicate with Him,
rely on Him, trust Him, abide in Him.
He rejoices in the love of His children;
He urges you as His children to continually regard Him
as your loving Father.
– From Jesus / Now by Leaslie E. Brandt