Journal Luke 21 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And (the Disciples) asked him, ‘Teacher, when will these things be and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?’ And he said, ‘See that you are not led astray…do not be terrified…Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer…
But watch yourselves [Pay attention] lest your hearts be weighted down with dissipation, drunkenness, and cares of this life and THAT DAY come upon you suddenly like a trap—for it will come upon all who swell on the face of the whole earth.
But stay awake [Be perceptive] at all times praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place AND to stand before the Son of Man.’” Excerpts from Luke 21:7-36
Observation: The End Times; the End of all things; That Day: Important information leading to Jesus’ return. And what does Jesus say about these things? To Disciples He says: Do not be afraid, prepare, be aware—Rejoice for the King is coming!
Application: Writing about That Day is not my most favorite thing to do.
Why is that? It is because over my decades I have been exposed to so many excesses of interpretations, speculations, and inordinate focus on this one subject. It is still embraced to excess among some—so much so that in my opinion these folks have lost the majesty of the Gospel. Note: that is only my opinion; please forgive me if I offend.
All things leading to That Day, the return of the King, is part of the narrative of the Gospel—not the culmination, for the Gospel (I think) is the Jewel of God past the new heavens and the new earth and the embodiment in the Son. After all, the inconceivable was made conceivable: the Trinity made a way for unholy, rebellious, traitorous Mankind to be redeemed and adopted to the Father. Get used to throwing headgear at the feet of Jesus whenever you see Him in overwhelming wonder and praise.
Therefore, if I have this correctly, then the Gospel is more important than we could ever imagine.
The disciples ask a reasonable question, just like any of us would: Who, what, when, where, why? When is the project over and how will I know it? What is coming? I want to recognize so I can be prepared…
So what does Jesus tell the disciples? Note what is going on around you, but only note—do not be led astray. Pay attention—do what I have instructed you in for your day to day living—Be perceptive—Stay alert.
How do I do these things? Peter wrote about it: “The end of all things is at hand; therefore:
- Be self-controlled and sober minded for the sake of your prayers;
- Keep loving one another earnestly;
- Show hospitality without grumbling and complaining;
- Be a good steward of God’s varied Grace using your gift to serve. (re: 1 Peter 4:7-9)
This is only a snippet of what His Word calls me to do–Easy peasy because it is a list of things. Everybody likes check lists…
However, at the core of anything I am to do is pursuing Jesus and His Word (kind of He is the Word, you know?)
What is the Gospel? Better yet, what is the narrative of the Gospel? How well am I conversant with it? Every day, I preach the Gospel to the face in the mirror and, by His magnificent Grace; will continue to That Day when sight will replace faith.
Prayer: Lord, may your kingdom come, may your will be done. Yes and AMEN. Drive in me a considerate and intense love for the Doctrine of the Gospel. Help me to understand, comprehend, or at least be able to talk about all the steps of the Gospel from the point before time began through That Day and beyond. I want to walk worthy of the Gospel all my days and, at the end of them may it be said “He served the purpose of God in his generation.” AMEN and AMEN.