“When you listen to the news and see the tensions and troubles in today’s world, keep in mind the warnings that the Lord gave.”
So writes Warren Weirsbe, in commenting on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew chapter 24. Weirsbe follows this exhortation with a helpful breakdown of the teaching in that chapter. He organizes what Jesus says this way (the numbers are verse numbers in that chapter):
Do not be deceived (4, 11). People will make grandiose claims and promises and will deceive many. You have the Word of God to enlighten you (Isaiah 8:20) and the Holy Spirit to teach you (John 16:13-15), so you should not go astray (1 John 2:18-29).
Do not be discouraged (6). Political and natural disturbances have always been a part of world history, so do not allow them to discourage you. They are the “beginning of sorrows” (v. 8). The word translated “sorrows” means “birth pangs.” The world’s troubles are pregnant with possibilities! God is still on the throne!
Do not be defeated (13). This has to do with faithfulness under testing until the Lord returns. Do not let the lawlessness around you rob you of your fervor (v 12). A lost world around you needs to hear the gospel (v. 14), so get busy!
Do not be doubtful (34-35). Religious leaders will come and go, stand and fall; but the Word will not change. Believe it, obey it, and hold to it – no matter what others may say or do. Your Bible is God’s light in this dark world (2 Pet. 1:19-21).
Do not be distracted (42). We “watch” when we stay alert and remind ourselves that our Lord may come at any time. When in your heart you delay His coming (v. 48), you start to lose your effectiveness and witness. Keep watching and working!
That’s great insight, right? Let’s let Weirsbe encourage us to remember that Jesus already told us everything we need to know for our troubled, uncertain times.