Matthew 24-25 is typically called the Olivet Discourse because it was given at the Mount of Olives. It is His last public discourse, and is mostly prophetic in nature. This may take a couple days to get through, but I will try to be brief and get it all in today. Lots more to talk about over the next 8 days!
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
These things are happening all the time in our world today. There are several who have signaled they are Christ, and wars , rumors of wars are happening almost consistently in some sort or fashion. We are not to be troubled by these things – they must occur before the end times come. Famines are common in some countries, pestilence is all over (bird flu, aids, ebola would be in that category). Earthquakes are reported at greater frequency than ever. This is the beginning of sorrows. It s God’s way of telling us to prepare ourselves.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The saints will suffer more and more persecution. We already know all the disciples of Jesus died as martyrs for Christ. There is a solid list of others that have been killed for the gospel. Many of the early protestant reformation pastors and those who translated the bible into English were put to death by the catholic church, who thought this to be apostasy. Today missionaries take their life in their hands and many Christians are being killed in foreign lands where Islam is the main religion.
People are getting offended these days at the tiniest of things, and we hear stories of people getting killed for petty reasons. There are many preachers who are deceiving the masses with a message of grace that says nothing has to be done to gain heaven – Christ died for all and we will all end up there. They will be held accountable in the end. But this type of message does not cause people to have a deep, sincere love of Jesus, and they fall away and stay in their worldly ways. The grow cold in their love for God. It is those who endure in their love for Christ that will endure forever. Never let your love grow dim!
In this day and age, we have the opportunity to preach the gospel around the globe more than ever before. Internet and Satellite TV make this possible, and more and more translators are joining forces to bring the gospel message to many cultures. It won’t be long before this is accomplished.
Matthew 24:15-31 discuss the Desolation of Abomination being set up in the temple in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is an amazing city. It is now the Holy city for three major religions of the world – Jewish, Christian and Islam. Claims to the temple mount are made by all three religions, with Christianity and Jewish working together for the most part. But when Daniel’s prophecy comes to pass, there will be no hiding from the tribulation to come. I will not go further into that, but you should be aware and read it for yourself.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The words of Christ will never go away. They will always be true and always be relevant. There are many who are softening up His words today and saying He didn’t mean what He said, but we will be judged based on the words He spoke, so we better take heed. There have been several who have given a date when the time will come _ Jesus said He did not even know. It will be sudden and unexpected by those who are not paying attention. And no one will be able to go somewhere to see Jesus on this earth again – he will come and gather us to himself in the clouds. Suddenly He will appear, and there will be no time too go and bring someone with you, The elect will just disappear from right in front of you if you are not saved.
If these days are not like the days of Noah, I don’t know how much worse I want it to get. Divorce is everywhere, many just live together to avoid the pain of that and because they refuse to make a commitment. Making merry is a national past-time. People go through life blissfully paying no attention to the impending end of time here on earth. That day will come upon them as a thief in the night.
The final verses of Matthew 24 tell us to be about doing the Fathers business during these last days. I want to be found doing His work when He returns, not going my own way. Jesus tells us that if we are found doing His business we will be rewarded, but f we are found slacking,we will be condemned. Let’s be about our Father’s business.
I better stop there. I will tackle the beauty of Matthew 25 tomorrow. Stay with me!