Mark 13:5-8 (NIV)
5 Jesus said to them: �Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, �I am he,� and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
The conversation prior to the verses stated this - �Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.� Jesus replied, �Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!� Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, �Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?� --- The disciples were concerned as many would about the destruction of those things they loved. In this case they were particularly concerned about the destruction of Jerusalem, which might be the end of life as they knew it. Jesus reassured them they should not be alarmed or deceived by what others may say. For there are things that must happen which are under God�s control. They will be wars, rumors of wars and many other disasters, but God�s timing is meant to give everyone an opportunity for salvation.
Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke these words on December the 8, 1941. December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
Wars, earthquakes, and other disastrous events can come into our lives at any time. These events come unexpected out of the blue and often take us by surprise. Often there is no way to prepare and no way to prevent what will happen. Many times lives are lost and families are devastated.
However there is one thing we can be reassured of -- God is in control. People may think why would a benevolent God allow these things to happen? God is not the cause of these problems. God is looking instead at a long term plan to bring people to salvation and grant them an eternal life in heaven. There are many people unaware of this plan, but when disasters strike people often begin to search out for God. When the World Trade Towers were attacked in America it became a time when people united and people turned to God for reassurance and comfort. Yes, God has a plan to show people how they can obtain eternal salvation through His Son Jesus Christ that is ever lasting and can never be taken away.
Let us take a moment today to remember lives which have been lost. Let us also remember we have a sovereign God who loves us and desires for us to live a glorious and wonderful eternal life in heaven.