120205 nt vistas 10 the coming of the son matthew 24


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Lesson 10 in a series on New Testament Vistas. This sermon on Matthew 24 was presented February 5, 2012, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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  • 10 The Coming of the SonJesus has been teaching his disciples that he will go awayPromises that he will return to stand in judgmentNow near the end of the last week of his lifeAnother promise —
  • Horrific — God’s houseSets up Disciples’ two questions which actually take place a little later.Their observation about the impressive buildings of the temple are made as they are walking away from the temple.
  • It is not until some time later, when they are on the Mount of Olives, northeast of the temple, that they ask Jesus their questions.
  • To the disciples, both questions related to a single event.Jews thought of time in terms of two “ages," two time periodsThis age, which would end when the Messiah cameStart a new age — Messianic age — age to comeDisciples can’t conceive of the temple being destroyed apart from Messianic ageThe destruction of the temple would be the end of the present age and the beginning of the age to come.
  • To the Jews, the destruction of the temple would be the same as the coming of the Son – that was the way the prophets used the expression – God coming in judgment on a nation.Sounds a lot like Matthew 24, but 13:1 says it is about Babylon.
  • Whois he talkingabout? Samaria (Israel) and Jerusalem (Judah)
  • Who is he talking about?
  • No wonder Amos 5:18-20Who is he talking to?When you read of “the Day of the Lord” in the OT, or when you read “the Lord is coming”, it is always God coming in judgment upon a nation, whether it be Babylon, Egypt, Israel or Judah.Jesus’ answer accepted that viewpoint – the destruction of Jerusalem would be him “coming” in judgment.
  • But he also pointed forward to a future “coming” when he would come in judgment on the entire world!
  • In order to understand a text, you have to keep it in context.A text, taken out of context, as a pretext, is a proof text!
  • In order to understand this text, you have to keep in mind its context:In Matthew 23, Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees because they were more interested in the show of religion than its substance.He ended that condemnation with the words of Matthew 23:33-36Then he turns to lament the fate of Jerusalem just 40 years in the future, when the Romans would devastate the city in 70 AD.
  • In Matthew 25, Jesus gives three pictures of final judgmentThe parable of the ten virgins (better, bridesmaids) – Matt. 25:1-13The parable of the talents – Matt. 25:14-30The last judgment – Matt. 25:31-46Matthew 23 ends with woe on Jerusalem; Matthew 25 deals with final judgment; so it shouldn’t surprise us that Matthew 24 deals with both.To understand Matthew 24, like any other prophecy, you need two lenses – a close-up lens to look at the immediate future, and a telephoto lens to look into the distance.
  • What Matthew 24 says about the Destruction of Jerusalem.
  • False messiahs, wars, famines, earthquakes – none of these signal the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • When persecution intensifies, apostasy ensues. But the gospel keeps spreading, in spite of the persecution and apostasy.
  • Take-away point: Eschatology is primarily ethical!“The one who stands firm to the end will be saved”
  • Take-away point: Eschatology is primarily ethical!
  • Second and final sign is the “Abomination of Desolation” Daniel 11:31 clearly refers to the desecration under Antiochus Epiphanes (168 B.C.), who erected an altar to Zeus over the altar of burned offering, sacrificed a swine on it, and made the practice of Judaism a capital offense. That was what led to the Maccabean revolt which is the background of Hanukkah. Jesus is likely referring to something similar to what Antiochus had done. Herod once had a huge golden eagle, the symbol of Rome, placed atop the great gate to the temple and the priesthood enacted a daily sacrifice for Caesar. According to Josephus, when the Zealots (a terrorist group of assassins, robbers and revolutionists) took the city in 66 AD. They stopped the priests from offering those sacrifices. The Romans took that as an act of war. Christians fled the city in 68 AD, because they saw these things as fulfillments of Jesus’s words.
  • Josephus says 1 million Jews died — cannibalism, etc.
  • Acts lists a number people who clamed messiahship. Gamaliel spoke of Theudas & his 400 and Judas the Galilean who led a band in revolt. (Acts 5:36-37). Acts also talks of an Egyptian who led 4,000 men into the wilderness to be murdered (Acts 21:38).History also records:Menahem: Menahem was the son of Judas the Galilean. He raised a band of cutthroats in 66 AD. He entered Jerusalem dressed as a king, took control of the temple and had the high priest Ananias put to death. He committed all sorts of atrocities before he was killed by a mob.John of Gischala: Late in AD 67 John of Gishala rose to power. He was more brutal than Menahem. He had tens of thousands of people put to death. He seized the temple, killed the high priest (8,500 people were killed on the temple grounds). John then appointed a high priest that was a mockery. John of Gischala continued his murderous rampage until Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D. He was captured by the Romans and lived the rest of his life in prison.
