Be Ready for the End of the Age
Be Ready for the End of the Age, Part 1
Be Ready for the End of the Age
1 Jesus left the temple and was going away,when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, therewill not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and ofthe end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nationsfor my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.(Matthew 24:1-14 ESV)
Everyone wants to know what will happen in the future; the disciples of Jesus were no different. The Olivet Discourse is a talk given by Jesus on the Mount of Olives to answer some of the disciples’ questions about the future.
The Jewish people longed for a different future—a future of freedom, ruled by a king of their own in righteousness, benevolence, andauthority. Godpromised to give them a futuremarked with hope.
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.(Isaiah 40:10 ESV)
They believed that the long history of tribulation and turmoil would come to anend and that the kingdom of peace and prosperity would begin with the arrival, victory, andrule of the Messiah. The disciples and others who cheered Jesus at his triumphant entry believed that all of that was imminent.
The followers of Christ failed to understand importantaspects, including the Age of the Church, the establishment of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom and that the “last days” would not be a condensed period of timein the first century, but is a time spanning at least 2000 years.
Look back to Matthew 23: 38See, your house is leftto you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”(Matthew 23:38-39 ESV)
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,”
The disciples pose twoquestions, and Jesus responded to their inquiry in chapters 24 and 25.
- Tell us, when will these things be?
- What will be the sign of your coming and ofthe end of the age?
“End of the age”is a phrase that refersto the end of time when there is a separation of sinners and saints. 47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that placethere will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.(Matthew 13:47-50 ESV)
Matthew 24:1-14 is like many prophecies in the Bible; it has a near and far focus. The nine events listed occurred between Jesus’ ascension and Jerusalem’s destructionin AD 70. However, since that time they happened repeatedly and will continue, culminating with the 7-year tribulation beforethe second coming of Christ Jesus.
5 Take Away Statements:
Everything necessary for Christ’s return is accomplished.
We must purpose for our love for God and others to grow warm rather than to growcold.
Genuine salvation is evident in enduring faith.
Christians should expect troubles, persecutions, andhardship in this age.
This end of timepassage, like all others, is intended to exhortus and warn us.