And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass…
I. So far as we have any means of judging, THE END IS NOT YET. The negative argument is that there are no conclusive indications of a speedy end, afforded either by the Word of God or the condition of the world. Such are alleged, but rest upon gratuitous assumptions. It is assumed that a certain form or pitch of moral depravation is incompatible with the continued existence of society; but we do not know how much evil is necessary to the end in question. The same is true as to the predictions of the Word of God; they may not be sure signs. Experience renders this clear; all these signs have been misapplied before. Let us look at the positive arguments in favour of the same position; that the fulfilment of Scripture is still incomplete, and will require a long time for its completion. Refer to the grand and comprehensive scale on which the Divine purposes are projected in the Scripture. The language of the Bible indicates a long continued process of change and dissolution. The spread of the gospel; the general vindication of Scriptures from doubt; to exhibit society in its normal state, and the effects of holiness as compared with sin; all will take ages.
II. IT IS BETTER TO ASSUME THAT THE END IS NOT YET, THAN TO ASSUME THE CONTRARY.
1. The doubt in which Scripture leaves the day creates a presumption that it was not meant to influence our conduct by the expectation of this great event as just at hand. The expectation of a speedy end would paralyze effort, while the opposite belief invigorates it.
2. No less dissimilar is the effect of these two causes in relation to the credit and authority of Scripture. The constant failure of the predicted signs discredits Scripture.
3. The preparation for death is not secured by a belief in the approach of the great final catastrophe. If men are unprepared to die, they will be as much surprised by death as by the coming of the end. Let us prepare to die and thus prepare to live. "The end is not yet." Let us not imagine our work done.
(J. A. Alexander, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.