In Mark 13 we see Jesus telling his disciples that things are going to get bad. Before Jesus comes back there will be trouble politically, physically, and even spiritually. This isn’t what anyone wants to hear, but it is the truth.
Politically- verses 6-9
- Leaders will arise in his name saying “I am He” misleading many.
- We will hear of wars and rumors of wars. (Isn’t this already the case? My sister is in the navy and they are always preparing for a possible war. Right now the concern is Iran.)
- Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (We see this, too.)
- You will be delivered to the courts. (You may find yourself in trouble for standing up for God’s commands. These persecutions do happen already. Check out the Colorado baker. He was “delivered to the courts” for not wanting to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage couple and recently again persecuted because he didn’t want to bake a cake celebrating someone’s transition from male to female.)
Physically- verses 8-9 and 12 and 14-18
- There will be earthquakes and famines.
- There will be floggings and betrayal that could lead to death.
- Some will have to leave their homes to run and hide.
Spiritually- verses 22 and 33-37
- There will be false Christs and prophets trying to lead people astray.
- Some will be found asleep.
Jesus says in verse 23, “I have told you everything in advance.” We shouldn’t be surprised when we see things getting rough politically or physically. God will help us with this. If we find ourselves speaking in the courts, He will send the holy spirit to help us (verse 11). If we find ourselves physically dealing with tribulation, we can find assurance in the fact that God “shortened the days” of disaster (verse 20). Jesus puts extra emphasis on the spiritual trials though. Here it is our responsibility to “take heed” and “keep on the alert”. We can’t get lazy about our devotion to our Father. If we are alert and on guard, we shouldn’t be led astray. This is why Jesus warned his disciples and it’s a warning for us, too. We don’t know when Jesus is coming back. We do know that he is and that we will want him to find us alert and ready!