Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 128 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Matthew 24 today and our focus is on the signs of the end times and the clues that Jesus is about to return? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Cairo, Egypt, Parts unknown, Spain, Northeast UK, Tamil Nadu, India, Nova Scotia, Canada, Atlanta, Georgia, New York, New York, Wichita, Kansas and Lexington, Kentucky, Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
The last two episodes have kind of strained the credibility of ‘ten minutes of truth,’ so balance will be restored to the force on the next two episodes – well, at least they’ll be shorter, or your money back. Since this is a supposedly ten minute podcast, and since our passage today is quite long, we will not be able to go into a ton of detail about one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, but we can go deep enough to make an impact. Matthew 24 is quite the controversial chapter for obvious reasons – it is the longest extended teaching by Jesus on the end times in the Bible, and even with that short statement, I’ve already courted some controversy, as there are a pretty significant group of Christians – preterists and partial preterists – who believe that Jesus was talking about the future in Matthew 24, at least the future to His listeners at the time, but what He spoke about has already been fulfilled. Some view the bulk of the Bible’s end times teaching as mainly referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, and not to something that has not happened as of 2021. I do not take that view at all, but some genuine Christians do, so it is worth mentioning. I take a futurist view of Matthew 24, the book of Revelation, and other end times passages, and thus believe that Jesus is describing something that hasn’t happened yet.
Matthew 24 begins quite provocatively. Jesus shows His disciples the impressive buildings of Jerusalem, and the temple, and then says, “2 “Do you see all these things? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here on another that will not be thrown down.” In Matthew 24:2 the disciples ask Jesus THREE big questions in response to His statement. #1 When will these things happen? (presumably, the stones being thrown down…) #2 What is the sign of your coming? #3 What is the sign of the end of the age? These are THREE questions, that I wish the disciples had asked one at a time. Jesus gives them (and us) an answer, but it is not crystal clear in His answer which question He is addressing. Probably all three to at least an extent. Let’s read our passage, and then we will list out the signs Jesus gives.
What are the signs of the end of the age and the return of Jesus?
- Many will come in the name of Jesus and deceive many (vs 5)
- Wars and rumors of wars (vs 6)
- Famines and earthquakes (vs 7) These signs are birth pangs – in other words, they will tell us the end is near, but not immediately near, perhaps.
- Christians will be persecuted and hated and betrayed (vss 9-10)
- Many who claim Christ will fall away (vss 10-12) This is the Great Apostasy – the great falling away, which Paul also speaks about.
- The Good News of the Kingdom of Jesus will be proclaimed to all of the world. vs 14
- An Abomination of Desolation will be standing in holy place. (This could be something like an altar or idol to a false God set up in the temple of Jerusalem) vs 15
- False prophets and messiahs who can perform great miracles will rise up and lead many people astray. (vs. 23-24)
- The sun and the moon will be darkened – stars will fall, and the sign of the Jesus will appear in the sky. No idea what this refers to, but I was reminded of this passage last August for a couple of weeks when the fires were raging here in California – the sun turned to a dull pink that was barely visible even on cloudless days. It was eerie and made me realize a darkened sun was not at all far-fetched.
WHEN will all of this happen? That is a huge question that Jesus is asked, and notice His answer – HE DOES NOT KNOW. The angels don’t know. Prophets don’t know. Christian book writers do not know. ONLY God the Father knows. It will be a surprise when Jesus comes back – unexpected, as He says in vss 36-40:
36 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels of heaven nor the Son —except the Father alone.37 As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be.38 For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark.39 They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. This is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be.
What do we do between now and then? 42 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:42) and vss 45-46 “45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.“
Bible Memory verses for the month of May: Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
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