“See that you not be deceived”

Worry. Worry. Worry. We are taught these days to worry about everything and taught to fear the coming end of days. In Luke 21:5-19, Jesus tells us not to be deceived. Rather, be confident in Him and persevere in faith.

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

“Before all this happens, however,
they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

There will be many signs, says Jesus, but it will not immediately be the end. Many will come claiming to be Him or that the time has come. But it is not so. Do not be deceived. You will be persecuted and hated in His name, yet He will give you wisdom in speaking and not a head on your hair will be destroyed. “By your perseverance will you secure your lives.”

That’s a lot to swallow. We are told in scripture that there will be an end times and there are signs before it comes. Yet Jesus says don’t be deceived by those who proscribe it to you. Jesus has before in the Gospels said to be prepared for the thief strikes in the night. Or don’t be caught sleeping when the master arrives at an unexpected hour in the night. What this means is, don’t sweat the all the doomsayers. What will come will come — instead, be prepared for the coming of the Lord.

What does that mean? It means knowing and acting on what pleases God. Then you won’t need to worry about what happens to your soul. Jesus will save you.

Don’t worry about your possessions. Don’t worry about wealth. Don’t focus on others and how they live their lives, focus on how you live yours. Be kind and compassionate. Serve others rather than have them serve you. Care for the sick. Feed the hungry. Find shelter for the homeless. Give comfort to the widow and the sorrowful. Visit the prisoner. All these things Jesus calls for and does in the Gospels.

If you’re sick pray for your healing, and trust in God’s mercy, compassion, and healing. Jesus heals us and says, “By your faith have you been saved.”

Many there are who would have you “saved” by your fear of the coming apocalypse. I think Jesus would rather you be comforted by his love, compassion, and mercy. Don’t be deceived. Be faithful. Love God and be loved by God.

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