Trusting In God During Tribulation
24th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
November 14, 2021
Readings: Daniel 12:1-4a
Mark 13: 14-23
This is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time. Next Sunday is Christ the King and we have to be prepared to make Him King of our lives. Today’s gospel may sound fearful to the majority but to us, we should not be fearful for God is telling us things to come in advance. God created everything in the beginning. He created man, male and female in His image and likeness and He blessed them to rule and reign. We all know that man was deceived by Satan and underwent many tragedies, trials and wars. But God sent Christ to redeem us. It wasn’t just sin He took away. He destroyed every work of the devil. There are basically two worlds – the one God created and the other one stolen by the enemy. God wants to restore this into just the one world He created.
The Old Testament shows us the pattern of what is being fulfilled in the New Testament. When Rome comes to destroy Jerusalem, flee to the mountains. It means that when a time like this comes, don’t go back and try to retrieve anything, let it go. Jesus said, “I will build My church.” It’s Christ building His church, not man. There are sadly many institutional churches today being built by man. There are churches which only teach about blessings, wanting to please men and wanting them to feel good. This is a form of abomination of desolation. There will be false Christs and false prophets. We are seeing this today. So-called church leaders who are just building their own kingdoms and not building the gospel. We should not look to the world for the answer. We should be trusting in God and not in the world. When these things happen, we are not to go back but instead cling to God. We need to focus in our confidence in God.
In the time of Tribulation where the battle is between good and evil, we must keep our faith in God and not compromise but hold firm to His promises. Daniel 12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people -everyone whose name is found written in the book -will be delivered.” There are things in this world we do not really need. What we need is our relationship with God, letting our lives shine. Beware of the adversary that we may not be deceived. God is the source of our lives. God is a God of grace, true. But we have to forsake our old lives and live the new life given by Christ. When heresies arise, we must be aware. In a relationship with God, we need to live by faith. Even intelligent scholars have different interpretations. We must rely on God and His Word.
We are going to the mountains and we must be ready. The ground and soil are there for us to cultivate and harvest. 2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” Romans 11:7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened.” Daniel 11:14 “And in those times many will rise against the king of the south. Those who are violent among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success.
We are not to be deceived by the false teachings of man, but we must really know God. What God had promised Abraham belongs to us. We should not be afraid of the tribulation because God said we will be rescued. When we are in the midst of the fire, we will not be destroyed. We will have the peace of God. We must return to the garden of God and enjoy the fullness of life.