Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wars and Rumors Of War Are Not Signs Of The End

Matthew 24:1-28

“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.  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.” (Matthew 24:1-2)

On the Sabbath, Jesus had made the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  On Sunday he had cursed the fig tree and on Monday he had spent most of the day dealing with the scribes and Pharisees.    As he is leaving the temple his disciples convinced his to stop and look at it.  They were quite proud that the building was about five hundred years old and had been remodeled by Herod the Great in 22 BC.  It was their greatest monument to Israel’s past. 

Jesus warned them that it would be completely destroyed with not even one stone left in its proper place.  It was a shocking concept to the disciples that such a structure and their culture could be wiped out so easily.  It must have sounded like some predicting the fall of America today. 

“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?” (Matthew 24:3)

That evening when they retired to the Mount of Olives for the night, the disciples questioned him privately.  They wanted to know when Jerusalem would be destroyed and what to look for so they would know when he was returning, and when the end of the world came. 

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.  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.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:4-8)

Jesus warned them not to fall for people’s claims relating to these things because there would be a lot of false teachers calling themselves Christians or even claiming to be Christ in an attempt to fool people.  They would hear stories about wars and possible wars that seemed to indicate the end of the world.  They were not to let such claims disturb them because they did not indicate the end of the world.  They would be simply the natural result of man’s sinful nature.  In the same way. Natural events such as earthquakes, famines and epidemics were just natural events and could not be used to predict the end of the world.

“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.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  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.” (Matthew 24:9-14)

Jesus reminded them that he had warned them before they went out in Matthew 10:16-23 that they would be hated and betrayed by everyone around them.   Many false prophets would arise resulting in hatred among the different groups, and many would fall for their teachings.

Because deliberate sin would become so prevalent, even many of those who professed to be Christians would forget about the Lord and adopt the world’s standards, but the ones who truly believe will continue to trust God and will be saved.

“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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” (Matthew 24:15-19)

Jesus then referred to the prophecy of the Antichrist offering the abomination of desolation halfway through the tribulation period in Daniel 9:27.   “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

When the believers see that, they are to leave Israel like it was a burning building, taking no time to gather things they value or even need.  It will be especially hard for those who have are pregnant or have small children.

“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:20-22)

Losing a home to fire is traumatic anytime, but it is especially difficult in the middle of the winter when one needs extra clothing and food or when one has left most of things he would normally carry at home because he is going to church.  Things will be worse than they have ever been before, to the point that if God had not limited the period, life on the planet would be as completely destroyed as it was during the flood.

“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  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.  Behold, I have told you before.  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.  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.  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” (Matthew 24:23-28)

People will be desperate for an end to the trouble, and like scavengers are drawn to a dead body, con artists and charlatans will flock to them looking to profit from their fear.  Christians are not believe anyone who tells them somebody has the answers because they are false prophets.  Christ’s coming will not be a secret, but will be like when lightning strikes on the east and those in the west can see it.  They will not need to go to a secret place to meet him.


  1. I enjoyed your final comments about the false prophets drawn to peoples' misery like buzzards to a feast. It is true when we examine many false prophets from today or yesterday; they prey on those who recognize they have a need, and the false prophet seeks to fill it. Unfortunately it is for selfish reasons. A person in this state is certainly ready to receive the saving gospel; and we as Christians ought to be ready in season or out to deliver this life-giving message to anyone we so find so long as the Lord permits us to remain on this earth for lights shining in a dark place.

  2. Thanks, Ian.

    I believe that much of the teaching on the second coming has been for other things rather than to edify the believers. Too many times dates hav ben set and places named to just get people to donate or join an organization. Even many of the "salvation" messages have been about having a big response rather than about whether people really get saved.