  • Remember that this language is almost identical to the language of the OT prophets when they predicted God’s judgment on Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Edom, Samaria & Judea.No need to take this as a literal description of an event yet in the future.
  • Fulfilled in A.D. 70 — every stone pulled downWhen you hear about the Western (Wailing) Wall being the only part of the temple left standing, that is incorrect. The Western Wall was a part of the foundation of the temple, not a part of the temple itself.Like occasional foundations that remain when the house is long gone.
  • What Matthew 24 says about the final judgment.Here is where things get sticky. Keep in mind the imagery of the camera lens.The close-up lens captures a great deal of intricate detail; the telephoto lens captures things at a distance, but without as much detail.That’s the way you have to read prophecies like this one.The details belong to the events of 70 AD; the big picture is also an overview of a final coming of the Son in judgment.
  • Close-up: This is like the OT prophecies of the judgment of Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Edom, Israel, Judah, etc.Telephoto: All the OT prophecies of judgment on individual nations have similar language – leading to the conclusion that they give a glimpse into future judgments by God.
  • Everything that has to happen before Jesus can come again HAS ALREADY HAPPENED!Matthew 24 is about 70 AD. Once that had passed, everything that had to happen had happened.The main thing to see is that when he comes, he comes without warning.The sign of his coming IS his coming.There is no time to prepare. When you see him, it’s already too late.
  • The right question is “Are you ready?”
  • Using the close-up lens, this is talking about 70 AD.Using the telephoto lens, it is a warning to you and me to be ready whenever he comes.Note “this generation” means it will take place within the lifetimes of people present at the time.The destruction of the temple took place 40 years after Jesus spoke these words.
  • No one knows when it will happen, so we have to be ready at any and all times.Jesus says it will be like the world in Noah’s day when the flood caught them unprepared. (Matt 24:37-42)He says it is like a burglar breaking in when you don’t expect him (Matt. 24:43-44)
  • Matthew 24: 44-51 ends with a story about a servant who misbehaves and beats the other servants because he doesn’t expect the master back anytime soon. He’s caught off-guard when the master returns sooner than expected and “cut in pieces, assigned a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
  • Matthew 25:1-13 tells of ten bridesmaids who were caught unprepared when the wedding party arrived later than they expected. Five were unprepared & they found themselves left out.
  • Jesus expects us to be ready whenever he comes.The parable of the talentsTalent is two month’s wages — 5-2-1Reward: Matthew 25:21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Punishment: Matthew 25:30 NIV84 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'We prepare for Jesus’ return by being good stewards of what he has given usAll that we — financially, materially — is his, and we will answer to himNone of us are independently wealthy
  • Matt. 25:31-46 is parable of judgment – sheep & goats.Judgment not based on profession, religiosity, baptism, church attendance, communion.Rather, did your life change when God made you a new creation?Judgment based on what we did with the opportunities God gave us.
  • He may come sooner than you think – so you need to be ready now!
  • He may come later than you think – so don’t ever slack off!
  • But he IS coming. What do you want to hear? “You wicked, slothful servant” Or “Well done”?Jesus is coming again. We win; they lose.Let’s live like we believe it!
  • 120205 nt vistas 10 the coming of the son matthew 24

    1. 1. New Testament Vistas
    2. 2. Matthew 24:1-2 Jesus left the temple and was walking away whenhis disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings."Do you see all these things?" he asked. "Truly I tell you, not onestone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
    3. 3. Matthew 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, thedisciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when willthis happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and ofthe end of the age?"
    4. 4. They asked about one event
    5. 5. Jesus’ answer pointed to twoIsaiah 13:1 An oracle concerning Isaiah 13:9-13 See, the day ofBabylon that Isaiah … saw: the LORD is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger — to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins.
    6. 6. Jesus’ answer pointed to twoMicah 1:1 The word of the LORD Micah 1:3-4 Look! The LORD isthat came to Micah of Moresheth coming from his dwelling place;… the vision he saw concerning he comes down and treads onSamaria and Jerusalem. the heights of the earth. The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope.
    7. 7. Jesus’ answer pointed to twoZephaniah 1:12 At that time I will Zephaniah 1:14-16 NIV Thesearch Jerusalem … and punish great day of the LORD is near–those … who think, The LORD will near and coming quickly. Thedo nothing, either good or bad. cry on the day of the LORD is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath-- a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness-- a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.
