How Long, O Lord?
Mark 13:14-37 (ESV)
But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he (it) ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
….on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate…. (Daniel 9:27)
Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those nursing infants in those days! Pray that it may not happen in winter. For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be.
And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)
And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. And then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “Look, there he is!” — do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and…..the moon will not give its light, and…..the stars will be falling from heaven, and…..the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And…..then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And…..then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (v.30-31)
But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake (and pray). For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning – lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: stay awake. (v.34-37)
– He is coming. Unannounced. It’s not wise to be lazy and unaware.
– You want to escape final judgment. You want to stand before the Son of Man, to be welcomed by Him, embraced by Him.
– When you see the signs, you will know He is near.
– While we watch and wait, we are on a rescue mission. We use the good news of Jesus Christ to hand off people from earth to heaven.