Jesus’ Olivet Discourse contains a dizzying array of prophecies that are unclear. Because they are unclear one can easily find, with a little research, many differing opinions as to what they mean, and when they will occur. A good attitude to have about some prophecies is to just trust God as you wait for Jesus return.
Waiting for Jesus is not laziness, sleeping, or abandonment of effort. Waiting for Jesus means remaining active, being alert, and prepared for God. Isaiah 64:4 informs us, “God works for him that waits in Him.” The Hebrew word, “Waiting,” has a close relationship to another Hebrew word that means, “To entrench.” We do no damage to Isaiah’s verse by saying, “God works for him that entrenches himself in Him.” I like this thought because the idea of waiting sounds passive, but the image of entrenching is one of action. It’s the idea of digging ourselves in to God.
Waiting for Jesus to return then is an adjustment of our lives to the truth concerning Him that is revealed in the Bible. When circumstance are chaotic, impossible to understand, or know what the outcome will be, then that is the hour in which we entrench our self into God. Why? Because God is the one certainty that we can rely on. We do have a sense ourselves, but there are infinite number of mysteries of our being, and of what tomorrow will bring. Thus we entrench ourselves in God, for it is only God we can be certain of.
Waiting for God,
The final sermon by Jesus in Matthew is found in chapters 24 – 25, it is known as the Olivet Discourse. In the sermon Jesus instructed His disciples on the events of the end times. The sermon reveals a time of tribulation, for there would be: False messiahs, wars, and natural calamities. He further warned the disciples that there would be a personal price to pay for being one of his followers, for there would be: “Persecution,” (24:9), “Death,” “Hatred,” “Betrayal,” (10), “Deception,” (11), and “Wickedness,” (12).
Jesus gave a somber picture of the coming age of tribulation. The sentence in the sermon that stands out for me is, “He who stand firm to the end will be saved,” (13). One concludes from the sentence that active resistance is needed by a believer in order to withstand all that the age of tribulation will throw at us. No matter what is happening around us, we must stand firm.
Today, we do live in un-parallel times of temptation, distress, tribulation, and persecution. There are false messiahs, wars and natural calamities just as Jesus predicted there would be. The message of the Olivet Discourse is: Through it all, stand firm. Through it all, no matter what it is, continue to proclaim Him, so in the end he welcomes you in to the completely revealed Kingdom of Heaven with the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” (Matt 25:23).
Today we begin Jesus final discourse that is found in the Book of Matthew; The Olivet Discourse. Jesus gave this sermon to His disciples while sitting on the Mount of Olives which overlooks the rugged Kidron Valley and the Jerusalem temple. The first part of the sermon gives a thumb nail sketch of the turbulent years that will occur between Jesus resurrection and His return. It will be a time of wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and the persecution of Jesus followers.
Last week four star general, and chief of staff to President Trump John Kelly touched on a profound point when he addressed a White House news conference. In his talk he noted how many things that our country once held sacred are no longer held sacred. Things such as: Women, religion, and the private mourning of a family over its fallen soldier. I personally thought he should have included our flag, the family, and unborn life. General Kelly’s comments seem to mirror the age Jesus described in His sermon.
It’s time we realized that our country and the world no longer holds anything sacred. I for one am tired of the level our nation has sunk too, and I think you are too. Therefore let us each commit to change the direction our nation and world seems to be heading in. Let that change begin today individually. Let us again remember those things that are
sacred, and begin standing firm for them.