From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
Matthew 24 is the Bible reading for today. As stated in yesterday’s Spiritual Moment, there are at least three interpretations of Jesus’ discourse in this reading. It’s my opinion, Jesus’ discourse is a combination of both the events to occur prior to the destruction of Jerusalem which happened in 70 A. D. (cf. Matt. 24:4-34), and also events describing the second coming of Jesus and the end of the world (Matt. 24:36-51).
As Jesus and His Apostles were leaving the city to go to their destination of Mount Olives, He predicted the devastation of the temple. According to Matthew’s account, the Apostles desired to know information related to two questions: first, “…when will these things be?” and second, “what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3).
Concerning the destruction of the temple, Jesus gave several indicators or signs when this was going to occur (cf. Matt. 24:5-14). Some of the indicators or characteristics to occur were: false “messiahs” would emerge; there would be wars; catastrophic events would occur such as famines and earthquakes; the elect would experience severe persecution; some would be discouraged and quit the faith; false teachers would increase, etc. He told them these indicators were foretold by the prophet Daniel (cf. Dan. 12). Furthermore, Jesus explained these “signs” could be used to ascertain when the great destruction was going to occur (Matt. 24:32-33). In verse 34, He declared “this generation” would not “pass away” until these events be fulfilled (Matt. 24:4-33).
In Matthew 24:35, Jesus then turned His attention to His second coming and the end of the world. Concerning His second coming, Jesus affirmed, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Then the Lord used the flood of Noah’s day to indicated no signs would be given related to His second coming and the end of the world (Matt. 24:37-39). People of the new age to emerge, the Christian dispensation, would be strongly encouraged to watch and be ready for His return, because these events would be “at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24:44). The Lord then described the condition of two groups at His return: first, the faithful and wise group will be those found doing what the Lord had instructed for them to do; and second, the unfaithful and evil group will be behaving inappropriately at His return. Thus, the latter group will experience a judgment leading to “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 24:45-51).
In my opinion, Jesus clearly affirmed two facts for our consideration in this reading: first, His second coming is absolutely going to occur; and second, it’s essential for those who desire to go to heaven be found ready. May God bless you each with a great weekend and remember to attend worship on the Lord’s Day!