When the disciples ask Jesus about the signs of the end and his second coming, Jesus commenced his discussion with these words, “Take heed that no-one leads you astray.” (Verse 5) This warning was not for the disciples at that time as much as it is for us in this time and this age. We are in the final days of this world as we know it and the time of Jesus’ return approaches.
How do we know these are the last days? Jesus said that in the last days leading up to his return, “…And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.”
Never at any other time in history have we seen such upheaval in the world as today. There are wars, skirmishes, battles. There are earthquakes and famines. Today it was reported that one of the major aid agencies are seeking donations to support eleven million people in Africa because the drought there has wiped out food crops. Earthquakes are at the most prolific in history and each time there are tsunami warnings.
But the Lord said these are just the beginning of the birth pangs that are leading up to his return. These are signs that the time is at hand. But more important was the initial statement he made, take heed that no-one leads you astray.
There have recently been people predicting the end of the earth, and others predicting the return of the Lord. But no man knows the time or day that these things will occur. To listen to such nonsense is foolishness as it is clear these people have no knowledge of the scriptures. Will it be possible at any time to predict the Lord’s return? Yes I believe there are timing indicators that suggest it will be possible to have some inkling, but not the exact day and hour as some claim.
It is evident that there are set periods established in Daniel and Revelation that suggest a countdown period may be possible, but there is still much to occur before that can begin to happen. For example, one of those triggers relates to the removal of the continual burnt offering from the temple. But first the temple must be re-built and then the man of sin has to assume authority and take his seat in the temple. There are many other things that need to happen before the Lord returns, so we must pay attention to the word and not be led astray.
Jesus is telling us to beware. There were false teachers in his day and the days of the disciples, and there are false teachers today. Unless someone can back up their claims from the word of truth, anything they are promoting in the name of the Lord should be treated with caution. Focus on seeking God’s kingdom first and in anything that comes up like these things above, seek his insight through prayer. Your eternal life depends on following Jesus, not following a man who takes Jesus’ rightful place as the leader of the church.
He tells us to beware of those who will “lead” you astray. Follow Jesus as he is the true “leader” of the church. He is the true shepherd of the sheep and He leads them in and out and they follow him. So beware of imitators and imitations, they are not of God.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng http://www.sxc.hu/ taken by Dave Kennard)