Fights Between Nations

Jesus said, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet” (Matt. 24:6). The second sign is the hearing of wars and rumors of it. Hearing about wars include hearing about pain and suffering in wars, as in Marawi and Syria today.[1]

As of June 16, 2017, the total death toll in Marawi is 310.

Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, commander of the 4th Civil Relations Group, said based on the records of Joint Task Force Marawi, a total of 26 civilians have been killed by Maute while 1,629 have been rescued by troops, local government units and civil society organizations.

He said 225 terror group members were killed while 208 firearms were recovered.

On the government side, 59 have been recorded dead.”[2]

Hearing about wars and reports of wars will raise alarming thoughts. It will bother other people, but it should not bother the disciples. Jesus said they should not be “alarmed” (throeo), which means, “be disturbed or frightened” (Gingrich); “being suddenly troubled inwardly” (Friberg). The reason is that it “must take place” (v. 6). It must take place in the sovereign plan of God for this world. It is necessary for it to happen in the sovereignty of God. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place” (Rev. 1:1, emphasis added).

When we hear of wars, we may think that the end is here now. However, Jesus said, “But the end is not yet” (v. 6). Wars must take place, but the coming of Christ is not yet. The coming judgment and messianic rule of Christ is not yet. The end of this present age is not yet. The start of the coming messianic age is not yet. Rather, the end will happen at a time of God’s choosing.

Tell the person to your right, “Let not your heart be troubled.” Then tell the person to your left, “Trust God.”

Jesus continued, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:7). The verb “rise” is passive voice—“nations will be raised against nation.” God Himself shall cause the rising of nations against nations. “And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, each against another and each against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom” (Isa. 19:2). The rising of nation against nation might be due to a hunger for power and oil as by Nazi Germany in World War II. It might be due to terrorist caliphates like ISIS in Syria.

But the real reason is that it is the sovereign plan of God.

[1] The Jews have heard about the themes of wars, famines, and earthquakes in their literature (2ApocBar 48:30-41; 70:2-3, 8; 2 Esdr 9:3–4; Sib. Or. 2:154–73).

[2] Amita Legaspi, “Marawi death toll now 310 —military official,” GMA News. Cited June 17, 2017. Online: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/614751/marawi-death-toll-now-310-military-official/story/.

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