This quarter, we focus on Jesus as our Soon-Coming King in our weekly devotional series. This week's devotional comes from Luke 20 - John 1.
“When will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?” (Luke 21:7, NKJV).
This is the question every generation is asking. It’s the question the disciples asked when Jesus told them about the coming destruction of the temple. In what has come to be known as “The Olivet Discourse,” Jesus answered their question with a description of the course of this age.
He spoke of initial signs: false messiahs, wars and revolutions—these things must first happen, but the end will not come right away (Luke 21:8 - 10).
He told them of further signs: nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom, great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places—called “the beginning of birth pains” in Matthew 24:8 (NIV).
Jesus continued: they will persecute you and put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled (Luke 21:12 - 24).
He then spoke of a last sign not found in Luke, but in Matthew: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14, NKJV).
Less than one week after his crucifixion, Jesus appeared to his frightened disciples in Jerusalem. He explained to them: " 'All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.' And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:44 - 45).
He told them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:45 - 49).
In the midst of the signs of travail of the end of this age, Jesus commissioned and empowered his disciples to take the good news of forgiveness in his name to all nations. This they did, and this we must do—until disciples are made of all nations. Then the end will come; then we will “see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27).
As a movement “dedicated to the cause of interdenominational, worldwide evangelism,” let us be about the Father’s business—until we hear the trumpet sound.
Amen. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
By: John Amstutz, Foursquare minister, missionary and author of Disciples of All Nations
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