"Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will fool many people. You will hear about wars and stories of wars that are coming, but don't be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes. Nations will fight against other nations; kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. There will be times when there is no food for people to eat, and there will be earthquakes in different places. These things are like the first pains when something new is about to be born.
"Then people will arrest you, hand you over to be hurt, and kill you. They will hate you because you believe in me. At that time, many will lose their faith, and they will turn against each other and hate each other. Many false prophets will come and cause many people to believe lies. There will be more and more evil in the world, so most people will stop showing their love for each other. But those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved. Matthew 24:5-13
READ Matthew 24:1-51
SITUATION Jesus prophesied about the second coming. He delivered this teaching from the Mount of Olives, where the prophet Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would stand when he came to established his kingdom.
OBSERVATION Christians need to be watchful and prepare for Jesus' return, because we don't know when it will be.
INSPIRATION What kind of people should we be? Peter tells us: "You should live holy lives and serve God, as you wait for and (here is that word again) look forward to the coming of the day of God" (2 Peter 3:11-12).
Hope of the future is not a license for irresponsibility in the present. Let us wait forwardly, but let us wait.
But for the most of us, waiting is not our problem Or, maybe I should state, waiting is our problem. We are so good at waiting forwardly. We forget to look. We are so patient that we become complacent. We are too content. We seldom, if ever, allow the Holy Spirit to interrupt our plans and lead us to worship so that we might see Jesus.
It is to those of us who are strong in waiting and weak in watching that our Lord was speaking when he said, "No one knows when that day or time will be, not the angles in heaven, not even the Son.
Only the Father knows...So always be ready, because you don't know the day your Lord will come....The Son of Man will come at a time you don't expect him" (Matthew 24:36, 42,44).
Simeon, reminds us to "wait forwardly." Patiently vigilant. But not so patient that we lose our vigilance. No so vigilant that we lose our patience.
In the end, the prayer of Simeon was answered. "Simeon took the baby in his arms and thanked God; "Now Lord, you can let me, your servant die in peace as you said " (Luke 2:28-29).
One look into the face of Jesus, and Simeon knew it was time to go home. And one look into the face of our Savior and we will know the same. (From When Christ Comes by Max Lucado)
APPLICATION If Jesus were to return today, would you be prepared? If not, what steps should you take to be more prepared? Notice that the Lord first of all asks you to lead a holy life.
EXPLORATION Jesus Return -- Mark 13:1-223; Luke 21:5-24; Acts 1:10-12; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Revelation 19.
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers