Thursday, March 1, 2012
The Abomination of Desolation
Mark 13:14-19 (ESV)
"But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out,  and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.  And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!  Pray that it may not happen in winter.  For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be.
When you see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not to be, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Most scholars interpret this as speaking of the temple. I see its fulfillment in the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. when all the smart people fled to the hills, so as not to bear the tribulation that ensued in Jerusalem. Josephus gives a vivid picture of this. Even today one looks at the temple mount and sees an abomination of desolation in the form of a mosque. There where once the Father was worshiped and visited his people, is an insult to His Son. And what desolation the followers of Mohammed cause! Not one inch of ground now considered Muslim was converted by peaceful means. Even Mecca itself had to be converted by the sword. The whole religion based on the rejection of the idea that God became man in Jesus Christ, a rejection of the idea that this is even possible.
Of Course, there poses another problem here for the pre-millenialists who think the temple needs to be rebuilt in order for the anti Christ to set himself up in it. Jesus rejects the temple. Jesus, in the New Testament, becomes the temple. Furthermore, the church, the body of believes in Christ, comes to be talked of as the temple. And should the Jewish people rebuild a temple on the Temple mount, it will not be God they worship there. There is but one God and he revealed himself in Jesus Christ. Those who reject Jesus, reject God. Those who reject the Cross, do not know God. So no temple built on the temple mount can ever be considered by any Christian to be a Temple of God. It just isn’t possible. This is why the Lutheran confessions identify the office of the Papacy as that of the Anti-Christ, by doing so we also recognize the Roman Catholic Church as being Christian, oddly enough. Because the anti-Christ has to show up in the Temple, which is the body of Christ, which is the church, not outside the church, so it is that he makes his appearance among those who believe in Jesus Christ.