Saturday 22nd April 2023


By 18th January 2013, Bill Gates and his wife had already given away at least 28 billion dollars of their fortune to charitable work worldwide; they intend to give away at least 95 percent of all their money eventually.

Warren Buffett, currently the richest man in the world, has pledged to give away at least 99 percent of his entire fortune – mostly via the Bill Gates Foundation – and this has also persuaded more than 236 billionaires to give away at least half their fortunes to charity.

A poor elderly widow quietly placed two small copper coins (the smallest denomination possible) into the offering box of the Temple.  Noticing her, Jesus commented that she had put in more than anyone else.  How? Well, in God’s eyes, it is not how much you give, but how little you leave yourself with afterwards, that really defines generosity.   Well done Bill Gates and Warren Buffett!   Well done poor and anonymous lady!  Well done anyone who gives generously to the work of Jesus and the relief of the poor!  “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion” – says the scripture.

Along with the other synoptic gospels, Luke 21:5-19 explains some of the events that must occur before Jesus returns and the end of the age occurs.  These prophetic words are further complicated by the additional fact of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 AD.  Both major events necessarily include the widespread persecution of Christians.  Interestingly, there are a couple of phrases that are unique to Luke: “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near” (21:20) and “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.  Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (21:24). 

The Apostle Paul, in Romans 11:25-27, writes: I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved.  As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.  27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins”.  The ‘Times of the Gentiles’ may therefore refer to that period of grace, from right now until just before the end of the age, when full number of Gentiles chosen for salvation has been reached, and after that it is then the Jews’ turn to experience a ‘last days’ revival before Jesus returns.

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