I've not been terribly good at keep my devotional reading a daily habit of late. Last night I pulled out my Bible and journal before going to bed. As part of my devotional reading, I read Mark 13. This is the chapter in Mark where Jesus describes "end times" events.
We had a prayer and worship service at church last night and the preacher delievered a short meditation. One of the things that he said was that earlier yesterday, he was at the Kentucky Fried Chicken istening to people talk about the war. You know, just regular folks giving their opinions on the matters of the day. One of the people was convinced that the stuff going on in the Middle East is Armageddon. Convinced that the end of the world is weeks, if not days away. Reading what I read last night in Mark 13 could certainly support that line of thought. Of course, it could have supported it during Desert Storm or [insert any war here], too.
My thought is that we've been living in end times since about 70 AD when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. Jesus may return any time and it's been that way for nearly 2000 years. Does this mean that I'm convinced that this war in the Middle East is not Armageddon? No, of course not. But it doesn't mean that I think the end is immediately upon us, either. I don't know what I think, but that's to be expected since I don't know when the time is (see Mark 13:33).
So I watch and pray (again, see Mark 13:33). I don't pray as often as I wish I did, but I'm working on that, too. Reading through Mark 13 last night got me thinking again. I'm happy to be a Christian. I know that this world is not my home.
But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. (Mark 13:7)
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!" (Mark 13:32-37)