-As Christ’s disciples and He were coming out of the Temple, the disciples remarked about the beautiful building and its adornment. Jesus prophesied that there would come a time when it would be destroyed with not one stone left upon another (this was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Roman army destroyed the Temple and brick by brick deconstructed it in search of its gold). The disciples privately asked Him on the Mount of Olives three important questions: 1. When will these things (destruction of the Temple) be? 2. What will be the sign of Your coming? 3. What will be the sign/signs of the end of the age?
-The Lord goes into a lengthy discourse to prepare them and the rest of the world, as it is put into Scripture, for the signs of His coming and the end of the age. Important things to note from His teaching are: See that no one misleads you, false Christs and false prophets will come and deceive many, wars and rumors of wars will occur along with famines, earthquakes, tumult on the seas (this is not yet the end though, just the beginning of birth pangs), a great persecution will arise against the elect delivering them to authorities and some will be killed, there will be a falling away (apostasy) and people’s love will grow cold because lawlessness will increase. Endurance to the end is reiterated over and over with a watchful, awake eye on the things that are transpiring. Alertness and readiness are the key components in Jesus’ preparation lecture. The ones who endure will be saved (Matthew 24:13, Mark 13:13, Luke 21:19). The gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached and proclaimed throughout the whole earth as a testimony to the nations and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14, Mark 13:10).
-The end of the age is set in earnest by the act of the abomination of desolation (spoken of by Daniel, Daniel 12:11) standing in the Holy Place, the Temple. This is the middle of the tribulation period of Jacob’s trouble if we compare Scripture with Scripture in careful analysis, which this devotion does not have time for right now. Jesus tells them that when this happens, the people in the area of Jerusalem are best to head to the Judean wilderness to the east where they can hide and receive the miracles of God for survival (Revelation 12:6). This sparks the great tribulation period of 3 ½ years, which had to be cut short or else no human being would be saved (Matthew 24:22). At the end of this period and in an hour unknown even to the angels and the Son, the Father will send the Son to appear in the heavens coming in great power and great glory and with a trumpet call He will gather His elect (the faithful believers) from the four winds. *Application* The primary focus for us should be on the exhortation to be alert and be ready as we see these things take place with greater frequency and force. We must remain faithful and true to the Word, which will never pass away, and endure to the end no matter how difficult things become. O believer do not lose heart and let your love grow cold. Christ will return and all will be set straight. Our redemption and salvation is for those who overcome in faith by the blood of the Lamb (Romans 12:21, 1 John 4:4; 5:4, Revelation 7:14; 12:11; 17:14)!
Verses to Memorize: Matthew 24:30, 42