The continuation of lesson 47 of the Discipleship Making process.
In summary of part one of this lesson, we learned that the main purpose of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, although to foretell future events, in perspective was used to keep His disciples from being misled, by following or listening to someone who is not his leader, about the future, especially the events surrounding His second coming. Knowing that deception will come and to keep His disciples from being misled, Jesus leaves very specific instructions for them to follow when they observe certain events occurring.
It is here that we pick-up where we left off, Jesus laying out a road map of the future, and place markers along the way, so His disciples won’t be confused about the route it is going to take. That way they won’t be misled.
Read: Matthew 24:6-14, Mark 13:7-13, Luke 21:9-11
- Route Marker #1 - The apostles will be sent out to give their testimony of Jesus. He commands them, “So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.” (Matthew 24:9, Mark 13:9-12)
- Route Marker #2 – Jerusalem will be taken over by the Gentiles for a period of time. Jesus said, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.” (Luke 21:20)
- Route Marker #3 – Hearing of wars and rumors of war. Jesus said, “See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” (Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7, Luke 21:9)
- Route Marker #4 - Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. Jesus said, “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matthew 24:7-8, Mark 13:8, Luke 21:10-11)
As the end approaches Jesus narrows the focus of His discourse from a broad world perspective to things directly affecting His disciples (Christians).
- Route Marker #5 – Jesus’ disciples will be delivered into tribulation, killed and hated by all nations on account of His name (The Lord Jesus Christ). (Matthew 24:9, Mark 13:9)
- Route Marker #6 – Many disciples will fall away from their faith, hate and betray one another. (Matthew 24:10)
- Route Marker #7 – False prophets will arise and mislead many. (Matthew 24:10)
- Route Marker #8 – Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. Jesus said, “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.” (Mark 13:13)
- Route Marker #9 – The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations. Jesus said, “Then the end shall come.” (Matthew 24:14)
The point of the lesson is to follow Jesus’ instructions and you won’t be misled.
With that, allow me to leave you with this question to consider, along with a little homework assignment until my next posting:
- In order to understand Jesus’ roadmap to the future what do you have to do?
. . . and the homework assignment . . .
Around 1600 AD, John Calvin developed a system of theology that has been condensed to a single statement used by many evangelical Christians: “Once saved, always saved.”
If this is so, why was Jesus concerned about His disciples being misled?
If this is so, who are the many who will fall away?
Today, many people are writing books and teaching what they believe about end time events. Much of the teaching ignores what Jesus said or it is relegated to secondary importance. Remember, being misled deals with leadership. Whom do you believe or whom do you follow or whom do you listen to concerning future events?
Are any of these whom you are listening to the head of the Church or your leader?
Until next time . . . Godspeed!