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Matt 24 revisited

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Loyal
One of the interesting things about Matt 24, is that the entire chapter is Jesus speaking to the disciples.

Matt 24:1; Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
Matt 24:2; And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down."
Matt 24:3; As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
Matt 24:4; And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.
Matt 24:5; "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.

There are of course many "Christs" in the world today. The Jesus who wasn't always a god but became one.
The Jesus who only exists is spirit but not flesh. The Jesus who was born of a sinless mother. The Jesus
who was reincarnated as the arch-angel Michael. The Jesus who is only a prophet, but not the Son of God.

... then of course, there is the Jesus Christ of the Bible. It's interesting that Jesus would warn his disciples
(believers) about these things.

Matt 24:6; "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.
Matt 24:7; "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
Matt 24:8; "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Wars and rumors of wars... in my life time there have been many. Vietnam, the Korean War, Operation Desert
Storm, ... and they continue today... is this the end times? It certainly seems that way.

Matt 24:9; "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
Matt 24:10; "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.

The phrase "fall away" is interesting when it's used talking about faith. But I can't go away from Seattle,
if I've never been to Seattle. In fact I'm already away from it if I've never visited there. It's the same with
faith in Jesus.. I can't "fall away" from Him, if I wasn't with Him in the first place. I'm already away from
Him.

Matt 24:11; "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
Matt 24:12; "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
Matt 24:13; "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

False prophets.. are they here now? We have preachers preaching everything, Not only do they preach
the false Christ in verse 5 above, but they teach everything goes, homosexuality is OK, adultery is OK,
child-molesting is OK, sex changes are OK... in fact some preach there is no law and no sin anymore
at all.... yes, false prophets are all around us.

Lawlessness is increased... what kind of lawlessness? Men's laws? God's laws? It will be both.
In fact many of men's law are based on God's laws. People's love will grow cold.
We live in a busy fast paced world, where no one has time for anyone anymore. It's all quick text
messages with very little personal one on one time together anymore. Even with our own families.
People are much colder now than when I was young. The sad thing is... many of today's young people
have never seen it, they have never been around neighborly love, it's never been shown to them, and
they don't even know what's been lost.

But the one who endures... to the end.... he will be saved.

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal
Matt 24:14; "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

There is much controversy over this verse.. Does it mean all of the the world at the same time? For example there are countries that have had
the gospel preached in them centuries ago, but are no longer Christian nations. In any case, with the advent of the internet and cell phones,
the gospel is moving forward faster than ever before.

Matt 24:15; "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

I won't spend a lot of time here, but Dan 11:31; and Dan 12:11; mention this "abomination of desolation". It will last for 1,290 days or roughly 3 1/2 years.
What it is.. isn't exactly mentioned in the Bible, but it had to do with sacrifice in the temple. Tradition says a swine (the most unclean animal in Judaism)
was sacrificed in the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes. This is more or less the ultimate insult to God.

Matt 24:16; then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Matt 24:17; "Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house.
Matt 24:18; "Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.
Matt 24:19; "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
Matt 24:20; "But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.
Matt 24:21; "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
Matt 24:22; "Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

This is often tied in the with Rev 8:12; that says a 3rd of the sun would be struck, so those days would be 1/3rd shorter. So "those days will be cut short".

Matt 24:23; "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him.
Matt 24:24; "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
Matt 24:25; "Behold, I have told you in advance.

AS mentioned in the OP, false Christs are everywhere. But if anyone says... "Here is the Christ"..
don't believe them. Jesus told in advance this would happen. They are here, some are even here on TalkJesus.

Matt 24:26; "So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them.

It's amazing to me, the angel Moroni supposedly met with Joseph Smith (the founder of Mormonism) met secretly in the woods (the wilderness)
and yet the Bible explicitly says.. if anyone tells they had a secret revelation from Jesus in the wilderness... don't believe them. 2 Cor 11:14; says even Satan can appears as an angel of light.

Matt 24:27; "For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Matt 24:28; "Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The second coming of Jesus will be obvious... just like lightning flashing across the sky. It won't be some secret clandestine meeting in the woods.

