Matthew 24:22-28: 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
Jesus makes it clear that the last days will be very dangerous times. He says in Revelation 20 that Satan will be let loose for a short while. Could we be in those last days? What I have seen in my lifetime is this. Many mainline Christian churches no longer teach that the whole Bible is inspired. If a certain teaching doesn’t please you, you throw it out, saying that what was written 2000 years ago is no longer relevant today. In our culture, what was wrong in times past is promoted to be right today, and those who say different are labeled bigots and haters.
And there are those churches who have predicted the coming of the Messiah and whose predictions have failed. Jesus makes it clear that when he comes, everyone in the world will see it at once across the skies. The sentence about the vultures simply means that the coming of Jesus will be a day of terrible news for the unbelievers of this world.
But God will shorten those days for the sake of the elect, lest they be deceived also, if that were possible. And this is the good news for today. If you believe in Jesus, God has chosen you from eternity to be his own. God will not let you fall away. Think of it in this way. Do not believe in yourself, because Satan is surely working to deceive you. Always be on your guard! But at the same time, do not doubt your Savior, because he will surely not let you out of his sight or out of his hands.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief, the weakness of my sinful nature. In these last days, hold me close and do not let me fall! And let your Church on earth continue to proclaim the gospel and gather the elect. And then, even so, come, Lord Jesus! Amen.