There is no escape hatch for life. We can’t wish our way out of trouble. We can’t entertain ourselves out of trouble. When we decide to follow Jesus Christ, life won’t be all hunky-dory. Oh, there will be good times when we follow Jesus Christ. But troubles will be all around.
We will hear of rioting. We will hear of wars. There will be natural disasters. There will be disease that spreads across the world. But are we to cower in fear? Are we to go off to a corner and hide, hoping for it all to go around us? How do we gain our souls?
Jesus uses every opportunity he gets to instruct his followers. Even when their observation seems like idle chatter, Jesus foretells of how things are going to get rough. Life is not always going to be smooth sailing. By telling his followers this truth, Jesus tells them how to gain their souls. I think it is good for us to know how we are to gain our souls.
A. The Temple will be destroyed (21:5-6)
1. Some disciples: Ain’t that beautiful!
2. Jesus: One day it will be torn down
3. It did happen. The Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Again, Jesus told the disciples a truth that was going to happen. Well, the disciples had some questions about this scenario.
B. When will this be & what will be the sign that this is about to take place? (21:7-9)
1. Don’t be led astray!
2. People will say they come in my name & the end is now
3. Do not go after them
4. There will even be news about wars and such
5. But, the end will not follow immediately
6. Some events will take place before others. Yet, we disciples of Jesus are not to be terrified. We followers of Jesus have a way to live that doesn’t cower in fear. We don’t go off hiding, hoping for all the trouble to go around us. We don’t need to follow some deceptive preacher, thinking he is Christ. We need Jesus in our lives, our homes, and in our nation. How then do we gain our souls?
C. Jesus explains what the disciples will have to do (21:10-19)
1. Things are going to get bad
a. Nation rise against nation & kingdom against kingdom
b. There will be great earthquakes, famines, & plagues
c. Dreadful portents & great signs from heaven
2. But before it does, you have an opportunity to testify
a. They will arrest and persecute you
b. You don’t prepare what you are going to say!
c. Jesus will give the words and wisdom to speak
3. Even though you will be betrayed
e. Some of us will die
f. All will hate us because of Jesus’ name
4. We endure
5. As we have discovered in studying the book of Revelation, patient endurance helps us to conquer. We need not give up. We need not be afraid. We need not plan how we are going to defend ourselves. Jesus will give us the words we need when we are to testify. We have trusted Jesus with our lives. We can trust Jesus to give us the words when we testify about him.
Life is hard. But it is harder when we trust only ourselves. With all the wars and disasters we know will happen in this world, we need Jesus. For when we rely on ourselves, then we can be lead astray by false messiahs. Jesus shows us a more excellent way to live.
People do not like followers of Jesus. Yet, Jesus gives us words to say. Can we keep hanging onto Jesus through all that we go through? If Jesus is good for us during the good times, then surely Jesus is good for us during the bad times. Can we trust Jesus even when life becomes worse?