In this 24th chapter, Jesus answers his disciples' question, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
This "verse by verse" Bible study of the 24th chapter of Matthew is given to you free and complete by the author of this writing, Wayne Bettin.
Although this writing is copyrighted Copyright © 2000 by ABS Books, the author hereby gives permission to individuals and Bible study groups to freely make copies of this writing, with the provision that no monetary or commercial gain is derived from these copies by individuals, groups, or companies. For those who wish to copy this writing but are not able to do so, see the Note at the end of this writing.
The "verse by verse" analysis of Matthew Chap.24, letting Bible verses, from throughout the Bible, reveal the meaning of this message from Jesus is similar to the approach the author uses in the book "REVELATION Revealed" in which Bible verses from throughout the Bible are used to reveal the message of the Book of Revelation. A few examples from that book may be viewed by clicking "**REVELATION Revealed**"
This writing may be scrolled through from beginning to end. However, since it is unlikely the entire writing will be read in one sitting, the following "Index Box" is provided to expedite finding the verses desired.INDEX BOX
|Verses Quick Find: Click for * Verses 1-4 * Verses 5-9 * Verses 10-14 * Verses 15-19 * Verses 20-24 * Verses 25-29 * Verses 30-34 * Verses 35-39 * Verses 40-44 * Verses 45-51|
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The background information for the study of the 24th chapter of Matthew is found in the 23rd chapter as well as in prior chapters of the book of Matthew. Secular history of the temple is also helpful.
In Mat.23:1 we find Jesus speaking to the "multitude, and to his disciples." In the verses that follow, Jesus chastises the scribes and Pharisees for their being so hypocritical in their speaking and in their actions. Then at vs.37 he mourns over Jerusalem for their rebellion against God and foretells of their destruction.
The temple in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus had been ordered to be built by Herod to please the Jews. At that time it had been in building for 46 years (John 2:20) and consisted of many courtyards and chambers as well as the temple building itself. The temple was of marble and gold and the site was on many acres of land. It continued to be built until shortly before the total destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Romans in 70 AD
( All Bible verses are from the King James Version of the Bible)
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 1-4 - - - - Click to
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And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
After speaking to the multitude in Matthew 23 and verbally chastising the scribes and Pharisees plus severely scolding the Jews for their wickedness, Jesus now departed from the temple. In the eighth chapter of Ezekiel, God shows Ezekiel the wickedness that was taking place in the temple at Jerusalem in those days, "He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary?" Ezek 8:6.
It appears that when the disciples came to him they were proud of and anxious to show Jesus their present magnificent temple.
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.
We can assume the disciples were expecting Jesus to be impressed with the magnificent temple they were showing him, but instead Jesus foretells of the total destruction of the temple. This would bring an abrupt end to the purpose of the tour the disciples were giving Jesus and give rise in their minds as to when and how the event Jesus was referring to would occur.
Jesus gave more details of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in Luke 19:43-44, "For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
Daniel foretold of this destruction which would occur after the time of Christ, "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." Dan 9:26. The word "flood" as used in this verse is explained in Is.59:19, " - When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."
God had warned of the destruction of a former temple when in I King 9:6-7 he warned Solomon concerning the temple he had built, "But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:."
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?
The mount of Olives is very near to and on the east side of Jerusalem as described for us in Zech.14:4, "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, - ." Again in Mark 13:3 we are told of the proximity of the mount of Olives to the temple, "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, - ."
From the natural curiosity of the disciples that would have been aroused in them by what Jesus said in the last verse (vs.2), we now see the disciples seeking more information from Jesus. Jesus had just said to the multitude before he left the temple, "For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Mat 23:39. From this and from Jesus speaking about the destruction of the temple in vs.2, we could expect the disciples to ask about the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world.
The word "world" is translated from the Greek "alon" which has a number of meanings, one of which can mean "worlds, or the universe" but as here used is probably more accurately translated from the meaning "a period of time, an age." Most translations even use the word "age."
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
During the times of which we read in Matthew 24, there were many religions, gods, and forms of worship. Each city and nation had its own gods, and with the lack of means for communication between these areas, one can understand how rumors and false ideas could easily lead to much deception by false prophets seeking recognition and a following.
John warned of this in I John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." Paul also had cautioned of the same, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" Eph.4:14.
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 5-9 - - - - Click to
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For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples before his death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. They would not have been aware of how far into the future Jesus was referring to, which includes our present time and beyond.
Jesus further expanded on what he was saying here in vs.5 when later in vs.23-24 he said, "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 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." Mat.24:23-24.
