The Day and The Hour
ETN - How many times in the last year have looked at your social media and notice people talking about the end of the world, some making jokes, and others are very serious and worried?
People are really quick to make assumptions about the end of the world. Today we are going to look at what Jesus told us about the end of the world and most importantly what he wanted us to know about his return.
I want us to look at what Jesus said about his return and some of the events leading up to it. I’m not going to cover everything in this short post, We’re not going to talk about God’s judgment or the millennial reign of Jesus, God’s wrath, etc. We will only be discussing the events leading up to Christ’s return, and the coming Rapture and we won’t go into great depth either.
The subject of Jesus’ return is very in-depth and there are many ins and outs and things that occur. We will NOT look at all of it in fact we will only be skimming the surface.
Before we dive into all of this I was to talk about the Importance of Prophecy.
The Bible contains about 25% of prophecy. According to the Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, there are 1,239 prophecies in the OT. There are 578 in the NT. For a total of 1,817. These prophecies are contained in 8,352 of the Bible’s verses. Since there are 31,124 verses in the Bible that comes down to 26.8% of the Bible is prophecy.
Prophecy is important. If it wasn’t important God wouldn’t have taken up a quarter of the Bible to tell us.
So as we look at Matthew chapter 24 I want to set the stage for you. It’s passion week. The week just prior to the crucifixion of Jesus. The Sunday before is known as Palm Sunday. Scripture says a large multitude gathered around Jesus as he rode a donkey heading toward Jerusalem. The people were throwing palm branches in front of him to fulfill scripture. The people understood he was the messiah. What they didn’t understand is it was not his time to set up his kingdom on earth.
Monday- Jesus enters the temple and finds merchants selling animals and he overturns tables and drives them out of the temple. Tuesday the events we are going to talk about today took place on this day. Wednesday is the day Judas decided to betray Jesus. Thursday is the day they ate the last supper. Friday he is put on trial and then crucified. Sunday he rises from the dead. Fourth days later after only appearing to believers, he ascends to heaven waiting to return.
Matthew 24 is Jesus' second-longest discourse, it is called the Olivet Discourse.
So the Tuesday before his crucifixion Jesus and His disciples were leaving the Temple and this would be the last time for Jesus to leave the temple before his crucifixion.
Jesus and the disciples were climbing the Mt. Olives, opposite the Temple and higher than the Temple complex, its beauty caught the disciple’s eye and they pointed it out to Jesus.
Now to give you an idea of what they were looking at the Temple complex was beautiful. The stones were 40 feet long x 12 feet high x 12 feet deep and weighed in at over 200 thousand pounds. The stones were white marble and roofs of gold would have been blindingly brilliant in the sun.
As Jesus looks at the sight that has amazed his disciples, he said something very shocking.
Matthew 24:1-2 “Jesus left the temple and was going away when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, you see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."”
As they reached their destination with Jesus sitting on the mount of olives. (By the way, this is the same place where Jesus ascended to Heaven and the same place he will return to in his second coming.)
Scripture tells us at this point the disciples came to Him privately, saying,
Matthes 24:3……..''Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?''
Jesus will answer two questions. He will answer the question about the destruction of the Temple. He will answer the question about His return and the end of the age
These two events, while separate, are not disconnected. There are similarities between what will happen in the immediate future with the destruction of the Temple and the temple at Jesus’ return.
As we prayerfully and carefully approach this passage, there are some truths about Jesus’ Second Coming that I want you to understand. The first is THE DAY OF JESUS' COMING IS CERTAIN. Jesus does not give us a date on the calendar. He provides the disciples with information about his return
Matthew 24:4-12 - And Jesus answered and said to them, ''See to it that no leads you astray. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray.
(I want to pause there and I want you to see how many times Jesus tells
us this phrase or a phrase like it. He is telling us not to be deceived.) And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these things are but the beginning of the birth pains. ''Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Jesus is saying before the end comes and He returns there will much to endure. As I mentioned a minute ago. There will be deceptions and deceit as false teachers and false Christs will try and lead us astray. From the first century until now there have been false teachings made to pull us away from Christ and distort the Gospel or deny the Gospel. Times of turmoil and unrest. There will be times of turmoil and unrest as nations wage war with other nations. Since the fall of this world has not known peace. Our history is filled with the struggles of man and war. We see wars and rumors of war. They have been present in every age and every life. Even today wars rage and the fear of more war rests in the heart of many nations.
