Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Last Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 23, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 24:1-14 (NKJV)
24:1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
For centuries, Christians have had questions about the end of the world. Why does it seem like every generation hears of “wars and rumors of wars… famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” but every generation finds itself still here, anxiously waiting for the Lord’s return? The answer may not be what we want to hear, but it remains God’s answer: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
Over the centuries, “false prophets” have come and gone. They were, are, and will continue to be wrong about the Gospel because they are, after all, “false prophets.” As they work to “deceive many,” God’s promise is that He is at work in you “both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
So God’s answer to our questions about the end of time is found in Luther’s explanation to the First Commandment: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. We are called by God to simply take Him at His word, which word assures His people of every generation that they are His for Jesus’ sake. Through His gift of faith His people know in no uncertain terms that He will come again to take them home.
Prayer: Absolve, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy people from their offenses; that from the bonds of our sins which, by reason of our frailty, we have brought upon us, we may be delivered by Thy bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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