A Study on Matthew 24The Unfolding of the End of the Age
During Jesus’ ministry, in the 24th chapter of Matthew, He points out to His disciples that not one stone of the temple will be left unturned. Verse 2 says, “And He said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.'” He says that it will be utterly destroyed at some time. The disciples then asked Him some very penetrating questions: “When will this happen?” “What will be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus fully answers their questions.
Picture #1: Verses 4-14 Shows The Unfolding of History: From Jesus to the End of This Age
vs 4: See to it that no one misleads you – Deception will continue to prevail.
vs 5: Many will come (in His name) saying “I am the Christ” and will mislead many. False teachers will even invoke the name of Jesus as they promote their teachings.
vs 6: Wars and rumors of wars
vs 7: Nations to fight, kingdoms to fight
– Famines and earthquakes
vs 8: Yet, these are only the beginning of troubles, like a woman entering into labor. These problems are mild and far apart, but they will intensify as the very end of the age approaches.
vs 9-10: Saints experience tribulation; many supposed believers fall away and betray true believers.
vs 11: Many false prophets arise.
vs 12: Lawlessness increased, people’s love grows cold.
vs 13-14: Endurance unto Salvation – Gospel of kingdom preached to world, then the end will come.
Picture #2 – Verses 15-31 Expounds on The Great Tribulation (The last 3 1/2 years of this present evil age)
A. The abomination of desolation that was spoken of through Daniel the prophet (Daniel 9:27) is the event that triggers the Great Tribulation. As a result of this abomination, people should flee from Jerusalem because troubles are coming, troubles greater than ever before experienced. False christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders even to the point of potentially deceiving God’s own people into following them.
B. The Final Events of the Great Tribulation
vs 27: Jesus has them anticipate the quickness of His coming by reference to a lightning flash.
vs 29: Immediately after the tribulation (the events of the extreme troubles Jesus just mentioned), there will be final cataclysmic events:
Sun darkened Moon will not give light Stars will fall from the sky Powers of the heavens will be shaken
vs 30: Then will appear in the sky the sign of final judgment and salvation which is the Son of Man (ie Jesus returns).
vs 30: Then all of the tribes of the earth will mourn. (They are anticipating judgment).
vs 31: Then God will send forth His angels with a Great Trumpet (the resurrection of the saints in 1 Thess. 4:16) and gather His elect from the four winds (meaning one end of the sky to the other).
For more study on the book of Daniel, see A Historical-Chronological Look at the Book of Daniel.