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The Abomination of Desolation

Mark 13.14-23
 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 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 who are 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 if the Lord had not cut short the 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.
This passage of scripture picks up right in the middle of Jesus’ answer to Peter, James, John, and Andrew’s question about the sign of the end of times. Ever since Jesus was physically on the earth, people have been questioning when the end of the world will be, and we are no different in our age as well. I personally have a keen interest in the understanding of the end of times as well, especially as we see that day approaching all the more. Jesus’ answer here in Mark 13.14-23 seems somewhat cryptic, especially in verses 14-20.

What does Jesus refer to as the abomination of desolation? Scholars have debated this passage throughout church history. Some suggest it refers to the destruction of the Jewish Temple in AD 70, while others think the meaning falls more into a future eschatological idea. When the Antichrist appears on the scene in human history (Thessalonians 2.3-4; 1 John 2.18; Revelation 13.1-10), it could perhaps include a double meaning of the Roman desecration of the temple plus the end of times.

Either way the greater point that we need to take into consideration here is that God is in control, and while it may seem like satan and his minions are having their heyday on the earth, it is only for a short time. For God will ultimately triumph. Jesus warns us that there will be many false christs and false prophets who will come performing signs and wonders. What a truly shocking statement this is. Jesus is saying that there will be people who will come as false christs and false prophets that will even be able to perform miracles. These false christs and false prophets will be doing things that only seem as if a believer could do them. But Jesus is saying, “Not so fast. That is how deceptive these individuals will be. They will lead people astray because their miracles will even be real, but their teachings will be false.”  

Friends, this is a stark warning for us as to how important it is that we know the truth that is found here in pages of scripture. Jesus tells us in verse 23 to be on guard. We need to be prepared, making ourselves ready for the return of Christ, and truly be able to distinguish between what is true and what is false.

Are you prepared? Are you able to distinguish the truth from the things that are false? If not, I pray that you get prepared.

In Christ’s Service,
Cody Ragland
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