“A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
“The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where he should not be.” (Reader, pay attention!) “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. And pray that your flight will not be in winter. For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days.
“Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. Watch out! I have warned you about this ahead of time!
Betrayal, deception, destruction, we have been advised ahead of time this is coming. Jesus’ words, not another, giving a ‘heads up’ for what is to come. Can we say we have all experienced tastes of these in our lives? Is it due to our mind-set, the mind-set that comes when we read the Word and apply it to our lives? We do not think as those who do not know Christ. We do not act as those do who do not know Christ. That puts us at odds with those around us.
How can we not be at the effects of this? “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” plainly shows we need to ‘be in the know.’ We must know and that knowledge is in the Word and in our relationship with the Lord through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are responsible to acquire that knowledge. We place ourselves at risk when we abdicate our responsibility to another. We see this happening daily in our government, a good example of what happens when a people give up their own responsibility/responsibilities to others. Be in the Word! “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge,” and “For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding”
Rather than focus on the evil in the world, the evil to come, it is wise to be advised of it and it’s effects, then take the steps to survive it. The elect will survive, their knowledge of God and His power, their application of His Word, His commands to their daily lives will keep them from allowing this evil to destroy them, deceive them. We can rise above all this, ” But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
We can let this passage create fear in us or we can let it drive fear out. God is greater than the coming and present evil in our world. We are His chosen, under His guidance and He cares for us! Jesus said fear the One who can destroy our soul. That fear, the fear of the Lord, will drive out any fear that would attempt to hinder our walk, our relationship with the Lord.