Jesus said there will be natural disasters. We see this in our lives. Natural disasters make life difficult. There will be earthquakes and famines. In addition to the earthquakes, we continually see the effects of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and drought.
He says there will be times of persecution, but Jesus never said it would be easy or safe to be a Christian at any age or at any time.
It is estimated that 70 million have given their lives for Jesus Christ over the last 2000 years. 1 million people have been martyred for Jesus Christ, in the last 10 years alone.
For those of us who like to watch the headlines, He said when you see all these things it does not yet mean the end is here. Jesus referred to ''all these things'' as ''merely the beginning of birth pangs.'' We know, these signs have been present in every age and are road signs reminding us the road of history will come to an end.
Their continued presence and each passing day are a reminder that Jesus' return, while still on the horizon, it is coming. - Scripture seems to hint the closer we come to Christ's return the more frequent and intense these things will become.
Two Signs the End is Near
The First Sign
Matthew 24:14 'And This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.''
The Second Sign is what Jesus calls the ''Abomination of Desolation.'' It is mentioned three times in the book of Daniel, Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12.11.
Jesus is speaking here about a future event. Where the antichrist will defile the temple. He will turn the temple of God into a place of worship of the anti-Christ. This event, when it happens will leave no doubt in the minds of those who know about this prophesy and they will know who this person really is. This event, the abomination of desolation is the beginning of 3 ½ years of the worst of the tribulation period. It also means Jesus’ return is imminent.
Matthew 24:22-28 “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” Pay attention here to what Jesus is saying here in verse 23 Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26So, if they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.29"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 heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
THE DAY OF JESUS' COMING IS UNKNOWN (divine secret)
There are three different thoughts on when the Rapture will take place. Some believe in a pre-rapture. This is meaning a Rapture of the church before the 7-year tribulation. Some believe in a mid-rapture. This thought is the Rapture will be somewhere in the middle of the tribulation God will rapture his church. Others believe in a Post Rapture, you guessed it, the rapture will occur somewhere toward the end of the 7 years.
1 Thessalonians 1:10And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 51But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Matthew 24:36 “"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
People enjoy setting times for Jesus' return and the end of the world. From the second and third century people were trying to calculate Jesus' return. Some predicted He would return in 500 AD. It was based on the dimensions of Noah's Ark. On January 1,1000, many Christians in Europe predicted the end of the world. We had Y2K fears and predictions. Many secular people believed in using Mayan calendars predicted the end would come on December 21,2012
We are not to know the time but we are to be prepared.
The purpose is not to know the time but to be prepared. Its certainty and uncertainty should determine how we look at life and how we live. Because...the day of his coming will be unexpected and sudden.
The Rapture is a time where Jesus will remove His Church from the earth. Just like the scripture we looked at, It will happen in the blink of an eye.
Matthew 24:37-39 “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
The thief comes unexpectedly.
Matthew 24:42-43 “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.”
What is Jesus saying here? He is saying, STAY AWAKE! PAY ATTENTION & BE READY!
He says I will come like a thief in the night! WE CAN’T LET OUR GUARD DOWN!
Three times Jesus tells us about false Prophets. Three times in this Chapter Jesus tells us to beware of deception that can lead believers away! He says the deception will get to a point where it the signs and wonders performed by these false prophets are so great the Bible says it could lead people away, if possible event the elect.
He says, “See that I have told you ahead of time!”
Jesus is giving us a series of events that will take place. He is telling us, live our lives for him every day. Don’t get caught asleep meaning be ready he will come like a thief in the night.
So what do you need to know not to be deceived? You must know the word of God!!
Matthew 24:44 “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
I pray this blesses you and reminds you what is most important.
Pastor & Evangelist
Go Follow Jesus International