Did Jesus really warn that there would be “desolation” near the end of this world, as we know it now? The answer is YES!
What “desolation” could He possibly mean? Whatever Jesus meant, we know that it deals with Jerusalem and its surrounding areas. We also need to realize that Jesus wanted us to “see” or understand its significance.
Jesus’ prophetic words regarding the “desolation” and other end-time events are recorded in Luke 21, Matthew 24, and Mark 13. The full context of these chapters is significant to an understanding of the meaning of each event Jesus describes.
In Luke 21, Jesus says people will “see Jerusalem compassed with armies” and that this event will serve as an indication that the “desolation” is near.
Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Have we “seen” this event yet? Have we been “WATCHING” for it? Has Jerusalem been surrounded by armies?
The tiny state of Israel is certainly surrounded by its enemies. Examine the map of Islamic countries around Israel.
It is reasonable to think that those enemies could arm themselves against Jerusalem in a short period of time if they were to choose to do so.
Many of God’s people are consistent and devoted readers of the Bible. When we appropriately respond to Jesus’ words, we must also realize the need to be consistent and devoted observers of what is going on in Jerusalem and in the Middle East, because so much of end-time prophecy is related to activities in that geographical area.
In the context of these prophecies found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus exhorts His disciples to WATCH. What are we to WATCH? Surely, we all need to be vigilant and watchful in every aspect of our lives, however, WATCHING the events in Jerusalem and in the surrounding area is the context of these specific prophecies.
In Luke 21:36, Jesus also exhorts us to PRAY. We would all be wise to heed both of these exhortations (WATCH and PRAY) so that we can “see” and understand. Praying about what we “WATCH” and “SEE” will help us know the meaning of the signs God gives to us.
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Let us also remember that God is the One Who reveals prophetic meaning through His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;).
The Bible also reminds us that no prophecy is to be of our own private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation).
As we move ever closer to the second coming of Jesus Christ, let us all be carefully watching and praying so that we “may be accounted worthy to escape…and to stand before the Son of man.”