By BJ Rudge, Ph.D.
For my Bible study today, I was reading Luke, chapter 21. In this chapter, Jesus references the future destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. The disciples then respond by asking Jesus two questions: “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?” Jesus then responds by not only addressing the issue of the destruction of the temple, but signs that will precede His Coming: deception, war, great earthquakes in various places, famine and pestilences, fearful sights and great signs from heaven, and persecution.
While it is obvious that these signs describe the times we currently live in, what struck me more when I read this chapter, which I have read numerous times, is how we are to live in the midst of these signs. Specifically, Jesus calls us to live a life of holiness. Keeping our focus on Him, and not “weighing down our hearts with carousing, drunkenness, and the cares of this life,” will prepare us for His eventual return.
Besides holiness, we are also to live with hope. In the midst of all the natural disasters, economic upheavals, war and bloodshed, the heart of man is truly failing from fear of what is happening and will happen on this earth. However, as followers of Jesus Christ we can bring a message of hope to this world that is overcome by fear. Yes, we live in difficult times, but in the midst of them we can point others to our source of hope. Therefore, may all of us “look up and lift up our heads, because our redemption draws near.”