April 03, 2020 – Friday
Matthew 24:9-11 NIV
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me.
10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
Who is Jesus speaking to when He made the above remarks? Jesus was speaking to His disciples. They were the same ones who had heard Him declare the scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites and declared seven woes upon them. After leaving that confrontation where He had condemned them saying in the prior chapter 31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? His disciples sought to bring His attention on the greatness and beauty of the Temple. His reply was not comforting 2 “Do you see all these things? Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
So, He is addressing two major prophecies. The first is the destruction of the temple which occurred in 70 A.D. and the second is His lasting return. His disciples came to Him a little later as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives and asked when will this happen and what signs would there be of His coming and the end of the age. He answered 4 “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Then we come to our verses for today where the disciples are told you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. That has been true off and on for 2,000 years now. Many think such a time is now, but we have to remember these signs He gave are ‘only’ the beginning of birth pains. How much time must elapse from the beginning of birth pains to the end of the age? Many have predicted when is was to be and were wrong. Many are still predicting, but no one really knows. What we know are the signs that are the beginning of birth pains and knowing that we should be about the business of seeking and living in God’s will.
Persecution of Christians will be part of the birth pains and that is occurring around the world and even somewhat in the USA. Here it generally takes the form of disdain and ridicule along with labeling us as haters. We are blessed at this time and our goal should be very much that of the disciples of Jesus time, sharing and telling others the Good News of Jesus.
When we go to church this weekend, online or in a church, it should be our goal to ask God for wisdom and strength to walk in His will while sharing the Good News of His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Riley D. Driver-Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton