Memory verses for
this week: James 5:8 Be ye also patient;
stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
last week’s lesson, we saw Christ come down really hard on the
Pharisees as he condemned them for being hypocrites. He likened them
to whited sepulchres that were full of dead men’s bones. Christ
desires for all of us is to clean up our lives from the inside out.
We closed as Christ spoke on how he would have gathered Israel like a
hen gathers her chicks if they would have come. We begin Chapter 24
with prophecy concerning the destruction of the temple.
I. Destruction of
Mat 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his
disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.
Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things?
verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon
another, that shall not be thrown down.
He temple was built first by Solomon and then rebuilt by
Ezra. The once that was standing at this time was built by Herod.
The temple was the place that God chose to place His name. Jesus
says that this temple was going to be thrown down. This had its
fulfillment in 70 A.D. when the Romans completely destroyed the
II. The Threefold
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples
came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be?
and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no
man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and
shall deceive many.
Notice the questions that the disciples ask:
1. When shall these things be? (Destruction of the temple)
2. What shall be the sign of thy coming?
3. And the End of the world?
Matthew Henry said this in his notes:
The disciples had asked concerning the times, When shall
these things be? Christ gives them no answer to that, after what
number of days and years his prediction should be accomplished, for it
is not for us to know the times (Acts 1:7); but they had asked, What
shall be the sign? That question he answers fully, for we are
concerned to understand the signs of the times, ch. 16:3. Now the
prophecy primarily respects the events near at hand—the destruction of
Jerusalem, the period of the Jewish church and state, the calling of
the Gentiles, and the setting up of Christ’s kingdom in the world; but
as the prophecies of the Old Testament, which have an immediate
reference to the affairs of the Jews and the revolutions of their
state, under the figure of them do certainly look further, to the
gospel church and the kingdom of the Messiah, and are so expounded in
the New Testament, and such expressions are found in those predictions
as are peculiar thereto and not applicable otherwise; so this
prophecy, under the type of Jerusalem’s destruction, looks as far
forward as the general judgment; and, as is usual in prophecies, some
passages are most applicable to the type, and others to the antitype;
and toward the close, as usual, it points more particularly to the
latter. It is observable, that what Christ here saith to his disciples
tends more to engage their caution than to satisfy their curiosity;
more to prepare them for the events that should happen than to give
them a distinct idea of the events themselves. This is that good
understanding of the time which we should all covet, thence to infer
what Israel ought to do: and so this prophecy is of standing lasting
use to the church, and will be so to the end of time; for the thing
that hath been, is that which shall be (Eccl. 1:5, 6, 7, 9), and the
series, connection, and presages, of events, are much the same still
that they were then; so that upon the prophecy of this chapter,
pointing at that event, moral prognostications may be made, and such
constructions of the signs of the times as the wise man’s heart will
know how to improve.
Mat 24:6 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.
Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes,
in divers places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
These verses will find their greater fulfillment in the
tribulation period. To some extent these things have been and will be
fulfilled in this age from the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.
until Jesus comes in the clouds. There was to wars and rumours of
wars, nation to rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines,
pestilences, and earthquakes. This will especially be the beginning
of sorrow for the Jews in the tribulation.
Mat 24:9 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.
Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one
another, and shall hate one another.
While these verses speak of the times during the great
tribulation, there was a partial fulfillment during the times of the
apostles. Many of the apostles died as martyrs for Christ.
Acts 4:1 And as they
spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and
the Sadducees, came upon them,
Acts 4:2 Being
grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the
resurrection from the dead.
Acts 4:3 And they
laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was
Acts 4:4 Howbeit
many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men
was about five thousand.
Acts 5:17 Then the
high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the
sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
Acts 5:18 And laid
their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
Acts 5:19 But the
angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them
forth, and said,
Acts 5:20 Go, stand
and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
Acts 5:21 And when
they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning,
and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and
called the council together, and all the senate of the children of
Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
Acts 5:22 But when
the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned,
Acts 5:23 Saying,
The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers
standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no
Acts 5:24 Now when
the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests
heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
Acts 5:25 Then came
one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are
standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
Acts 5:26 Then went
the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for
they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
Acts 5:27 And when
they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high
priest asked them,
Acts 5:28 Saying,
Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?
and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend
to bring this man's blood upon us.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many
shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be
Verse 11 and 12 has been filled down through the ages. Cold
love by Christians is very prevalent in our hour. Verse 13 has
reference to the tribulation period. Those that are saved in those 7
years will face MUCH persecution.
Mat 24:14 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.
Since the days of the apostles, the Gospel has been preached.
III. The Great
(Last 3 ˝ years of the seventieth week of Daniel)
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of
desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place,
(whoso readeth, let him understand:)
The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel refers to
the man of sin and his reign during the tribulation.