During this time of the first appearance of Jesus on earth, there were very few who recognized and accepted Jesus as the Messiah, although Israel had been waiting for the Messiah for many years. Jesus refers to this when he said in John 5:43, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
wars and rumours of wars. In the sixth chapter of Revelation we read of how peaceful means are first used to conquer before the full war begins; a "white horse" being used to imply peace as opposed to the "red horse" which tells of bloodshed. "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." Rev.6:2,4.
Jesus advises that ye be not troubled as David was comforted when he said, "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident." Ps.27:1,3. In John 14:27 we are comforted by the words of Jesus, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
We are told a number of times throughout scripture that all these things must come to pass as Jesus said in Mat.26:54, "But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Isaiah had told of times such as Jesus was foretelling when he said in Is.19:2, " - and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom." Again in the sixth chapter of Revelation we read of a time of which Jesus was speaking, "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; - ." Rev.6:8,12.
Luke repeats what Jesus said in Luke 21:11, "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilenes; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
This is not a time that a Christian wants to look forward to, much less the person who does not believe in the Lord Jesus. "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" I Pet.4:17-18.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
God looks upon the persecution of Christians as an effective means of witnessing. Jesus expanded on this present vs.9 as is recorded in Mat.10:17-20, "But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." Peter summed it up by saying, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." I Pet.4:16.
As Jesus was persecuted, so can the Christian expect to be persecuted. Jesus reasoned, "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; - ." John 15:20. He even further stated, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." John 16:2.
John tells us in the book of Revelation of a time of extreme persecution of the Christians, "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Rev.13:7.
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 10-14 - - - - Click to
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And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus described how easy it is for those who do not have a firm faith, to fall away or to be offended. "And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended." Mark 4:16-17.
The faith that produced love for mankind, now the loss of, produces hate. "And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." Mat 10:21-22. Again in Luke 12:53, "The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
The importance of this warning that Jesus gives is shown by his having already said this earlier in this chapter, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Mat.24:5. Again he will be saying it later in this chapter, "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." Mat.24:24.
Peter referred to a similar situation in II Pet.2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
In vs.10 we mentioned how the loss of faith can turn love into hate. Now we see how iniquity and love can be a vicious circle; the lack of love can lead to iniquity, and the abundance of iniquity can destroy love. As we see more immoral behavior in the world, combined with greed and a lack of respect for others, it is to be expected there will follow a love that turns cold.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
When Jesus sent his twelve disciples to the people of Israel, he spoke to them in much the same way, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." Mat.10:22. This thought is also found in Heb.3:14, "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;."
The reward of enduring unto the end is given in Rom.2:7, "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:." Jesus told us more in Rev.2:10, "- be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
In this verse Jesus gives at least a partial answer to the question the disciples asked of Jesus in vs.3 which was, " - what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
We must be careful when reading of a promised event to take place, and that of a prior event that must occur before the one promised, that we do not conclude that the "promised event" will take place immediately after the "prior event." There are many times in the Bible where a promised event does not take place until hundreds (thousands?) of years after it was promised. "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; - ." II Pet.3:8-9.
this gospel of the kingdom can be defined for us in Mark 1:14, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,."
The extent of the gospel being preached in time past seems similar to what Jesus is referring to in this vs.14 but here it pertains to the future. Paul said in Col 1:23, "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;." It is also similar to Rom.10:18, " - Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."
However, we read of an event in the book of Revelation, that is in the future of our present time, that better fulfills the time to which Jesus is referring. "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Rev.14:6-7.
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 15-19 - - - - Click to
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When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Daniel the prophet tells us in Dan.11:31, "And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate."
History tells us that when Antiochus Epiphanes ruled in Judaea he tried to eliminate Jewish religious practices and replace them with Greek polytheism. The Jews were forced to sacrifice to pagan deities in the location of former sacrifices to God. It has been said that a pig (an unclean animal to the Jews) was sacrificed on the altar of God.
This occurrence seems to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel but apparently was only an antitype of what Daniel actually prophesied. This happened quite often, when a prophecy seems to have been at least partially fulfilled, but was not actually completely fulfilled until a later time. In this present verse 15, Jesus is referring to a time later then the then present time and to a time even later then our now present time.
The challenge is given us by Jesus to try to understand this prophecy given us by Jesus.
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Luke 21:21-22 repeats what we read in this verse and expands on it and further explains the reason for it. "Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." We learn that these are times of the fulfillment of prophecy as well as a time of vengeance or the wrath of God being dispensed unto an unrepentant people.
