<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d16790134\x26blogName\x3dVoice+of+Vision\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://voiceofvision.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://voiceofvision.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d4634939867199867858', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hard times


Matthew 24:9-14 / Mark 13:9-13 / Luke 21:12-19…

Jesus had just told of some troubling times that would begin to happen near the end of the age. The disciples had probably thought that these things would happen at the same time as the destruction of the temple and that this would all coincide with the return of the Messiah. Yet Jesus made it clear that while some of these things would happen before the destruction of the temple, all of this would happen before the return of the Messiah. It isn’t one conclusive event.

In the meantime, Jesus let them know that they should anticipate persecution and hard times. The true Christians of this world will be marked for malice. Many will fall away from the faith. If you are a true believer, you will not be able to disguise yourself. The distinctions will be made, and the false believers will come against you.

There will be all sorts of offense, sin, betrayal, and hatred, especially towards the true. We will be seen as the problem, and false prophets will lead many into deception. Because of this rampant sin and deception, the world will embrace a love that isn’t love. Civil rebellion, mutual suspicion, and hatred for the holy will reign. Outright rage will be the reality. 

These kinds of things are always present in a fallen world (Philippians 1:29 / 2 Timothy 3:12 / 1 Peter 4:12). But there will be times when they will increase in intensity. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. This was true near the end of the age of Jerusalem in the first century. It will also be the case with the end of the age in the future. In any time, our duty is to hold fast to our profession (Hebrews 10:23-25).

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. This certainly has the flavor of the future about it. Still, it did concern those disciples and the near immediate future. Yet it also has something to do with all disciples and the future of all of us. The truth is, the end of your life will come, and the gospel has been preached to you as a testimony. The question is, if you were to die today, or if Christ were to return today, are you ready for judgment (Hebrews 9:27-28)?

Labels:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Just the beginning


Matthew 24:3-8 / Mark 13:3-8 / Luke 21:7-11…

Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age? There is a wide diversity of interpretations offered for what is often called the “Olivet Discourse”. Some say that it is entirely about events related to the second coming of Christ. Others say that it is entirely about events related to the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in 70 A.D. Still others believe it contains reference to both of these events. In any event, it is scripture, and therefore profitable for us to examine (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

See that no one leads you astray. Before Jesus gives the sign of His coming, He points to several happenings to be looking for. These things are important to understand no matter what era of time we are in. The main point that Jesus is teaching the disciples, all disciples, is the same thing, in essence. The point of all these prophecies and warnings is that we may not be lead astray and away from truth and into error. The key in all of this is to be anchored to the true, living Christ.  

Jesus paints a prophetic picture, where these trends and troubles would run concurrently and crescendo like the pains of a woman giving birth. False teachers and fearsome events will bring temptations to apostasy. There will be many who claim to be of Christ or claim they are the Christ, and will lead many away from the One True God. There will be an increase in deception and destruction, war, famine and death.

Still, the end is not yet… All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. We can be on the lookout for such things and still be looking away from Jesus. That is the nature of deception: we don’t know it. The question is, are you growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18), or are you carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability (2 Peter 3:17)? 

Labels:

Friday, September 23, 2016

Stand or fall


Matthew 24:1-2 / Mark 13:1-2 / Luke 21:5-6…

The disciples were excited because they knew that Jesus was the Messiah, and they knew that the corrupt religious system was coming down. They thought that the establishment of the kingdom was about to take place. So as they are leaving the temple, and heading up the Mount of Olives, they look out and remark upon the majesty and might of the buildings.

They wanted to know how these might be related to the judgment Jesus had been speaking of. Jesus tells them that despite the fact that they were built to last, they won’t survive the destruction that is to come. In fact, they would be totally demolished. The disciples are startled by this answer, and this is why they begin to ask questions about the timing of this judgment. This is the setting for what is known as the “Olivet Discourse”.

Has God brought down your walls? So many things that once seemed so instrumental in our understanding and things that seemed so vital to our daily life can come crumbling down. It is an act of God’s mercy if they are things that have been twisted into an instrument of iniquity in our spiritual lives. It is an opportunity for God’s grace if we need to build again.

Yet it is very possible for us to build upon a strong foundation with wood, hay and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). This is why we must keep connected to the divine design and our Heavenly Contractor. Otherwise we will be guilty of working without a license (Psalm 127:1). 

Labels: