The reader writes...
"I read twice Jesus said in this generation I will return
I pointed this out but know one has good answer
I think he has come back already And the antchrist will be openly accepted in the chuch because of this overlook of his word
Let me know what you thing" (sic)
When I asked the reader where he read this he answered, Matthew 24.
Matthew 24 begins with Jesus' disciples showing him the buildings of the Temple. While being shown Jesus tells them that the Temple will be destroyed, "not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Notice that later they are alone with Jesus and they question him about what he said about the Temple, "Tell us, when will these things be?" Notice that they also ask a question unrelated to the Temple, "And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
So they are asking two questions.
Jesus begins by answering the second question first. "What signs will we see when you come again and the age ends?"
In verses 4 through 9 Jesus tells them to not be distracted by those who claim to be him or by the things are every day occurrences in the world. He also tells them to expect to be killed for following him. Most people will go their own lawless, Godless ways.
Notice that he says, "He who endures to the end will be saved." To the end of what? All of these things? No, until the end of their life.
I was once asked by some door knockers if I was concerned about the end of the world. They were quite shocked when I told them, "Not in the least."
Down further in the chapter Jesus said no man knows the time except God. So why should I worry about it?
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. (Matthew 24:36 NKJV)
But I can take it to the bank guarantee you, if you are reading this, the end of the world is coming within the next 110 years.
For the world, maybe not, but for you, absolutely. My personal opinion, and it again is just my personal opinion, nothing more. In the Genesis account of the flood the end of the world for mankind, with the exception of Noah, came when all mankind was corrupt. As long as there is one person alive in this world who MIGHT obey the gospel, it's my opinion, for what it is worth, Jesus won't come. If he did, that person would be able to say, "I was about to obey but you came before I did." Regardless, even if Jesus did come before that person acted upon his intentions, that still would not be a valid excuse because God commands everyone to repent NOW.
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, (Acts 17:30 NKJV)
The Bible is very about what will happen when the end of the world, the end of the age, comes.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And 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 14:1-3 NKJV)
Notice, he is there in earthly form talking to his disciples before his crucifixion. He says he is going and he will come again to recieve them.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV)
7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 NKJV)
It does not matter where one is. If one is not protected by the gospel, one will suffer the vengeance of Christ. There is no escape. Those who are protected by the gospel will be saved. (Romans 1:16)
So now in Matthew 34 we have Jesus warning them to flee from an about to occur event they will be aware of. In this event they will not be gathered, they will be scattered. In the end of the age, or his second coming, they will not be scattered, they will be gathered. The end of the age event is universal, everyone will be involved. In this event only Judeans will be involved.
So he is obviously talking of two different events here. He is answering the two distinct and different questions the disciples originally asked. He had just told them the Temple would be destroyed and they wanted to know, "When will these things be?
So now we're back to the destruction of the Temple.
The Temple was an attention getting, large and impressive structure of large stones. As they were showing Jesus its glory he then told them in so many words, "As huge and impressive as this is, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Since the Temple was a daily part of Jewish life, to have it destroyed would be life altering and an abomination, something so horrible it was unthinkable. The disciples wanted to know when this unimaginable thing would happen.
Jesus tells them you will see it and you'll be able to identify it by the words of the prophet Daniel.
And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31 NKJV)
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. (Daniel 12:11 NKJV)
The prophecy is that enemy forces are going to destroy the Temple and when they do there will be unheard of desolation. Not only will their daily Jewish lives be totally changed but it will also completely destroy their identity as Jews by destroying their citizenship records. Merely claiming to be a Jew did not make you one. You had to be an actual descendent of Abraham and the only way you could prove that was by going to the Temple where the records were kept and saying in effect, "Here's my name, my father's name, his father's name." Once those records were destroyed, you had no identity. Just like today, if our records are lost, we have no identity. In a sense we cease to exist. Since the Jews whole being was being a Jew, one of God's chosen people, to lose that would be an abomination of desolation.
In Matthew 24 Jesus talks of one coming and that is at the end of the age.
Some think the natural signs Jesus refers to in Matthew 24 as being actual happenings.
The Jews used symbols to represent various things. Metals, numbers, trees, colors, jewels all had consistent application throughout all 66 books of the Bible. For instance, the word "horn" represented "power." The color "scarlet" was connected with salvation and so on. If we want to understand the application of an item we go back into the Bible and see what the symbol applies to.
The Bible is an extremely simple book when we allow the Bible to interpret itself. It was written so the common man can understand it. Are there some things that are beyond our ability to understand? Of course, God has designed that way. But for the most part it is very clear on how to be justified by God.
Here's God's plan for justification as put forth in Scripture...
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