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal
Awesome study BAC, one of many things that amazes me is when Jesus was talking about all these warnings, such as many will be persecuted because of his name, and the gospel will go to all nations, we have to look at the circumstances surrounding him, how many followers did he have at that time?? a few hundred or thousand, what ever the number to think over 2ooo years ago on the other side of the planet in a language not known to us, he was saying his gospel would go to all nations!! and to see it happening today, is something only God could do, he is the truth it just yells out when I read his word.
 
Loyal
Part of what Jesus is talking about here is the great tribulation. If we step back and take a look at verse 21 again...

Matt 24:21; "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

This will be the greatest time of tribulation on the earth ever. "Such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world"... "until now"... nor will ever be.
There have been some pretty bad times.. there have been world wars, famines, persecutions, etc... but none of those were like what's coming.

Matt 24:29; "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

While all of those things are interesting... it's what comes after this that is even more interesting.

Matt 24:30; "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.
Matt 24:31; "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

This verse 31 is also quite controversial... does it mean Christians will go through the tribulation, or does it mean the existing Christians were already raptured,
and these are the people who get saved during the tribulation? ( Rev 7:14; )
I suppose this has to do with whether you believe in a pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib rapture. Rather than get too hung up on when it will happen... I simply
acknowledge it will happen at some point.

Matt 24:32; "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;
Matt 24:33; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.

I could say this is the shortest parable Jesus ever gave. In Matthew it's only one sentence.
But it's also possible that Jesus was referring to the parable in Luke 13.

Luke 13:6; And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
Luke 13:7; "And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?'
Luke 13:8; "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;
Luke 13:9; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'"

...This generation will not pass away, until..."

Matt 24:34; "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

There have been sermons upon sermons preached about this particular verse. Some of the things Jesus mentioned, happened
before His ascension. But some believe "this generation" means, this era, this eon, this age in God's infinite time lime.

Matt 24:35; "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Even after all things are made new, and there is a new heaven and a new earth... the words of Jesus will remain.
So when is Jesus coming back? The fact is... no one can say for absolute sure. ( Mark 13:32; )

Matt 24:36; "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

A good passage to read while studying Matt 24.. is also in Mark 13. These two passages are parallels to each others about the
same instance when Jesus was speaking to the disciples here. But Mark narrows the audience down even further to Peter, James, John and Andrew.

.. to be continued ...
 
Loyal
Matt 24:37; "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
Matt 24:38; "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
Matt 24:39; and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

There's no doubt Noah lived in a wicked time. In fact it was so evil that God Himself flooded the earth and killed virtually all of mankind.
Keep in mind, Genesis 6 is only chapters away from the creation.

Gen 6:5; Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6; The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
Gen 6:7; The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."
Gen 6:8; But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Gen 6:9; These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

I think there are two warnings here... first obviously... there will be wickedness on the earth when Jesus comes.
But I think the main point Jesus is making here is... it will be without warning, it will be swift, and it will be devastating.

Matt 24:40; "Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
Matt 24:41; "Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
Matt 24:42; "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
Matt 24:43; "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Matt 24:44; "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

This seems to be the main point of the entire chapter to me. Be ready!! Be alert!! You must also be ready!! Because He's coming when you don't
think He will. It seems there are many Christians who think "I believe in Jesus, so therefore I am good to go". But yet we are told... "be ready".

1 Thes 5:2; For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
1 Thes 5:3; While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
1 Thes 5:4; But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;
1 Thes 5:5; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
1 Thes 5:6; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
1 Thes 5:7; For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.
1 Thes 5:8; But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, suddenly... quickly... without warning.
Be alert!! Be sober!! Be awake!!

In the story on the ten virgins... all ten virgins thought they were ready for the Master to come... but five of them weren't really ready.

Matt 25:10; "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.
Matt 25:11; "Later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.'
Matt 25:12; "But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.'
Matt 25:13; "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Be alert!! For you don't know when He is coming back. Do you have oil in your lamp? Are you ready? Are you awake? Alert? Sober? Ready?
Are you on watch?

