March 20, 2020 – Friday
Matthew 24:9 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.
Why would Jesus say such a thing? Well, let’s look at this chapter as a whole for context. The NIV gives it the title of The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times. An apt title as in the first two verses we have Jesus left the temple and was walking away when His disciples came up to Him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” He asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Of course His disciples wanted to know when all of this would occur, what will be signs of Jesus return and the end of the age?
After warning of false Messiahs, Jesus told them 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. Many believed World War II was such a time, but if it was it was only the beginning of birth pains. The greatest clue of the end of the age is near is when Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. Then He went on to say 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. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Is the time near now with the Chinese virus circling the globe and incredible persecution of Christians throughout the world and especially in China? The answer is no, not yet. Jesus tells us why in the next few verses 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
So not now, not yet, for while abominations abound throughout the world as well as persecution, there are still souls to be saved, the gospel to be shared. We are still to be a light to the unsaved around us, planting and watering seeds while the Holy Spirit does its work. Let us continue the work of growing Jesus’ bride as we 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer Acts 2:42.
Let us stand firm on God’s Word and know we have an eternal home in heaven.
Riley D. Driver-Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton