“By your endurance you will win your lives.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let those who are in the midst of her depart. Let those who are in the country not enter therein. For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.”
In this short passage, Jesus sums up what we can now read in the book of the Revelation. At the time that Luke wrote these words, the book of Revelation had not been given. When we read Jesus’ words, here, we can see that the earth has yet to see its worst days.
These specific instructions were given to the Jews in Jerusalem. We know from history, since the time of Jesus, that some of these things have already happened. Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were scattered for hundreds of years. Even now, Gentiles have a great deal to say about the land of Israel even though it is supposed to belong to the Israelis. The time we are now living in is considered the time of the Gentiles, but notice that “the times of the Gentiles” are to be fulfilled. All hell breaks loose on earth at some point in the future at the end of this time. It says that it will become so bad that there will be “men fainting for fear, and for the expectation of the things which are coming on the world.”
Notice how much more serious this is than the problems caused by pollution. The Bible says that even the sun, moon, and stars will be involved. Somehow there will be celestial events that cause problems for mankind along with problems in the ocean. It sounds like there may be fundamental problems in the universe, not just the things caused by mankind on earth. You can read more specifics of these events in Revelation.
None of the people who Jesus was speaking to here are alive today, but through some of these people, God has told those who listen, to expect Him to show up with power and great glory in the clouds someday. Some slander the Bible by saying that Christians believe that Jesus lives in space. A careful reading of Scripture reveals that God represented His spiritual presence in clouds and in fire. This doesn’t mean that Jesus lives in space or in the sky. Jesus is giving the saints who are to be alive at that time of these events great hope about the future even though they are going through the most frightening times on earth. This a good message for us today as well. Jesus could return to take us to be with Him at any moment in the Rapture (which happens before this event). We also go through hard times today as Christians, but we should be hopeful because Jesus could come at any time to take us to be with Him and we will live with Him forever. We still have a chance to miss out on the worst of these events by believing in Jesus today.