The Last Days
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
A newspaper headline, “Russia sending thousands more troops to Ukraine border,” brings fear to the hearts of everyone. Is this the end? Are we going to see World War 3?
Thank God because we can see answers from the Bible! We are not in the dark on these matters. If I have a question, it would be: Why didn’t the disciples ask Jesus one question at-a-time in Matthew 24? These are complex questions: (1) When will this happen? (2) What will be the sign of the your coming? (3) What will be the sign of the end of the age? Hence, due to its different interpretations, the Olivet Discourse has become a topic of theological debate since time immemorial.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at Jesus’s response. (It is lengthy; one book is not enough to expound these entirely.)
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one…