Dec 05

The Ministry of Christ, Part 48

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Passion Week – Tuesday/Wednesday

Jesus had been meeting with the people in the Temple grounds.

  • Daily He came to Jerusalem from Bethany and spoke openly to them.
  • Since they had rejected Him and did not believe, Jesus pronounced judgment on them, turned and went away.
  • Jesus ended His dialogue by warning them their house was left to them desolate, (Matthew 23:37-39).

The next two chapters are called the Olivet discourse.

Matthew 24:1–3 (NKJV) 1Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” 3Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Jesus gave several prophecies about coming events in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21:5-36.

These events refer to things that will happen after His death, burial and resurrection.

  • Temple Destroyed, Matthew 24:1-3; Mark 13:1-4; Luke 21:5-7.
  • Tribulation, Matthew 24:4-26; Mark 13:5-23; Luke 21:5-24.
  • Second Coming of Christ, Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28.
  • Parable of the Fig Tree, Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33.
  • Warning to be Watchful, Matthew 24:36-51; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 21:34-36.
  • Ten Virgins, Matthew 25:1-13.
  • Ten Talents, Matthew 25:14-30.
  • Judgment Day, Matthew 25:31-46.

Jesus’ prophecy about the coming judgment is revealed in three phases.

  1. The destruction of Jerusalem
  • Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
  • The second temple was built under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua, Haggai 1:1.
  • Their work was completed in 516 B.C
  • The second temple was renovated by Herod the Great in 20 B.C. but was not completed until A.D. 64.
  • Six years later in fulfilment to the Lord’s prophecy, in 70 A.D. the temple was completely destroyed by the Romans.
    • The destruction left no signs of the location of the temple.
  1. Prevailing conditions until the end, Matthew 24:4-14.
  • Jesus’ prophecy describes religious, political, and social troubles that will prevail until the end.
  • Clues to this are in verses 6, 8, and 14.

Matthew 24:4–14 (NKJV) 4And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

  • Verse 13 is key to all of us.

What does it mean, “he who endures to the end shall be saved?”

It is important for us to remember that these signs refer to events that will happen during the church age.

  • As the day of the Lord approaches, we will see an increase of these signs.
  1. The tribulation and coming of Jesus at the end of the world, Matthew 24:15–51.

Many prophecies have dual interpretations or relate to more than one event.

  • The abomination of desolation of Matthew 24:15 most perfectly relates to the conditions in the end when Jesus Christ returns.
  • Some relate the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes 168 B.C. to Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation, (Daniel 9:27).
    • His abominations included setting up a heathen altar and cutting off true worship of God.
  • The abomination of desolation has also been related to events in 70 A.D. when the temple was destroyed by the Romans.

Matthew 24:15–20 (NKJV) 15“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16“then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

  • Christians that listened to Jesus’ warning fled to Pella, near the Sea of Galilee.
  • Josephus witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
    • He said over one million Jews died in one day.
  • The greater fulfilment of Christ’s prophecy relates to the tribulation of the end time.
    • For this to be fulfilled in the end, the temple will have to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and Jews will once again enter into temple worship.

Matthew 24:21–26 (NKJV) 21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

Second Coming of Christ, Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28.

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back to earth.

Matthew 24:27 (NKJV) 27For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

For every reference to Christ coming to earth to live and die on the cross, there are over twenty references to His second coming.

  • He is coming again as a crowned King who will rule with a rod of iron.
  • We read and study much about His being wounded and bruised for our iniquities and having stripes for our healing.
  • There are at least twenty more references to Him coming with a crown, honored and worshiped.
  • One out of thirty verses in the New Testament refer to the second coming of Christ.
  • This is why it is so important for believers to have a good understanding of the second coming of Christ.

Hebrews 9:28 (NKJV) 28So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Acts 1:11 (NKJV) “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

After Jesus prophesied about His second coming, He gave warnings and signs of the times.

 

Parable of the Fig Tree, Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33.

In the parable of the fig tree, Jesus said you know when the fig tree puts on leaves that summer is near.

Matthew 24:33 (NKJV) 33So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!

Warning to be Watchful, Matthew 24:36-51; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 21:34-36.

Matthew 24:36–37 (NKJV) 36“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Matthew 24:38–39 (NKJV) 38For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

  • Within this warning to be watchful, Jesus gave the illustration of two servants, Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:41-48.
    • Jesus said the master will come on a day when the servant is not looking for him and in an hour that he is not aware of.

Ten Virgins, Matthew 25:1-13.

In the parable of ten virgins, Jesus taught about the need to be prepared for His return.

  • The wedding procession is to be a joyful event.
  • Five virgins are prepared for an unexpected delay.
  • Five were foolish to be unprepared.

What does Jesus mean, “but while the bridegroom was delayed?”
Matthew 25:6–8 (NKJV)
6“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

What is the oil for their lamps?

Ten Talents, Matthew 25:14-30.

We have looked at a similar parable in Luke 19:11-27.

Matthew 25:14–15 (NKJV) 14“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

  • It is noteworthy that the master did not give them more than they were willing or able to handle.
  • However, with each one he expected the same kind of response.
  • The Lord does not expect the person with one talent to yield the same result as the person with five.
  • He does expect faithfulness to do what we can.

Is God unjust to require faithfulness and obedience?

Judgment Day, Matthew 25:31-46.

Matthew 25:31 (NKJV) 31“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

  • On the day of judgment, the Lord will separate those who are prepared for His kingdom from those who are not prepared.

Matthew 25:34 (NKJV) 34Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Matthew 25:41 (NKJV) 41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

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