Familiar Phrases about the End Times

Mark 13 is about the end times.

This chapter contains several familiar phrases about end times. Many people have probably searched through Revelation for these phrases, not realizing that they are found in the gospels. (Some are also found in Matthew 24-25 and Luke 21, with each of these three gospels bringing out some unique details.)

…Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Jesus privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (vs 3-4)

And Jesus spoke to them about the end times.

Here are some familiar phrases and ideas you may have heard:

…many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ…

Take heed, lest any man deceive you, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and they shall deceive many. (vs 5-6)

And if any man shall say to you, Here is Christ; or, he is there; do not believe him: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce (or deceive), if it were possible, even the elect. (vs 21-22)

…wars and rumors of wars…

And when you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled: for such things must happen; but the end shall not be yet. (vs 7)

…earthquakes in diverse places…

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places (meaning diverse or various places), and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (vs 8)

The impression I get makes me want to say in my mind and in my heart, “these are JUST THE BEGINNING of sorrows.”

The gospel must be preached to every nation before Christ returns.

And the gospel must first be published among all nations. (vs 10)

I’ve heard this about sending missionaries all over the world to take the gospel. And I agree that we need to send missionaries and support them. BUT I noticed something in Revelation recently. And even though I had read it more than once before, this time my mind grasped what it was saying.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6-7)

Interesting, right? Another interesting part is the timing. Just a few verses down in Revelation, the earth is reaped because “the harvest …is ripe.”

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and on the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in your sickle, and reap: for the time is come for you to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (Revelation 14:14-16)

I’m not saying I know anything, but I’m saying, here is something I noticed, now you decide what you think about it.

• …for the elect’s sake, the days will be shortened.

And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he has chosen, he has shortened the days. (vs 20)

•…the sun shall be darkened, and the moon will not give light…

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then he shall send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. (vs 24-27)

No man knows the day or the hour.

But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. (vs 32)

And a word of warning:

Take heed, watch and pray: for you do not know when the time is. (vs 33)