Today we are reading from Mark 13: 14-23:
14 “But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; 15 the one on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take anything away; 16 the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. 17 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days. 21 And if anyone says to you at that time, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘Look! There he is!’—do not believe it. 22 False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be alert; I have already told you everything.
Today we read Jesus telling us to be alert. Yes, there will be signs, there will be troubles, there will be all these things that are to pass before He returns. Be alert, be watching.
But don’t just keep your guard up because of the desire to look for signs. Keep your guard up, keep alert for those false messiahs. We see Jesus say today that there will be false messiahs and false prophets who will lead folks astray. Keep alert, keep watch, don’t be led astray.
But how do we know? How do we know the false from the real? How do we know the ones who are trying to lead folks astray from the ones who are trying to lead folks to Jesus? That’s it, right there, that’s the answer.
Who are these leaders pointing to? Who are they leading you to? Who are they seeking to glorify? Themselves? Or Jesus?
Are they seeking to make Jesus famous or themselves? Are they trying to make disciples of Jesus or disciplines of themselves? We see, even in the Bible there were many who claimed to be messiahs and many, many false prophets. This is nothing new, it has happened since the beginning of time.
Which means it will happen up to the end of time. So, keep alert. Keep watch. Be looking. Test the spirits. Keep Jesus first, and only follow those who seek to do the same. If we keep our eyes on Jesus and seek only to follow Him, we will be fine.
It’s always about Jesus. Let’s not follow anyone who doesn’t start and end there. That’s how we keep alert.
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