If I know of evil being done to someone and ignore it, it is sin. I cannot ignore the oppressed people around me. We as Christ followers cannot just sit around and say, “Oh that really sucks for them over there” or “I didn’t know that was happening.”
YHWH knows our hearts. We must step in. It is His plan, as I understand it, for us (thru Him) to be healing to the world.
Of course, we must bear in mind that we are called to step in to whatever Christ calls us to and grants us the capacity for as opposed to getting involved in every cause we find on the internet, for that would be impossible, and absurd to even attempt. We are usually called to something, quite literally, right in front of us.
Good Samaritan stuff.
No one knows when…..be ready.
This chapter, when read closely, reveals that its emphasis is more on warnings against false teaching and apocalyptic predictions, than it is about solving the biblical puzzle of the end times.
Getting into trying to predict end times stuff and discerning the meaning of everything in light of biblical prophecy is dangerous ground to tread.
Right off the bat, we see Jesus says that He Himself does not even know “that day and hour” (v36). Nor do the angels. But we, of course, are much smarter than Jesus. And the angels. Am I right? We can narrow the day and hour of His return down quite a bit, can’t we? The end must be soon because fill in the blank.
“Prophecy Belief”–the conviction that the course of history, and the sequence of events that will herald the end of the world, are foretold in the Bible.
This has become quite ridiculous in modern American culture if you ask me. And this chapter is more a warning against this than it is about end times predictions.*
Do you realize how many people for decades and decades have been using prophecy belief in the most various and stretching manners? Let me mention just a couple for fun. John Kennedy received 666 votes at the 1956 Democratic Convention, and “some expected Kennedy to rise from his coffin, fulfilling the prophecy in Revelation that the Beast would miraculously recover from a deadly head wound.” And perhaps my personal favorite to date, a quite clever person “calculated that if A is given the value 6; B, 12; C, 18, and so on, then one finds the following:
C=18, O=90, M=78, P=96, U=126, T=120, E=30, R=108=666!”
Finally I am vindicated that computers are, in fact, evil!!!
Anyway, this predictive ridiculosity and speculation is going on even today. And this kind of thing will continue in different and innovative fashions probably up to the actual end. So I guess somebody is bound to get lucky with their Nostradomic prediction!
But what’s the take away here?
Be careful not to get too caught up in “prophecy belief.” I’ve seen it, and rarely does it make one more loving toward their spouse, or more patient, or closer to YHWH. It usually makes them crazier and crazier, obsessed with decoding, and more difficult to be around.
Matthew 24 can be read more straightforwardly as Jesus simply saying, “It’s going to be rough being a Christian, but persevere, stay alert, don’t let anybody fool you with their predictions, and be ready, for I am coming to make things right.”
No one knows when…..
*Though this passage is not without predictions. Jesus did predict in verse 2 the coming destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem which took place about 40 years later in A.D. 70.