“Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he may become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they insult the members of his household!
“So do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are two sparrows not sold for an assarion? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not fear; you are more valuable than a great number of sparrows.
“Therefore, everyone who confesses Me before people, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before people, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to turn a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a person’s enemies will be the members of his household.
“The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. The one who has found his life will lose it, and the one who has lost his life on My account will find it."
When you read what Jesus Himself said of things to come for the Disciples and for all who would become Disciples, you get a different outlook on life.
When you add in what was asked and answered from the book of Luke you learn more. Worldly "Normal" isn't going to be happening. Worldly "Normal" is what Satan is driving towards.
Luke 21:8-28 NASB "They asked Him questions, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and revolts, do not be alarmed; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately." Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be massive earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrible sights and great signs from heaven.
“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors on account of My name. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will provide you eloquence and wisdom which none of your adversaries will be able to oppose or refute. But you will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, other relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all people because of My name. And yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are inside the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of punishment, so that all things which have been written will be fulfilled. Woe to those women who are pregnant, and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting from fear and the expectation of the things that are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Reading the Bible without numbers, read in the way it was originally conveyed, opens up our hearts and minds to what the Spirit is trying to say.
Look at the last 70-80 years. Normal has been eroding monthly and yearly. The things that Jesus is telling us to be looking for are, in part, happening now.
Some of what He said is a preview of the book of Revelation. Some is not.
in today's world its like it was back then. I found it most interesting that Jesus said to them not to trust people. To be on their guard. We are told many things in these two passages that point to this unerring truth. Normal isn't returning, Jesus is.
Our minds are to be set on things above. What are they thinking about up there? His Kingdom coming on Earth as it is in Heaven.
This world is being prepared. Nations are going through what they are for but one reason. It's not the furtherance of humanity. It's a build-up for the end of physical mankind in a sin-cursed world.
Jesus is returning. We read of a global earthquake that proceeds it. My belief is all who are in Heaven will know when Jesus stands to return at the Father's call to do so. The resultant cheers will spill over into this world to shake the very Earth.
Normal isn't what a believer in Christ should be expecting. Normal in Christ is to expect difficult times. Normal is to face opposition to the things of God. Normal is supposed to be believers helping believers as much as is possible. Look at the letters Paul wrote. Churches helping churches. Obeying the Great Commission. Going forth to make Disciples.
It's not about what's in it for me or you.
We come to Jesus to be saved.
We become part of the body of Christ.
We have a role and purpose in His body with Him as the head and directing all things.
It's not about, frankly, pursuing peace and rest in a world that is hostile to the things of God. Jesus says you shouldn't expect it, so don't live your life trying to find ways to obtain it.
We may indeed enjoy a respite from spiritual warfare and such, we may not.
Growing in Christ is the life of a believer. Not health, wealth and prosperity. Many are martyrs in this world because of coming to Christ.
You and I, as Disciples, should expect only Jesus's definition of Normal. We will find opposition within family and the outside world. We should expect the world not to understand. We should expect exactly as we read in the Bible if indeed we believe the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible.
I have been through some intense times in the last 21 years. Until I realized that it was me who was holding onto my brand of Normal. My hopes, my dreams, my thoughts, all had to be put on the altar. Everything. My life was never going to be the same in doing that and it's ok! Jesus didn't save me so that my will could or would be done.
Jesus saved me to make me more like Christ and in the process reach some for Jesus in showing them how to be saved.
Jesus is returning. All Heaven is awaiting that grand celebration. People still need to hear and know about salvation.
As the times of the Gentiles draws to a close, what we see in this world is it being prepared to continue Daniel's 70th week. 69 weeks are completed. We cannot expect and never should expect for God to keep putting off the return of Jesus. God gave the world 100 years or so to hear of the end of the world in Noah's days. Then nobody was saved but Noah, his Wife, his sons and their wives. When the waters came, just as had been preached for those 100 years, people were beating on the Ark begging to be let in. But it was too late.
Soon people by the millions will rush to churches everywhere after Christ does return and takes the dead in Christ first, then those who are alive and remain. That opportunity will have passed for them to go. People indeed will be saved in those 7 horrific years that come next but horrific will define their lives, living in a world that will have crushing consequences for any who are in Christ. Death sentences will be carried out on any who do not bow to the Satanically empowered world leader.
You will not see any of this if you are saved before the return of Jesus.
But also do not remain silent in living for Jesus. We are told by Jesus to be lights in this world. We have a job and a mission to do our part in the body of Christ. Cells in a body doing their own thing are called cancer. Jesus says that those who aren't working towards what He wants in the body of Christ will be removed.
Praying and Obeying, trusting and living as God's Word says is what we should be doing. THAT should be our Normal. Don't expect everyone to understand or to get what God's doing in your life as you obey His Word.
Keep listening for that shout that will call us out! As assuredly as the rest of the Bible has come true, so will that.