In general, I believe Christ’s description of the scene in verses 5-12 concerns the fall of Jerusalem.  Nearly every generation in the history of Christendom has thought they were living in the end times, because there have always been wars and rumors of wars, along with famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.  Very many today are thoroughly convinced that history is nearing its end, but they may perhaps be just as wrong as previous generations.  But we know that these things were certainly occurring around the fall of Jerusalem, in particular the persecution against the early church, and the betrayal of brother by brother to the persecutors.  The false prophets of which Christ tells them are spoken of in the New Testament epistles by Paul, Peter, John, and Jude.  Many of these symptoms did not die away after Jerusalem fell, but are still with us today. 

It is very likely that the extraordinary profligacy of spiritual sickness and treachery at the end of history will mirror that which existed before Jerusalem fell.  In any case, the message of Christ to His believers in every generation is the same: “He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.”  The true believer in every generation will persevere to the end, in spite of betrayal, persecution, and false brethren.

Advertisements