Scripture Passage: Matthew 24:1-3
Mankind has always been fascinated with knowing the future; our only reliable source of prophecy is the Word of God.
In Matthew 24, Jesus prophesied His literal, physical return to earth, offering signs of the times and the beginning of the end.
“And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (v. 2)
The temple was the center of the Jewish life – spiritually and socially. No one could believe it would ever be desolated. Yet, Jesus had prophesied its destruction and it came to fruition.
In response, the disciples ask Jesus three questions: When shall these things be? What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (v. 3)
Jesus gives them seven marks of the beginning of the end.
- Deceptions of counterfeit christs: One of the marks of the last days will be a time of great deception, in which all the world will be deceived by the antichrist.
- Division of continuing conflicts: The generations to come will see more terrorism, hijackings, bombings and assassinations than ever before.
- Disasters of cataclysmic consequence: Jesus spoke candidly of famine, plagues and earthquakes.
- Defamation of committed Christians: Religious persecution will increase, particularly toward those who follow Jesus Christ.
- Distortion of christless cults: Adrian Rogers reiterates G.K. Chesterson’s statement: “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”
- Disposition of carnal coldness: Adrian Rogers says, “When you take away moral limits, you destroy the fire and the glow of true love and you substitute that with the false fire of lust, and theology turns to me-ology.”
- Discharge of Christ’s commission: Before Jesus left this earth, He commissioned us to take the Gospel to all of the world.
Jesus calls these marks “the beginning of sorrows.” (v. 8)
In this context, the word “sorrow” also translates to, “birth pangs.” As these sorrows multiply and intensify, we know we are nearing the return of Jesus Christ, and the Great Tribulation that comes with it.
Apply it to your life
Knowing Jesus could return at any moment, the wisest thing to do is follow Jesus and spend time in His Word.