And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
(Mark 13:5-8 ESV)
We come now to the part of Mark’s gospel where Jesus teaches about the end times. Here Jesus gives us some answers on what to expect and also gives us two commands. First we need to be on guard so that we are not led astray. The best way to ensure we are not led astray is to know the Bible. Do you make Bible study a part of your daily life? God’s Word is our spiritual food; we must have a regular diet to survive just as we need physical food. If we don’t know the truths of Scripture we will be easily fooled.
The second warning is to not be alarmed about wars and rumors of war. They are inevitable. Jesus is warning us about this now so we can be prepared and not be surprised when it happens. We have been through a lot of wars since Jesus walked the earth. There will probably be many more. As the main scripture states this is just the beginning and are like birth pains. If you have had a child, you know what that means. It will get worse and it will come more quickly the closer we get. So when a war breaks out we will know that we are still in the beginning stages until they increase.
Jesus also tells us about natural disasters and famines. Those will also come. But again like birth pains they will increase more and more as we get to the end. Jesus never tells us when this will take place. But we can watch for these signs and know when we are getting close. Will you make the Bible a critical part of your life? Will you take Jesus’ warning to heart and not be alarmed, and not be led astray? How will you make sure others are prepared for the end?