Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Signs of the End Times as Written in the Book of Mark

    Today’s Reading:
  • Mark 12:38 - 13:13
  • Mark 13:14 - 13:37
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Mark 12:38 - 13:37
Once again I combined two readings of Mark into one day because I wanted to see what Jesus said about the end times.  The first time I read anything regarding the signs of the end times was in the book of Matthew.  I was shocked to find the prophecies there, because I expected the prophecies to be contained to the book of Revelation.  I have since learned that every single book of the New Testament, with the exception of 3 John, contains prophecies regarding the return of Jesus Christ.  That certainly gives me a lot to look forward to when I continue my studies.

In this passage we are told that there will be world war, that earthquakes and famines; but that those things are just the first of the birthing pains (13:8).  We are told that Christians will be handed over, beaten, and made to stand trial.  Brother against brother, child against parent, father against child -- all will be betraying each other to death (13:9 - 13).  We are told there will be a sacrilegious object taken up in the temple, and that all the people must immediately flee (13:14).  Jesus then says that right before he comes, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, and the stars will fall from the sky (13:24 - 25).

It is unclear to me what has already occurred and what has yet to occur, or if the list given was in chronological order (with the exception of the very last statement).  Since the desecrated object points to the destruction of the temple, I think the part leading up to the fleeing of the people has already occurred.  My study bible gives 7 possible explanations that could have fulfilled that prophecy.

Trying to make any sense out of this is not something I can do right now.  I haven't read enough of the bible, I don't have a good enough sense of context, and it's just a lot to process at once.  Of course no man, not even Jesus, will know when He is coming.  My main interest of study is to figure out all the signs, and which have likely come to pass, and which we are waiting on.

Regardless, we are warned to be ready.  The master can return at any time -- don't let him catch you sleeping! (13:34 - 37)

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