The Lord’s prophetic words regarding the future New Testament era were very difficult to understand when He first spoke them, and they still remain challenging today. Godly readers need to focus on the clear teachings in His oracles to His disciples and allow that which is most clear to shine light upon phrases that are more obscure. There are at least four very plain and obvious points that we must learn from Matthew 24.
First, Jesus correctly warned His followers that their impressive place of worship in Jerusalem would be destroyed. This happened in AD 70 when Roman armies brought the fullest measure of their discipline upon the city of Jerusalem. The New Testament emphasis for God’s children would no longer be on one facility in the city of David but on the amazing expansion of a new “temple” of the Holy Spirit made up of all those who would call upon the Name of the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Second, the “gospel of the kingdom” must be “proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations” before “the end” comes. The church, as she pursues this mission, will battle persecution and apostasy, but the Lord will ultimately rescue His “elect.”
Third, at just the right time and when it will not be widely expected, the final “trumpet” will sound. Christ will come again in a way that no one on earth could miss. Therefore, reports of any secret arrivals of a messiah figure should be completely ignored. They cannot possibly be accurate.
Finally, until the return of our King, the Lord’s faithful servants should be spiritually awake and ever ready to meet our Maker. Through all of the tumult of the New Testament era, it is our privilege to serve God by worshiping Him and feeding His sheep with the Word of Christ.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Almighty God, You are building a wonderful living temple of worshipers. We want no false prophets or pretend Messiahs. We need only Jesus Christ. The love of many has grown cold, and there is much trouble all around us, yet we will follow Your Word today. You warned us that times of tribulation would come. Thank You for cutting short any period of testing, for You know our weakness. Come quickly, O Lord, and deliver us from every evil! Shine upon us in Your glorious return with all Your heavenly host. May our eyes soon witness the resurrection. Though we do not know the day and hour, we know You. We do not yet see Your kingdom in full glory, but we gaze upon the face of Your Son through the Scriptures. May the gospel be preached everywhere, and may we be found faithful and fruitful, as those who endure to the end.