Luke 12:36; "Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.
Luke 12:37; "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
Luke 12:38; "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
Luke 12:39; "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Luke 12:40; "You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect."

Be ready! Be vigilant! Be watchful! Be alert!!

Mark 13:33; "Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
Mark 13:34; "It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.
Mark 13:35; "Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—
Mark 13:36; in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep.
Mark 13:37; "What I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'"

Make no doubt about it... Jesus is coming back. Just as He promised...

John 14:2; "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3; "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14:4; "And you know the way where I am going."

Are you ready?

1 Cor 15:52; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

In the blink of an eye, everything can change.

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal
Matt 24:45; "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?
Matt 24:46; "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
Matt 24:47; "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Matt 24:48; ''But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,'
Matt 24:49; and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards;
Matt 24:50; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know,
Matt 24:51; and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Again... we see this is about Jesus returning.
There is a LOT in this passage that is obvious.. but maybe even more that isn't so obvious.

This "faithful and sensible" slave (some Bibles say servant) who the Master puts in charge of His household...
It's pretty unlikely that Jesus would put unbelievers "in charge of His household". Right now.. we are the ones who are serving in Jesus's
household. We are the ones who should be feeding others. Material food, yes.. but spiritual food also. The bread that came down form heaven.
It seems to be... this is also about witnessing and being an example... unsaved people don't really like to hear about Jesus 24 hours a day and
have Him "shoved down their throats". But we can share this food with them... "at the proper time". Much like material food, we don't eat the entire
week's worth of food in one meal. We spread it out over two or three meals over several days. We don't have to share everything about Jesus all
at once. Some people can't handle "large portions".

If we jump over to the Luke version of this passage... Peter asks Jesus a question here....

Luke 12:41; Peter said, "Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?"
Luke 12:42; And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?
Luke 12:43; "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
Luke 12:44; "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Luke 12:45; "But if that slave says in his heart, 'My master will be a long time in coming,' and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk;
Luke 12:46; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
Luke 12:47; "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes,
Luke 12:48; but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

Luke has a better translation and calls us "stewards" rather than slaves. In reality that's what we are. Everything already belongs to Him, not us.
I'm not exactly sure how "beating" the male and female slaves fits into this, but it might not be purely physical. Sometimes we can be "beat up"
spiritually and emotionally. We need to make sure we aren't someone who does this. I don't drink anymore... but many years ago when I did,
it had a way of changing my personality... I became an angry person, or maybe I was already angry and the alcohol just made me show it.
When I was done drinking, I would usually pass out in a drunken stupor... unaware of anything going on around me. It's hard to be responsible
for anything when you are drunk and unaware...
Another clue that Jesus is talking to believers here is in Luke 12 verse 46. "He will assign him a place with the unbelievers". ( Matthew says "hypocrites" )
My take is that there really isn't any difference between a hypocrite and an unbeliever... no, I take that back. There is a difference.
One knows what we are supposed to do... but doesn't do it. The other may be ignorant... ( in some cases ignorance is bliss )
In Luke.. verse 47 above... it says the one who knew the Master's will but didn't do it will receive a greater punishment.

This is powerful... many Christians simply think.. "I'm a believer" and that's it. End of story, end of responsibilities.
But Jesus says those who knew what He wanted them to do... but they didn't do it. They are hypocrites. They are the same as an unbeliever.
and because they knew what they were supposed to do... but didn't do it... they will receive a greater punishment.

It seems new Christians get a little more grace here... verse 48 in Luke says... the one who didn't know what to do... will still get punished...
but not as severely.

If we jump back to Matthew... It says... the Master "will cut him to pieces" and assign him a place with the hypocrites (those who knew better)
and in that place.. will be weeping and gnashing of teeth...

It doesn't sound like a very pleasant place. All of this goes along with the main point of the entire chapter of Matt 24.
It's a warning about the end times. But more than that... it's a warning for us to be ready.. be alert, be watchful, be sober.
Don't fall back into doing the things you know you shouldn't be doing.
 
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