God Knows…When I Wonder About the Future – Part 1
What will the world be like in the year 2030? Is this earth getting better? Or worse? Is it going to last forever? What can I look forward to?
Jesus knows all about the future. When He came from heaven to live on earth as a man, His friends asked Him about the future. For some time He had been hinting that He would be leaving them. He said, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me” (John 7:33). Later on He told them, “If I go and prepare a place for you [in My Father’s house], I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
One day Jesus and some of His disciples were leaving the beautiful Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus had been teaching in the Temple courts. Looking at the huge white blocks of marble, the disciples were shocked by a forecast Jesus made: “Not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down,” (Matthew 24:2). The minds of the disciples filled with questions. What would happen?
Walking out of the city, the little group went down a steep hill into a valley and then up the other side to the Mount of Olives. From there they could look back at the city, with the Temple as its main landmark. Now they let their questions fly.
Q & A
“Tell us,” they said, “When will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
When Jesus answered, He did not talk about the destruction of Jerusalem and the destruction of the entire world as two separate events. He didn’t want them to be discouraged or frightened. But He did want them to be prepared. He wanted to give them hope.
Like most people, the disciples had their eyes more on the here and now than on the future. They looked at the Temple. It was so strong and well built. Some of the stones, history experts say, were huge—66 x 7 x 9 feet (about 20 x 2 x 2.7 meters). When would it be destroyed? When would Jesus return?
Jesus didn’t answer this question. In fact, a few weeks later He told them plainly it was not for them to know the TIME. Instead, he gave them warnings, made promises, and then described the signs they wanted to know about. “When you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”
Nearly 40 years after Jesus spoke, Jerusalem and the beautiful Temple were destroyed, just as Jesus predicted. Men who wrote the story of that war tell us that more than a million people were killed. However, there was a time when the fighting stopped for awhile. In that brief time, the followers of Christ who fled from their housetops and fields, the ones who remembered His advice (Matthew 24:16-18) and obeyed it quickly, reached safety in the mountains.
Jesus told the disciples of many signs that would take place before His return. His disciples didn’t know that many hundreds of years pass between the destruction of Jerusalem and His second coming. Jesus told them that there would be great earthquakes in various places, arid famines, as well as signs in the sun and moon and stars. History tells us that many of these things have already occurred. We still look anxiously for His coming!
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