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Apr 25 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Seventy-five – Matthew 24:15-28

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
Then if anyone says to you, “Behold, here is the Christ,” or “There He is,” do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will ¬†arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:23-24

Looking ahead, Jesus predicted a period of suffering and gave his disciples emergency response instructions for specific crises. He knew that many people would be deceived, which is not surprising, for in times of turmoil people prefer to embrace a present lie than a future promise.

Perhaps the most convincing education is personal experience. We tend to believe what we see with our own eyes. But Jesus warned that people would produce “signs and wonders” to trick others into following false Messiahs and false prophets. For those of us who long to witness a genuine miracle, this can be a bitter pill to swallow. But it is better to live without ever seeing a miracle than to live and die holding on to a false god that performs many wonders.

A miracle gives us a connection with God across the gap between heaven and earth, divine reality and human experience. But so does faith, and that is the bridge Jesus wants us to cross. If he repeats the command, “do not believe” (i.e., the false reports of his coming, vv. 23 & 26), it is because he wants us to believe in him and place our trust in him alone.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for watching out for us. Thank You for looking ahead and then preparing us for the future challenges we will have to face. Thank You for going before us, clearing a path for us to follow. If we go through our entire lives without ever receiving one miraculous answer to our prayers, we are content so long as we have You at our side, now and forever.

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