February 4/Matthew 24

This is an information packed chapter on end times. This hasn’t been a strong suit of mine simply because I haven’t had a burning desire to do the research. I have mainly tried to get to know Jesus and live for Him each day. But let’s see if we can unpack this a little bit.

Jesus had just ended chapter 23 by saying that he had wept over Jerusalem but the Pharisees and other religious leaders just wouldn’t receive him. He labeled them hypocrites. So as we open Chapter 24 the disciples seem like they are saying, “Hey Jesus we know you aren’t all that impressed with the religious leaders but look at this temple that was built for God doesn’t this at least impress you?”

Jesus in essence says, “No!” This building will not stand the test of time. It is going to be torn down. (The soldiers of the Roman General Titus destroyed the building in 170B.C. He told his soldiers not to destroy it but they set it on fire and the gold melted down into the cracks of the stones so they tore the temple apart to get at the gold.)

Then he segues into end times by saying that only the people that stand firm for him will not be torn down in the last days. Those of us who are Christians are the temple of God and we are likened to stones where we all fit together with our different abilities and gifting’s to form a living temple for God called the Church that will not be torn down no matter what persecution comes against us if we stay together by encouraging each other to endure to the end. By living in unity, holding on to the Word of God(our Bibles) and being filled with the Holy Spirit we will stand firm. So don’t get wrapped up in buildings and stuff because they won’t last! We must get wrapped up in bringing Jesus to people so they won’t suffer destruction. Oh by the way, Yes I believe we should tear down the Kirkbride:)

1 Peter 2:5 (NLT) — 5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.

Verses 4-14 > birth pangs = The world is always pregnant with sin so don’t be surprised at the offspring it produces! God is still on the throne. He is still Sovereign! Don’t let trouble defeat you or discourage you. A sinful world can only produce trouble so don’t be surprised stay connected to each other and Jesus!

Verses 15-36 > Jesus is speaking mainly to the Jews. I perceive that by his use of the word ‘Sabbath’. Remember they couldn’t work on the Sabbath. In America we are not much bothered by the Sabbath.

I am going to let Jon Courson explain the desolation or abomination of desolation in verse 15 >

What is the abomination of desolation? There are two parts to this cataclysmic event—one historic, one prophetic.
Daniel 11:31 speaks of the historic aspect of the abomination of desolation in reference to a tragic event in Jewish history. Following the reign of Alexander the Great, a king named Antiochus Epiphanes ruled Syria. He was an egomaniacal madman who believed he was the embodiment of the Greek god Zeus. When Antiochus realized that the Jews in Israel were not acknowledging him as God, he became enraged and ordered the destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, on a single day in 170 B.C., one hundred thousand Jewish males were slaughtered, the women raped, the city looted. Then Antiochus himself entered the temple, butchered a pig on the altar, and forced the priests to drink its blood and eat the raw pork. Finally, he smeared the remainder of the blood on the temple walls. It was the abomination of desolation for it was abominable and it left the people desolate.
The second aspect, an event yet to happen, is prophesied in Daniel 9:27. In the last days, a man will come on the scene who will make a seven-year peace treaty with Israel. Appearing to be her friend and protector, this leader will seem to defuse all of the problems in the Middle East. He will be charismatic and persuasive, an impressive intellectual, and a skilled orator. Called Antichrist in Scripture, he will capture the attention of the entire world. Although he will initially come across as a man of peace, in the middle of his seven-year peace treaty, 2 Thessalonians 2 tells us he will set up his image in the temple and demand to be worshipped as God.
Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (p. 171). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Keep your eyes on what is happening in the Middle East.
Verses 37-51 > In light of what is going to happen Jesus encourages us to be faithful servants. We don’t know the hour that Jesus will come back just like the people in Noah’s time didn’t know when the flood would take place. They carried on with their evil life styles and then suddenly Surprise, the flood came. They weren’t ready. They didn’t heed the warnings of Noah. They just continued their evil lifestyle. We all can learn from them. They doubted Noah’s warnings and they let other things distract them from believing and obeying the word of God.
Let us not doubt God’s word. Let us not become distracted from living for Jesus. Let us tell others. Then when things begin to come to an end(there is an end coming) we won’t be surprised and we will be ready to meet Jesus!
Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    Jesus gives us signs to know when the time of his return is near but only God knows the exact day. He has to balance when the tide of people coming to him in the end times is maximized compared to when the weakly faithful, having shallow roots, turn from him and suffer eternal death. He finishes the chapter by giving another warning to the current and upcoming religious leaders to be faithful to their charge.