20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Those who are inside the city must depart. Those who are out in the country must not enter it, 22 because these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.

23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people.

24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away as captives among all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves. 26 People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

27 Then they will see the Son of Man arriving in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Luke 21:20–28NET Read More

This all sounds pretty terrible.

There are a lot of theories about the end of the world, but Jesus is clear about some parts of it. There is going to be a lot of chaos and suffering.

Some of this wasn’t about the end of the world, though. It was about the siege on Jerusalem that would happen about 40 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. There were actual followers of Jesus that remembered these prophecies and fled Jerusalem, just like He said.

But remember what started this whole dialogue? The disciples instigated it. They were looking at the temple and all of Jerusalem with awe and wonder. Surely the kingdom of God is like this awesome temple! Surely when Jesus takes over, Rome will be destroyed and we’ll all rule as His disciples in this awesome temple!

Nope.

Not only is the temple going to get torn down, but the Gentiles — an almost derogatory term by many Jewish people in Jesus’ day — are going to overrun all of Jerusalem. David’s holy city will be full of godless pagans for “The Time of the Gentiles.”

So don’t put too much hope in your temples. Don’t see your cultural reign as the front porch to eternal glory, because it’s all gonna get shook. Then there will be a time when there will be fear and dread over all creation.

Then “your redemption” comes. Jesus will return and everyone will have a reaction to Him. Apathy will be scarce.

But for all of the terrors and misery, Jesus wins out in the end and takes us along with Him in His victory. He doesn’t have to. It could just be judgment. But in Christ, some will celebrate redemption. And it’s not in the big glorious temple, it’s all in Him.

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