2 Th 2:3 Let no man
deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there
come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of
2 Th 2:4 Who
opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is
worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing
himself that he is God.
Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the
Mat 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take
any thing out of his house:
Mat 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to
take his clothes.
Mat 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that
give suck in those days!
Mat 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter,
neither on the sabbath day:
Christ gives them instruction as to what they are to do when
they see the man of sin take his place in the temple declaring that he
is God. The reason they are to flee is because the man of sin will
persecute the Jews at this time like they have never been persecuted.
Rev 12:13 And when
the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the
woman which brought forth the man child.
Rev 12:14 And to the
woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into
the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and
times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Rev 12:15 And the
serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that
he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
Rev 12:16 And the
earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed
up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
Rev 12:17 And the
dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant
of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the
testimony of Jesus Christ.
We are told that the
persecution against Israel will be severe during this time.
Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not
since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should
no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be
Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ,
or there; believe it not.
Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,
and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were
possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Mat 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
Mat 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in
the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers;
believe it not.
This gives us a description of what takes place in the last
half of the tribulation in verses 21-26. There will be rumors of
Christ being in certain places… this will be all around the world.
Christ warns the Jews that these are false rumors, and to not believe
them. The false Christ appearing at this time will be able to do
great signs and wonders to the extent that they would be able to
deceive the very elect (Israel) if it were possible.
J. Vernon McGee had these comments:
read in the Book of Revelation that during the Tribulation one third
of the population of the earth will be destroyed. On another occasion
one-fourth of the population will be destroyed. It is absolutely
unique. Using the simile given to us in Revelation 6, the red horse of
war, the black horse of famine, and then the pale horse of death will
ride during that period, and the population of the earth will be
decimated. There was a time when this seemed to be an exaggeration.
Even some good commentators considered it hyperbole. However, now that
several nations of the world have atom bombs, which could destroy the
population of the world, it no longer appears to be exaggerated.
However, there is comfort in this verse—“but for the elect’s
sake those days shall be shortened.” God will not let mankind commit
suicide. That is the reason this will be such a brief period.
IV. The Return of
Christ in Glory
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth
even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be
Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall
the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the
stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in
heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they
shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a
trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds,
from one end of heaven to the other.
Remember when the Bible says Christ returns in power and
great glory, he is speaking of His return at the close of the
tribulation when he comes to take the throne of David to reign for
1,000 years. (This is 7 years after he comes to take the church out
in the rapture.) Verses 27-28 describe the coming of Christ.
Rev 6:12 And I
beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great
earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the
moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13 And the
stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her
untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the
heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every
mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the
kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief
captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man,
hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to
the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him
that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the
great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Verses 29-31 and these verses here from Revelation should be
read together because they both speak of the close of the tribulation
when Christ comes to fight the battle of Armageddon and judge the
V. Parable of the
Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is
yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know
that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass,
till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not
The fig tree represents Israel. When he speaks of the fig
tree putting forth leaves he is speaking of the regathering of Israel
which took place since 1948 to this present time. He warns when we
see this we know that the second coming of the Lord will be in this
generation. Heaven and earth will pass away but God’s word shall not
pass away. What God says… we can depend upon. EVERY WORD!!!
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the
angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of
the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 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,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all
away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
No man can set a date and be correct as to when Jesus will
return. The angels of heaven do not even know when the Son of God is
to return. We know when Christ does return, that it will be like the
days of Noah. People will be living it up and not expecting the
return of the Lord. (Does this sound a bit like today?)
Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken,
and the other left.
Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall
be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had
known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and
would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye
think not the Son of man cometh.
Notice in verses 40 – 42 concerning the two women in the
field… one is taken, the other is left. This speaks of one being
saved, the other being lost. When Christ comes, only the saved will
be taken. The lost are left to go through the seven years of
tribulations. We are warned to watch.. for we know not what hour our
Lord doth come. In verses 43-44 we are given an illustration of a
thief coming in the night when the good man of the house is unaware…
this is like us not watching for the coming of the Lord.
Mat 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord
hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing.
Mat 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over
all his goods.
Mat 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My
lord delayeth his coming;
Mat 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat
and drink with the drunken;
Mat 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he
looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion
with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
In view of the events mentioned in verses 36-44, our Lord
urges us to be watchful and faithful. God’s people are to be faithful
at the task of spreading the gospel when the Lord comes.
Unfortunately, I am afraid many of us will be asleep like Peter was in
the garden with Christ. Unfaithfulness will be met with severe
penalties, but the faithful and wise servants will be rewarded when
their Lord returns.
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
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Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s
Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.
Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible
commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System,
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.