And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass…
There is always a tendency to exaggerate their importance. It is strange to find Christian people able to find some high prophetic allusion forevery little war or social disturbance within the sphere of their knowledge. Every national trouble is manufactured into a sign of the "coming end." Precisely of this strange tendency our Lord so anxiously warned his disciples in this discourse. "Do not run away into extravagant imaginations under the impulse of every bit of local civil commotion. There will be a good deal of that sort of thing, but the "end is not yet." The world is not going to fall to ruin, even if Jerusalem should become a desolation." Our Lord bade the disciples take warning from passing events, so that they might secure their personal safety; but he intimated that they would be wise to leave the world's future altogether in God's hands, and not attempt to be wise above what was written.
I. CHRISTIANS SHOULD LET PASSING EVENTS HELP TO GUIDE THEIR CONDUCT. Our Lord commended observing the "signs of the times." Illustrate by reference to the anticipated siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Our Lord pointed out certain events which the disciples should take as distinct warnings. They should respond to them by instant flight; and, as a matter of fact, the Christians of Jerusalem did note those signs, and did effect their escape to Pella. For Christians civil commotion is warning and education. It decides conduct, and it develops and tests character. Through the Christian ages this has been fully illustrated. There have been times of faction fight, of civil war, of invasion and national ruin. Christ prepares his disciples for such times, which give them the chance of showing noble examples and exerting holy influences.
II. CHRISTIANS SHOULD AVOID TRYING TO FIT PASSING EVENTS INTO GOD'S SECRET PLANS.
1. Because Christians never can know God's secret, plans.
2. Because Christians could never fit their little pieces into the plan, even if they knew it. It is extraordinary that there has always been a strong disposition to expect a speedy termination of the whole system under which we live. It may be one of the forms of human conceit. We cannot imagine that things can last much longer after we are gone. J.A. Alexander works out these two points.
1. So far as we have any means of judging, the "end is not yet."
2. So far as it remains a matter of doubt, it is better to assume that "the end is not yet," than to assume the contrary. - R.T.
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.