This past Sunday we opened to Matthew 24 and had a good discussion on the signs of the end as given by Jesus to His disciples.
We saw that Jesus gave this discourse with the purpose stated in Matthew 24:42-44 that we would all “Therefore keep watch…So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (NIV).
Jesus wants us to watch for the end and His return so we may be ready for it. He gave us some signs to watch for to keep us interested and involved in expecting His appearing. Our hope is in His return and the end of all things because on that day the trials of earth will be behind us and the glory of Heaven with our Savior will be before us.
Last Sunday we talked about how signs merely point toward the event of His return, how watching is not the same as elevating the signs as more deserving of attention than the event they point toward, and how we are to watch for the frequency and intensity of signs as we do for birth pains (Matthew 24:8) or harvesting fruit from the tree (Matthew 24:32-33).
As we see these signs around us, they should remind us that Jesus is returning soon, rather than cause us to lament the negative impact of these signs. Some, like natural disasters, will move us to grief and sorrows, but ultimate we cope through them knowing that our Lord’s coming is near.
Here, I want to simply point out some of the signs of the end as mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24…
- False Christs — (Matthew 24:5) We often hear of people who think they are Jesus and have a following. We talked about two such people who have recently been in the news, one on Russia and one is South Korea.
- Wars & Talk of Wars — (Matthew 24:6) Turn on any news broadcast and you’ll hear of war raging and talks of war threatening societies.
- Nation Against Nation — (Matthew 24:7) It’s clear that Iran is against Israel and China is against Taiwan, and other nations harbor dislike for other nations.
- Natural Disasters — (Matthew 24:7) Hurricanes, earthquakes, famines, flooding, pestilence, and fires are given as signs.
- Christian Persecution — (Matthew 24:9) Prejudiced and persecuted for being a follower of Jesus Christ and a confessing Christian.
- False Teachers — (Matthew 24:11) Church pastors, television evangelist, and religious leaders who are not sincere or true followers of Christ and His word.
- Increase of Sin — (Matthew 24:12) Seeing wickedness in the limelight and celebrated as truth, calling sinfulness good and good sinful.
- Coldness/Waning Love — (Matthew 24:12) An increase of people not caring about people and being cold to the needs of others.
- Gospel Preached — (Matthew 24:14) At the same time, the Great Commission will be advanced as far as possible as we approach the Lord’s return.
Let’s remember that Jesus gives us these signs to watch for as a reminder to always be ready because the end is near and His return is soon.
Next week we will open to Matthew 25 and study a parable from Jesus about being ready for His soon return.