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Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S March 2021


Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


What does the Bible teach about the signs of the return of Jesus and the end of the world?
In the week before Jesus’ crucifixion, his disciples ask him privately when the end will come and what will be the sign that everything is about to be fulfilled. The conversation is so important that it is recorded at length in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The following is taken from Mark’s Gospel, chapter 13:
Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no-one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth-pains...At that time people will see the Son of Man (that is Jesus) coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door...No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come”
The Bible records other signs that will herald the return of Jesus. Most of these are found in the Books of the Prophets and in the letters of St Paul. But the consistent witness of the Bible is that Jesus came in humility, born in poverty and simplicity at Bethlehem; that Jesus will one day return in power and glory, judgment, mercy and love. But Jesus will also come to every person, to every heart that is open to receive him. As we read in the Book of Revelation, chapter 3, verse 20: Jesus says, “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”


published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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