Normal is Not Returning, But Jesus Is

Last Things

Matthew 24:3-31

“God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.” BF&M 2000 Article X Last Things.


The Situation Before His Return (Matthew 24:3-14)

a. False Christ (v.5)
b. Wars (v.6)
c. Fighting, famines, and earthquakes (v.7) Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.”

Largest recorded earthquake was in Chile in 1960, 9.5. There was an 8.2 in Perryville Alaska at the end of July. Looking at the USGS website, they are happening often. As for famines, The OXFAM website notes that 30 million people are currently experiencing either close to famine conditions or famine conditions. North-eastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. Those on the brink are: Afghanistan and Syria. 

d. The persecution of the Church (v.9) Open doors website suggest that over 360 million Christians are living in areas of high levels of persecution.
e. An exodus of those not of the Church (v.10)
f. False prophets (v.11)
g. Lawlessness, love growing cold (v.12) Defunding police? I do not understand.
h. An endurance of the Church (v.13)
i. The preaching of the gospel to all areas (v.14)


The Signs for the Church to Recognize (Matthew 24:15-28)

What is the abomination of desolation that Jesus spoke of in verse 15? Jesus is referring to the prophesy we see in Daniel 9:27. In this text, Daniel prophesies concerning a prince who will destroy Jerusalem and the temple sacrifices. Scholars believe that this abomination happened by Roman defilement in 70 AD in which the temple sacrifices were ended and replaced by Rome’s pagan god’s desolation. There are other possible interpretations to what Jesus many be referring to, yet this fits with the rest of the passage. In verse 16, there was a great Jewish revolt in AD 67 in which Christians indeed fled to mountains to escape Roman persecution. We believe Matthew was written in AD 50s or 60s. I believe Luke 21:20 shows clarity here: “But when you see Jersusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.”

a. Great tribulation (v.21)
b. False christs and false prophets will lead people astray (v.24) I used to wonder how? Now I see this will be too easy in today’s time.


The Security of Being Ready (Matthew 24:29-31)

We see that there will be a mighty gathering of the church! Jesus will return, not as the humble servant, but as the conquering King. It will happen at an unknown time as Jesus says in verses 36-44. How are we to be ready? The only way for us to prepare is through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Have you asked Him to save you? Have you acknowledged that you’ve sinned and that you need Jesus to save you, change you, and take you with Him one day? “Satan’s Greatest success is in making people think they have plenty of time before they die to consider their eternal welfare.” – John Owen