Then Jesus began, “See that no one leads you astray.
there will be many opportunities
to become deceived
this sign or that
will be touted
as a last coffin nail
for one argument or
the difficult work
is to not limit
where deception is attempted
your task is to learn
unto a world view
in univalent signs
The first non-apocalyptic response is a warning that going down the line of being warned about a final line that, if crossed, will, at long last, trip me up, do me in, is a losing question.
Simply approaching such a line from decades away is no different than if we were already strides past a point of no-return.
Our predilection is to play out every pyramid scheme we have ever met. Putting more and more resources into a dwindling base is never a viable solution.
It is almost that we like being fooled. Scary movies or the latest political huckster both play off our thrill of living on the edge of disaster.
To hear a warning to not be deceived is to build a barrier against anything other than deception. E.E. Cummings put it well in his play, Santa Claus: A Morality:
Who can tell truth from falsehood any more?
I say it, and you feel it in your hearts:
no man or woman on this big small earth.
How should our sages miss the mark of life,
and our most skillful players lose the game?
your hearts will tell you, as my heart has told me:
because all know, and no one understands.
The disciples want to know about some mythologic tomorrow without understanding that tomorrow is very much an outgrowth of today. At stake is not avoiding suffering and death but having a resurrection in the present through changed hearts that trust good news to be truer than the most attractive and believable lie.