The Weekend Word
Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple
1 Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.
- This is more than Jesus just walking out of the temple. It is God actually leaving the temple.
- The disciples seem impressed by the large temple complex.
2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
- Looking forward to 70AD
- This beautiful temple will be trashed – completely destroyed
- Why? Because I am the true temple. This is not to despise the temple; the temple was a good thing – given by God but for a specific purpose. That purpose has been satisfied.
- God has viewed it as an instrument to bless his people with the preaching of the message of the one who is to come and who is now here.
Signs of the End of the Age – to a Jew the destruction of the temple would mean the end of the world – so this turns the conversation/
3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
- Now the people have last times on the brain.
- The judgment Jesus spoke of in Ch 23 is now to come about with the temple’s destruction.
- The destruction will be a sign of what is to happen to all unbelievers throughout the world on the last day. The sign was the destruction.
4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.
- This is where we must be careful that our orthodoxy is just as strong as our orthopraxy.
- Just because a statement is made by a “Christian” does not make it true, and that teacher may not have good intent.
5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
- Mormons – JWs – Jim Jones etc and many others.
- This also ties into v.15 – who says “I am the Christ”? – anti Christ.
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
- All of these world history events are not what ushers in the end – or at least not yet.
- Notice that he says not to be alarmed, but those last day advocates, well that is exactly what they try to do.
- But these events must not take place and still the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
- All of this is but a reminder of the inevitable end.
- The big earthquake in Napal in April 2015 – 8,000 killed and 21,000 injured – 50% of their GDP wiped out.
- The tsunami in Japan 2011 – 15,000 dead – 6,100 injured – 2,500 missing – 127,000 buildings collapsed and more.
- But God is not waiting for an earthquake or a flood to time his return.
8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
- All of this is not even the beginning – just the beginning of the birth pains — and yet they are not the birth pains.
- All of history, all of it is a sign that there is a coming judgment – and it is going to come on the last day when Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead.
- Also realize that this includes the Gospel judgment – the fulfillment of the promises to us.
- This is how God’s people live – in repentance and in anticipation.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
- How much does this look like the direction we are going in the US?
- Now look at this change in pattern where we go from the history of the world to the things that will now specifically in the Church – to you!
- How the Church is treated will point to the end – we have a prime example with the Orlando shootings and how they got blamed on the NRA and the Christians.
- The shooter was a homosexual, registered Democrat, Muslim and so many said the religious right was to blame.
- This is not to be taken as a political statement – but as a look into what Jesus is saying. But every generation has had times where the Church is treated poorly and unfairly.
- This is the history of the Church.
- How the Church is treated will point to the end. Church growth pastors with this verse. Imagine them standing up and saying “hey you on the street, follow Jesus and you will have tribulation, be put to death and hated by all because you follow this Jesus.”
10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
- This will be the rejection in the church of God’s grace – this is not something that just began in the church in the 20th
- This was happening in our Lord’s own ministry. How? When? Why? How could this be? All of the disciples fall away, there is a betrayer, they can’t get along with each other, jealousy is prominent.
- There is a betrayer, a denier and the fallawayers.
11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
- A constant theme in Matthew is God separating. All of the separations are the Church and the World.
- How about Peter, who preaches as a false instrument of Satan. “You are not going to the cross Jesus.” That is false preaching – he is anti Christ.
- All of the things that Jesus brings up as signs of the end are already beginning to happen in our Lord’s ministry.
- This is important because so many Christians want to read Matthew 24 as only happening in the last generation – some narrow that beginning to 1948. Some say this is when the end times clock began running.
- Not so. The end times began when Jesus came – and the last days will continue until the very last day – when Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead.
- What Jesus speaks of is manifested in every generation. This is how John can say “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)
- Anyone who denies God and denies that Jesus is God in the flesh.