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Read: Mark 13:14-23

I have watched a lot of sporting events in my life.  One thing I love about sports is the closure it brings.  With only a few exceptions, almost every sporting event ends with a winner and a loser.  I like that kind of short term closure.  In most team sports, you can always tell when the game is about to end because of a few signs.  In baseball, the ninth inning, lets you know the end is near.  In basketball and football, when the fourth quarter rolls around, you know the clock is winding down.  In golf, the 18th hole is the finish line.  In Mark 13, Jesus lets us in on how we will be able to tell that the earth’s “fourth quarter” is upon us.  The 18th hole of this present age will tee off with something called the “abomination of desolation.”  For first century Jewish leaders, they would recognize this as a defilement of the Temple area by a pagan god.  In this context, it appears that Jesus is referring to the “Anti-Christ” who would appear in Jerusalem in the end times sending the faithful running to the hills.  Though God will cut the time of the Anti-Christ short, the abomination’s influence will be severe.  Jesus tells this story to help His followers understand when this present age of the world will be heading for closure.

Question of the Day: What about the “end times” is particularly scary for you?  What do you notice about God’s attitude toward the faithful during the end times (from today’s verses)?

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