The Days of Great Disaster
Translated by Allan Liang
A characteristic among the many that distinguish the teachings of the Christian faith from other religions, is we as disciples who truly trust in Jesus, not only receive no guarantee from the Lord of freedom from disasters, but often are warned by the Lord Jesus that we will be hated by the world, and will suffer all kinds of persecutions and sufferings, and may even at crucial times, be deserted by our fellow co-workers walking on the same heavenly path (2 Timothy 1:15, 4:16). Thanks be to our God, this kind of trial is necessary to distinguish whether our faith is true or false, for “he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13). Jesus quoted the prophecy in the book of Daniel, the prophet: “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong” (Daniel 11:31). According to the commentaries of some study Bibles: this prophecy was fulfilled first in BC 168 when the Seleucid King Antiochus built altars of foreign religions in the most holy place, and sacrificed pigs as offerings. Later, it was also fulfilled in AD 70 when the temple was destroyed by the Roman army. Thanks be to God, for the warning of the Lord Jesus at the time, “let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains,” was obeyed by the Christians at the time of the destruction of the temple. The fourth century church historian Euthebius notes that the Christians at the time who left Jerusalem established churches in Pella of Perea. Concerning the mentioning of the “great distress” by the Lord Jesus, “those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now - and never to be equaled again,” does it refer to things that happened in the early church era (preterists), or the period of distress before the second coming of Christ (futurists), or does such distress appear continually throughout all of church history (idealists)? We believe all three views have something valuable to offer. No matter what, Christians should be vigilant and must, at every moment by the grace of God, prepare to fight for the Lord, faithful unto death. Of course, the grace of God is sufficient, so that all who love him will be able to endure trials of flame and fire. The Lord Jesus said, “”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” (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 2:14). The Lord Jesus here specifically warned us that the days of suffering are also the times when false Christs and false prophets will use the desire of man for miracles and wonders to deceive and tempt many. Jesus firmly said, “For false Christs and prophets will...deceive the elect - if that were possible.” Why? Do false prophets truly have this ability? Actually, no matter the differences, what they do is fundamentally the same, their powerful weapons are forever the same as that used by Satan in the old times, in the garden of Eden against our ancestors: distorting the word of God, spreading false information, meeting the desires of the flesh, and taking them captive. Dear brothers and sisters, please read until you are familiar with, and then meditate upon the Scriptures concerning the “days of disaster” mentioned by Jesus. Reflect upon whether after believing the Lord, you have had to face suffering, and have experienced victory by trusting in the Lord. Or since believing in the Lord, have we always been unwilling to face the teachings of Jesus about believers having to suffer with him in order to receive glory with him, so that the growth of our spiritual lives may often remain in a lukewarm state? “To suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4) May we pray together, and may the Lord in the midst of the many inconveniences caused by the pandemic, protect our hearts, give us an unending supply of his word, have us always be inspired in the Holy Spirit, and in the war between loving God and loving the world, lead us to continual victory! Amen!