    8. 8. Jesus’ answer pointed to twoAmos 5:1 Hear this word, O house Amos 5:18-20 Woe to you whoof Israel, this lament I take up long for the day of the LORD!concerning you: Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light— pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
    9. 9. Jesus’ answer pointed to two
    10. 10. Putting Matthew 24 in Context
    11. 11. Matthew 23:33-36 "Yousnakes! You brood of vipers!How will you escape beingcondemned to hell? … And soupon you will come all therighteous blood that has beenshed on earth … I tell you thetruth, all this will come uponthis generation.Matthew 23:37-39 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill theprophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed togather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under herwings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to youdesolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say,Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."
    12. 12. The Close-up Lens
    13. 13. Many false signsMatthew 24:4-8 Jesus answered: "Watch out thatno one deceives you. For many will come in myname, claiming, I am the Messiah, and will deceivemany. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, butsee to it that you are not alarmed. Such things musthappen, but the end is still to come. Nation will riseagainst nation, and kingdom against kingdom.There will be famines and earthquakes in variousplaces. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
    14. 14. The first real signMatthew 24:9-14 Then you will be handed over to bepersecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by allnations because of me. At that time many will turn awayfrom the faith and will betray and hate each other, andmany false prophets will appear and deceive manypeople. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love ofmost will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to theend will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will bepreached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations,and then the end will come.
    15. 15. Take-away: Eschatology is EthicalNot a mapto thefuture
    16. 16. Take-away: Eschatology is Ethical Things will get worseNot a mapto thefuture
    17. 17. Take-away: Eschatology is Ethical In the end, we win and Things will they lose get worseNot a mapto thefuture
    18. 18. Take-away: Eschatology is Ethical Live like you believe In the end, it we win and Things will they lose get worseNot a mapto thefuture
    19. 19. The second – and last - signMatthew 24:15-20 So when you see standing in theholy place the abomination that causes desolation,spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let thereader understand-- then let those who are in Judeaflee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetopgo down to take anything out of the house. Let noone in the field go back to get their cloak. Howdreadful it will be in those days for pregnant womenand nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will nottake place in winter or on the Sabbath.
    20. 20. Matthew 24:21-22For then there will be great distress, unequaledfrom the beginning of the world until now--andnever to be equaled again. "If those days hadnot been cut short, no one would survive, but forthe sake of the elect those days will beshortened.
    21. 21. Matthew 24:23-28At that time if anyone says to you, Look, here is theMessiah! or, There he is! do not believe it. For falsemessiahs and false prophets will appear and performgreat signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even theelect. See, I have told you ahead of time. "So if anyonetells you, There he is, out in the wilderness, do not goout; or, Here he is, in the inner rooms, do not believe it.For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even inthe west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures willgather.
    22. 22. Matthew 24:29"Immediately after the distress of those days"the sun will be darkened, and the moon willnot give its light; the stars will fall from the sky,and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
    23. 23. Fulfilled A.D. 70: every stone pulled down
    24. 24. The Telephoto Lens
    25. 25. Matthew 24:30-31"Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man inheaven. And then all the peoples of the earthwill mourn when they see the Son of Mancoming on the clouds of heaven, with power andgreat glory. And he will send his angels with aloud trumpet call, and they will gather his electfrom the four winds, from one end of theheavens to the other.
    26. 26. Take-Away: Asking the wrong question!
    27. 27. Take-Away: Asking the wrong question!
    28. 28. Matthew 24:32-35"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soonas its twigs get tender and its leaves come out,you know that summer is near. Even so, whenyou see all these things, you know that it is near,right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generationwill certainly not pass away until all these thingshave happened. Heaven and earth will passaway, but my words will never pass away.
    29. 29. Matthew 24:36"But about that day or hour no one knows, noteven the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but onlythe Father.
    30. 30. Jesus may come sooner than you think!
    31. 31. Jesus may come later than you think!
    32. 32. Jesus expects us to be ready whenever!
    33. 33. Jesus’ basis of judgment
    34. 34. Are you ready for Jesus to return?He may come sooner than you think• So you need to be ready NOW!
    35. 35. Are you ready for Jesus to return?He may come sooner He may come later than you think than you think• So you need to be • So you need to stay ready NOW! ready all the time!
    36. 36. Are you ready for Jesus to return?He may come sooner He may come later He IS coming – and than you think than you think he will be your judge• So you need to be • So you need to stay • What do you want ready NOW! ready all the time! him to say to you?
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