THINGS TO COME - PART II
One of the reasons Mark Chapter 13 is difficult to understand is that it talks about what will happen on this earth in the future. There will be a time that a seven-year tribulation will occur on this earth. For seven years, Satan or the Antichrist will rule on this earth to set up his throne to mimic the reign of Jesus Christ. However, before the seven-year tribulation, God will rapture or take genuine believers away from this earth and be with Him in Heaven forever. The unbelievers or the Christian pretenders who will be left behind will experience the seven-year tribulation. For the first 3-1/2 years of the seven years, Satan will come as a peacemaker. Many people will believe in him and be deceived. Many Bible scholars believe that Satan will rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem during this time, and at the beginning of the second 3-1/2 years, also called the abomination that causes desolation, Satan will exalt himself as god and sit on the throne of God in the temple in Jerusalem, and anyone who will not accept him as god will be persecuted. Revelation 13:16-18 says, "Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666." Anyone found not to have the mark of the beast will be hunted, persecuted, and killed.
Jesus said, "When you see the 'abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains...Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again. If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them." (Mark 13:14-23). Many people will believe in Jesus during this time, but they will be persecuted and killed. Anyone who will take the mark of the beast will never be saved because they have chosen to sell their soul to Satan forever.
The rapture of genuine believers will happen when we do not expect it, and it can happen at any moment. The question for us right now is, are we ready? Where is our heart today, is it for God? or is it for ourselves and this world? Everything that we have right now is only temporary. And this is the reason that whatever we do, we do it to the Lord. As believers, we should not worry about if we ever make it to the rapture because if we have a genuine heart for God, we will look forward to His coming. Today is the day when we need to get serious in our walk with the Lord.
Ask yourself these questions: Am I ready to see Jesus today if the rapture will occur today? Is my heart towards God or for myself and this world? Am I pursuing God?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, please help me put you first in my heart. Do not let my heart become cold of the things of you. Please forgive me if I have been putting myself above you. Please give me the hunger to read your Word. Please give me a strong passion for prayer. Please give me a hunger for fellowship with believers so that I can be encouraged. Thank you for the hope that I have in you that someday you will take me to be with you forever. In Your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.