The temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed within a few short decades. The disciples wanted to learn “when” this would happen and what would be “the sign” that “all these things” were about to take place. Jesus knew that they were referring to “the end” of the this age of mortality.
In all the details that followed, He did not answer their precise question about timing. He did warn them that many disasters that others would regard as indications of the renewal of the world would only be the “beginning of the birth pains” of a new resurrection creation.
The Lord redirected the attention of His followers to other important matters:
1. The good news of the Messiah would be proclaimed “to all nations” before the perfected heavens and earth would come.
2. There would be an “abomination” against God and His people that would bring “desolation” upon Jerusalem, when someone claiming ultimate authority would stand “where he ought not to be.”
3. In the gospel age that we still live in now, the church would face great “tribulation” and many a false messiah would claim to be the pivotal figure of history, even performing deceptive “signs and wonders.”
4. The day would eventually arrive when He, the “Son of Man,” would unmistakably descend on the divine cloud “with great glory and honor.”
5. “Angels” would then gather God’s “elect” from “the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.”
How should we live in light of those truths? “Stay awake.” Those who believe in Jesus should be careful not to drift away from the Lord, our identity, and our calling, “lest He come suddenly and find you asleep.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Our Father, we thank You that You have made us to be the temple of Your Holy Spirit. We long for the fulfillment of Your glorious decrees. We know that our redemption is drawing nearer every day. We commit our lives to the preaching of Your gospel to all nations. We ask that You would keep us from great apostasy and rebellion before the return of Jesus. We will be held together by You through this challenging era, for Your elect will not be led astray to eternal destruction. Your Son will surely come. We wait for Him as we hear Your Word. We will pay attention to the tasks ahead of us today with the certain hope of everlasting life.