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author on February 17th, 2010

The news just seems to get worse. Two weeks ago we began describing the great deception and chaos as signaling the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophesies. Last week Jesus continued, this time promising His Holy Spirit and salvation for those who endure. Today, Jesus speaks of the appearance of the “abomination that causes desolation” (Mark 13:14Mark 13:14
English: World English Bible - WEB

14 But when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not , then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains,

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; see also Dan. 9:27, 11:31Dan. 9:27, 11:31
English: World English Bible - WEB

27 He shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out on the desolate. 11 Yes, all Israel have transgressed your law, even turning aside, that they should not obey your voice: therefore has the curse been poured out on us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God; for we have sinned against him.

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and 12:11).

We’ve seen it in history, in various regions of the world and to different degrees, the things Jesus has described so far in Mark 13:5-13Mark 13:5-13
English: World English Bible - WEB

5 Jesus, answering, began to tell them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 6 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he! Literally, “I AM!”’ and will lead many astray. 7 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be troubled. For those must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines and troubles. These things are the beginning of birth pains. 9 But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them. 10 The Gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 When they lead you away and deliver you up, don’t be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 13 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake, but he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.

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. But now Jesus is speaking of a time future to us – a time we have not yet seen in our history.

The documented history of the world has shown us how Christians have survived what Jesus predicted and what the disciples and those who followed endured, and the power of His promises. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has reached nearly every human being on earth! Yet this Great Commission remains to be completed. As that time nears, more false Christs and false prophets will appear. They’re here now, and have been since the beginning. They counsel us with their bestselling books and on TV and radio. Even those long dead influence many today.

And amidst the fear of the unknown, Jesus gives us encouragement to prepare to succeed, just as His disciples and previous generations did. “For the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short – otherwise, no one would survive” (Mark 13:20Mark 13:20
English: World English Bible - WEB

20 Unless the Lord had shortened the days, no flesh would have been saved; but for the sake of the chosen ones, whom he picked out, he shortened the days.

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). He also reminds us as He did in Mark 13:5Mark 13:5
English: World English Bible - WEB

5 Jesus, answering, began to tell them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray.

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, “Don’t be deceived”; and “be on your guard” (Mark 13:21-23Mark 13:21-23
English: World English Bible - WEB

21 Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ don’t believe it. 22 For there will arise false christs and false prophets, and will show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. 23 But you watch. “Behold, I have told you all things beforehand.

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).

We can learn from those who went before us – the disciples, the martyrs and the bold men and women of God – who have survived to tell their stories. We can follow them into this unknown future just as the disciples followed Christ and generations of Christians followed them. By taking heed to Jesus’ advice: “Be on your guard” (Mark 13:23Mark 13:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 But you watch. “Behold, I have told you all things beforehand.

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).