Jerusalem certainly was besieged and taken by the Roman army … then, the desolation will be near since many will fall into error and depart from the true faith.… Then the day of the Lord will suitably come, and the days will be shortened for the sake of the chosen. Since the Lord’s first coming was to atone for sins, the second will be to prevent transgressions, fearing more might fall into the error of unbelief. False prophets and then famine will come. Tell me again of the times of Elijah, and you will find prophets of confusion, Jezebel, famine and drought on earth. What was the reason? Wickedness abounded, and love grew cold.1
I am not sure whether you have remembered them, you that are upset by such words. Have you not heard the prophets, the apostles, the Lord Jesus Christ himself foretelling evils to come? When old age comes to the world and the end draws near, you heard it, brothers and sisters, we all heard it together. There will be wars, turmoil, tribulations and famines. Why do we contradict ourselves? When these things are read, we believe them, but when they are fulfilled, we grumble.2
MAXIMUS OF TURIN:
The reason is the closer we are to the destruction of the world, the closer we are to the kingdom of the Savior. The Lord himself says, “In the last days nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. When you see wars, earthquakes and famines, know that the kingdom of God is at hand.” This nearness of wars shows us that Christ is near.3
Or rather, he calls the mother of God a “cloud” on whom he rode, honoring her who is his mother according to the flesh. For, indeed, Isaiah foresaw her in this manner, saying, “Behold, the Lord is seated on a swift cloud, and he will come to Egypt, and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence.” Interpreting this saying, Aquila says that the cloud is a “light material.” “Material,” as I think, because she was a human being and flesh, and “light” because of her purity and blamelessness and because not even one sin weighed her down, yet also because of the excellence and heavenward character of her soul. You will consider the “cloud” in this manner. It is white because of the purity and radiance of those things that are here seen.4
And to whom more appropriately than to the church is this said?… At the time of the last judgment, when she has concluded her spiritual warfare against the beast, the church will possess a greater illumination and will be able to know whom she must consider as her own and whom as outside.5
If Christ was seen on the white cloud as a reaper, who is this vintager, unless he be the Selfsame, the repetition nicely occurring because of the twofold fruit of the church? For he who sowed good seed in his field is also he who planted a vineyard in a fertile place. However, both plantings have come to ruin because of the neglect of the caretakers.6
- EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 10.15–18. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 319). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- SERMON 296.10. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 320). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- SERMON 85.1. Just, A. A. (Ed.). (2005). Luke (p. 320). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- COMMENTARY ON THE APOCALYPSE 14.14-16. Weinrich, W. C. (Ed.). (2005). Revelation (p. 232). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- COMMENTARY ON THE APOCALYPSE 14.15-16. Weinrich, W. C. (Ed.). (2005). Revelation (p. 233). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- EXPLANATION OF THE APOCALYPSE 14.17. Weinrich, W. C. (Ed.). (2005). Revelation (p. 235). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.