15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ Matthew 24:15-29
This passage seems to be referring to the sack of Jerusalem around AD70. Jesus was speaking directly to the people who would face those tremendous challenges. He didn’t spend a lot of time talking about ‘when’ it would happen, but ‘how then shall you live’ during those difficult times.
Once again, we see Jesus doing what He can to preserve the Church that would spring up upon His death. At the time Jesus spoke these words, the disciples were probably scratching their heads because it all seemed so unrealistic. Most hearing this, if they were still alive when the prophecy was fulfilled, would have been in their 60s or 70s and surely they would recall His words when they saw the destruction Jerusalem would be under.
We are indirect beneficiaries of the faithfulness of these saints. They were obedient in the midst of utter chaos. They could not have foreseen the coming destruction, but reacted appropriately when it came.
What’s God doing in the world today? What’s being shaken up? In 2020 alone, the world has undergone tremendous cultural changes. What’s normal today wasn’t normal just 8 months ago.
And that’s not even considering the national election that is currently being contested.
In the midst of the chaos and confusion, we can stand on a solid truth: God is completely in control. Just as He was 40 years after Jesus told the disciples about the fall of Jerusalem, so He is in control today. Nothing’s changed.