Luke 21: 5-19
Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
He replied, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near,’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”
Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.
Most believe the first prediction was of the destruction of Jerusalem that was fulfilled in 70 A.D. Then Jesus continues teaching about the two signs of his return at the end of this age. There will be deception, false Christs, wars, revolutions, nation will rise against nation, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, and fearful events. Before the end shall come, the Church will suffer persecutions, be betrayed and some put to death. Jesus says not to worry or fear, he will give us words of wisdom to speak to be his witness. We must be willing to stand firm for our belief in Christ Jesus, our only hope. Our focus should not on when Christ shall return; our focus should be on being prepared to meet him when he does return.
Father help us to stand firm in our faith and to be witness of your love and mercy. Help us to pray and teach faith by our witness of your word to the younger generations so they will be strong and to not lose hope in you. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.