People often speak of “war and rumors of war”, as well as global disasters as being signs of the end time. I would ask you today to look with fresh eyes and consider the Lord’s heart in this regard.
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to Him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. Matthew 24:1.
At the end of a busy day, Jesus and his disciples find a quiet place, and they simply comment on the view of the temple mount. The Lord surprises them with a very precise and shocking prophecy.
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. Verse 2.
Jesus has mentioned a few times that He would face rejection and death in Jerusalem, but now He speaks of God’s soon judgment on the city and they immediately make a jump in their own minds that this pertains to the end of the age.
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Verse 3.
Of course we know that most of the Lord’s followers would have lived to see the destruction of the temple, this event was not a herald of the end times. While the questions reveal what was on their hearts, only the Lord’s answers can show us His priorities.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Verse 4.
Now if we pause here in the discourse and ask the question, “what do you think was the Lord’s primary concern regarding the subject of signs and the end of the world? Your answer should be that He was concerned with deceptive teachings that would come forth in this regard. Did He not once say this concerning signs:
A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. Matthew 16:4.
He continues the discourse by elaborating on the subject of deceptions, not signs.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Verse 5.
To be clear here, the Lord is not talking about anyone claiming to be the Messiah. Anyone who comes “in His name”, are claiming to be legitimate ambassadors speaking on His behalf. The claim “I am Christ”, should be translated: “I am anointed”, because christos means anointed, and this is a claim that every false teacher, preacher and prophet is making these days. This is not a sign of the end times, this is a caution for the wise follower to avoid being deceived.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. Verse 6.
These words “the end is not yet” should be enough to convince you that quoting “wars and rumors of wars” as if to imply that the end of the age is upon us is to greatly discredit your understanding.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. Verse 7.
Yada, yada, yada….
All these are the beginning of sorrows. Verse 8.
Now this is something to consider. This expression of early birth pangs says a lot about being misinformed. Most people know that you don’t rush to the hospital with the first contractions of birth. Couples are coached to time contractions to be sure that labor has begun. However, there is still occasions were an expectant mother is rushed to a hospital, only to return later that evening saying; “false alarm”. A good possibility is that greater awareness avoids reacting inappropriately to the beginning of sorrows.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Verse 11.
Again with the warnings and concerns over being deceived.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Verse 12.
This verse uses the word agape for love and therefore cannot be interpreted as a state of the world we live. Only believers can know the agape love of God, and only believers can lose their “first love” and fall away due to lawlessness(iniquity) within the church. This is why Jesus now says:
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Verse 13.
This may not mesh with the once saved always saved doctrine, but Jesus said it, not me.
There is two verses I will now post for consideration on this topic.
And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until “the times of the Gentiles” are fulfilled. Luke 21:24.
Notice that this is the “the end of the age” for the Gentiles, and the sovereignty of Jerusalem is a legitimate point of inquiry.
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Romans 11:25,
Again with the Gentiles in the age we now occupy. With a growing number of Jews in Israel who see the historical Jesus (Yeshua) as the Son of God and Messiah, we draw closer to a true remnant in the promised land. Another reality worthy of attention.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24.