Luke 21:5-19  Prepare No Defense? (Trusting God)

5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” 7 They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8 And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. 9 “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;

11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. 12 “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14 So make up your minds NOT to prepare your defense in advance; 15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 You will be hated by all because of my name.

18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.

20 “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.

21 Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it; 22 for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfillment of all that is written.

23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people; 24 they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.

26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.

28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

29 Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.

31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

34 “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Wow that is heavy passage for weighty times. No one knows the hour of Christ’s return, but we best be paying attention to the seasons and signs of his appearing.

As for timing:  (Get out your checklist)

Unrest in Brazil and Pakistan are receiving little notice considering the war in Ukraine and the skirmishes of North Korea and its neighbors, not to mention China and its threats over Taiwan.

  1. The series of annual hurricanes, tropical storms, and tsunamis are no sooner gone than the next one follows.
  • Don’t forget earthquakes, I have an app that tracks the past week of quakes. 73 measuring over 4.0 in the past week alone, four measuring over 7.0 in the Tonga trench, north of New Zealand.

Caution: Every time there is a hit on the Richter scale and every time there is boarder fighting among nations, we are drawn to passages like this one.

What do we make of all this?

It is more important to see that Christ’s return has nothing to do with our will, our work, our goal. Christ’s return is of God’s heart and God’s will.

So, don’t let every storm and news story call for the end of days, BUT when plagues, storms, earthquakes, wars, and rumors of wars, at least pay attention that our mission is to give witness and testimony of God’s call for mercy and deliverance of justice and for Christ’s return.

  1. First, It is the temptation of some to use this passage to build upon fear,
  2. Secondly, there are others who will dismiss this passage because there are always natural events and wars in every generation.
  3. The test is to hear the warning as just what it is, a WARNING.

Don’t get to the end of days and say, “I had no idea” “Someone should have said something.”

The warning is to be prepared: As for what and why:

This passage is a balance of being prepared and being a prepper.

Q: What is a prepper preparing to do? Exist? Alone?

         Prepping is about human’s protecting humans for themselves.

This passage calls us to prepare for God’s work and will, for all people.

  1. What is a disciple preparing to do?

Giving testimony to the purpose and power of God.

  • Not just existence,

but God’s offer of eternity, For Eternity,

  • And together.
    • The catch word we hear is UNITY. (Which is a vital

This is a powerful difference.

Unity in God vs Unity of humanity

We are comparing being united in God VS the combined effort of every human including every discipline of knowledge, science, study/refection.

This passage is calling on disciples of Jesus Christ to

  1. Watch for signs of God’s work and witness and return.
  2. Prepare the people for the coming of God’s kingdom
  3. The kingdom which is greater than all of human history and achievement., the kingdom that is our true purpose, the kingdom Jesus came to reveal that we choose to follow and trust.

There is a final warning, that before Christ’s return, you will experience persecution for loving God over the loving the collective human will movement.

Yes, there may be signs and tragedies

Yes, there wars and rumors of wars

But, are you also being persecuted for being more trusting of God than the world?

When all these things come together we best be aware, but in this final warning is our call not to join the voice of the world OVER the voice of God. Don’t give up, sell out, forget God who… remember the alphabet list.

Our response in times of fear, the foundations are shaking, we are reminded to turn to God for what to do, what to say, and whom to turst.

We are living in a season where the voice of governments, philosophies, ideologies, political parties, we throughout the voices of majority voices of equally fearful folks who trust, if the majority believe it, it must be true, right, and just.

If you hear anything in this passage, know the warning is not to have fear, but to have faith. God continues to have what we need.

The bottom line is to trust God and do not lean on your own understanding.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

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