Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 are often cited when looking for ‘signs’ that the world as we know it is coming to an end.
Fair enough. Among other things he talks about false Messiahs (v. 5), “wars and rumours of wars” (v. 6), “famines and earthquakes” (v. 7), and persecution (v. 9).
But more specifically, he was answering a question from his disciples about when the Jerusalem temple would be torn down, and when he would appear in his glory at the “end of the age” (v. 3).
Quite often, people neglect the significance of the temple being torn down. That would have been HUGE. Just as he predicted, it was torn down by the Romans in 70 A.D.
If we consider the fact that, for many people, the temple was the centre of their world—where they offered sacrifices to God, where they went on pilgrimage three times a year, where their nation shared so much history, and where many people considered God himself to dwell—no wonder it was earth-shattering when it was destroyed!
Life crisis. Faith crisis. Identity crisis.
Here’s a much-neglected facet of why all this is significant: Jesus replaces the temple as the embodiment of God’s presence, power and hope.
To people in the first century that would have been a massive source of hope and encouragement. God had not left them. A place was replaced with a Person.
Is your faith too focused on a building? Is it too focused on a certain denomination? Is it too focused on a style of worship or internet personality?
What would happen if that building, denomination, worship style or personality were to disappear? It might bother you, but it shouldn’t break you. Why? Because you still have Christ.
The persecuted prisoner in China has the fullness of God because of their faith in Christ. The outcast in Morocco has the fullness of God because of their faith in Christ. The frazzled mom in Dallas has the fullness of God because of their faith in Christ.
And so do you.
In Christ, there is no life crisis, faith crisis, or identity crisis. A place has been replaced with a Person.
You are grafted to the hub of his heart. And nothing—ever—can tear him down.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s “Up!” is connected to Part 3 in the Armageddon series: “Are there ‘signs’ that the end is coming?” It will be available for download on Tuesday, December 3 at http://www.MatthewRuttan.com
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
#secondcoming #faith #jerusalem #parousia #JesusChrist #faith #inspiration #endtimes #matthew24 #apocalypse