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War and Rumors of War

Mark 13.5-13
And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
War always hurts people, even when people fight for just causes. War’s suffering prompts us to want the world to end and Christ to return. For many war victims the world does end.

Hold on, Jesus says to His followers. Through the pain of war, hold on. Don’t let even war discourage your hope. God is in control; Jesus is coming. The violence that rips your world today will pass. Worldly empires will rise and fall. God promises peace of heart no matter what happens and complete peace in the new heaven and earth.

Many Christians speculate on when and how Jesus will return. Charts and signs abound. Some churches predict the future with scientific zeal. But Jesus wants us to stay faithful to Him even when imposters and violence seem to rule. He gives no charts, only a promise and a pledge. Don’t guess about the future; instead give your days to Him until He comes. And always remember Jesus’ promise in John 16.33: I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
 
Pastor Jeff
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