Have you noticed that much of the time in Scripture when Jesus tells us something is going to happen in the future he adds a phrase like: I’ve spoken this to you so you won’t stumble…or…I’m telling you these things so that in me you may have peace. Another example is how Jesus and various angels announce their presence with, Do not be afraid. (John 16:1, 33; Rev. 1:17; Dan. 10:12; etc.)
Jesus cares about us and how we feel. He knows that we’re not very comfortable when we’re not able to control or predict outcomes. Yet, he requires us to live by faith, an inherently uncomfortable position. One way to define faith is to say it’s relying upon someone else for something we deeply need or want. This is what being a disciple requires: trusting Jesus to provide our deepest wants and needs. As a disciple, everything depends upon the trustworthiness of Jesus. To prove he can be trusted, he gives two unwavering testimonies: his death and resurrection, and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. By his death and resurrection he conveys his ultimate love and power. By his Spirit he reminds us of these things and makes his presence real. He is trustworthy, loving and powerful enough to deliver on his promises.
I’m fully aware that teaching on what Jesus says about the end times during these two weeks has the potential to stir the waters some. To some this is new material. To others it challenges traditions. To some it’s encouraging and illuminating. To others it may actually cause some anxiety. Whatever your response, remember that the most important part of you is supremely safe and secure in Christ. As long as we cling to Scripture and trust in Christ’s unfailing love, we can face the future and all that the Bible says about it with courage and confidence. He will never forsake us or abandon us. He gives us everything we need to live in a manner that brings him glory, and he will return one day to take us to be with him forever.
If you’re able, try to make our End Times Q&A on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Building A. I think you’ll find it encouraging. We’ll have another one on Tuesday of next week at the same time.