"For Then There Will Be Great Tribulation" Matthew 24:15-31
“For Then There Will Be Great Tribulation”
This Week’s Core Belief: Eternity I believe there is a heaven and a hell and that Jesus Christ is returning to judge the earth and to establish His eternal kingdom.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
Scripture: Scripture: Matthew 24:15-31
15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Message of this Passage:
I don’t think there’s any more intriguing, any more fascinating subject than the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know of no biblical subject which can create the same amount of curiosity that this subject can create. And really, there are few things in Scripture that are as highly motivating to the believer and to the unbeliever as the sense of reality regarding the second coming of Jesus Christ. Which is one of the reasons, the Left Behind series was so popular and in the 1970’s Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth was a best seller.
The apostle Paul said: “Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” In other words, realizing that Christ will come in judgment and bring a terrorizing holocaust upon the earth, we present the gospel so that men may escape that. Also, Paul said that we labor whether present or absent that we may be in a sense accepted by Him. So we who are believers serve the Lord knowing that someday He’ll come to reward us, and we want to be found faithful.
So the second coming of Jesus Christ, both from the standpoint of warning an unbeliever of the judgment to come and of encouraging a believer with the reward to come, is a highly motivating subject. And there’s no place in the Scripture, where it’s presented more wonderfully than right here in Matthew 24 and 25 by the Lord Himself.
For Further Discussion:
Identify one or two new insights that seemed important to you. Why are they important?
Is there a spiritual truth in this section that is especially significant for you?
According to Jesus, what will the final days on earth be like?
What important warning about spiritual deception did Jesus issue?
How will people recognize Jesus’ return?
Why were the Jewish people of Jesus' day especially curious about the return of Christ?
Why do you think Christians today are especially curious about the return of Christ?
Pondering the Principles
God's sovereignty is evident in Matthew 24 and 25. God is in full control of everything that happens--even to the point of leading the Romans against Jerusalem. If God can control major events like that, surely He can control the circumstances in your life! However, you won't always understand the purpose for every situation in your life. The key is trusting in God's sovereignty and His promise that "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28). In every situation, yield yourself to God, and ask Him to work out His sovereign will, knowing that it will be carried out to His greater glory and your greatest good.