This period of time Jesus is referring to may well be the time we read of in Rev.12:14, "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." The word wilderness usually referred to barren land that was not suitable for farming and could be desert or mountainous areas.
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Housetops were more than merely a roof to cover the house itself. People used the housetop as a living area of the house. We see housetops mentioned in the New Testament as having uses such as in Luke 12:3, "Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops." Also in Acts 10:9, "On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:."
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
The urgency of what Jesus says in vs.16 is now illusrated in vs.17-18. The people must flee immediately and not even take a few moments to pick up a few belongings before leaving.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
It is not difficult to imagine the problems a woman with an unborn child or with a young baby would have in trying to immediately flee to safety. Jesus referred to this in Luke 23:28-29, "But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck."
A similar situation occurred when Assyria took the house of Israel into captivity, "Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up." Hosea 13:16.
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 20-24 - - - - Click to
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But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
The difficulty of travel during the winter is obvious, and to travel beyond a very limited distance during the sabbath was forbidden. "See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." Ex.16:29.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Daniel told us more of this time when in Dan.12:1 he prophesied, " - and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."
This verse in Daniel is a good example of how one verse can tie together other verses that have no apparent relation to each other. This Dan.12:1 verse links the Mat.24:21 that we are studying to Rev.20:12,15. The every one that shall be found written in the book of Dan.12:1 surfaces again in Rev 20:12,15, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
This Mat.24:21 verse is also spoken of in Jer.30:7, "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it."
We read of other verses in the Bible that speak of the same or similar times. In Joel 2:2 we read of "A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations." And in Rev.16:18 we read, "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great."
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Jesus is telling us of a time that will be so horrible that if the conditions were to continue there would be no human life left on earth.
The word shortened is correctly translated from the Greek word "koloboo" which means to curtail or abridge. Careful reading of verses, and even words, can at times lead to different understandings of the same verse. Although the understanding of shortened in this verse is quite obvious, some could question whether it means the number of days were shortened or each day was shortened in length.
This verse not only tells us that for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened but that the result will be that there will still be those that are saved here on earth.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
This verse is similar to what Jesus said in verses 5 and 11. Refer to those verses again. A warning against being tricked into following other gods was given in the Old Testament in Deut.13:1-3, "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet - "
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.
In the thirteenth chapter of Revelation we read of a world ruler called "the beast" and a false prophet that assists him. "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live." Rev.13:13-14.
Paul spoke of this "beast" in II Thess.2:8-9, "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,."
Peter warned of times such as these in II Pet.3:17, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness."
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 25-29 - - - - Click to
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Behold, I have told you before.
When Jesus spoke before to a multitude, he warned of false prophets, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Mat.7:15.
This prophecy of the end times is something that might be expected from Jesus. Isaiah had said in Is.46:10 in speaking of God, "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, - ." Jesus was relaying this prophecy in Mat. 24 from the Father, "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." John 12:49.
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
Again Jesus warns of being deceived as he did before in this chapter in verses 5,11,23-24. The discussions under those verses pertain to this verse as well. Paul warned the Corinthians to beware of deceitful workers who try to appear as representatives of Christ. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." II Cor.11:13.
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Luke stated this verse in a similar fashion, "For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day." Luke 17:24.
We have all experienced a rainstorm wherein a bolt of lightning far off in the distance will light up the entire sky. We may not see the lightning itself, but we know it is there by its brightness. So will be the coming of Jesus; everyone will be aware of his coming; no one will need to search for him.
John repeated this thought in Rev.1:7, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
The habits of an eagle were noted by Job, "Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she." Job 39:27-30.
These events that Jesus is foretelling are as sure to happen as do events that follow each other in nature.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
We read of such an event as this as John describes in Rev 6:12-14, "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places."
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah prophesied of such an event when he said, "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine." Is.13:9-10.
Also reflecting on what we read in verse 28, Isaiah said in Is.34:3-4, "Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree." He said even more in Is.50:3, "I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering."
Other prophets of the Old Testament prophesied in a similar way, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: - ." Joel 3:14-16.
Ezekiel prophesied in Ezek.32:7-8, "And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD."
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 30-34 - - - - Click to
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And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
We learn at the beginning of the Bible that the sun and stars would be used as signs. "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:." Gen.1:14.
That Jesus would be returning in clouds in the same way he went into heaven, was told the disciples just after he ascended into heaven. "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Acts 1:9-11.
Jesus told the high priest that he would be coming with power and in the clouds of heaven. "Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Mat.26:64.
A more detailed account is given of the second coming of Jesus in I Thess.4:16-17, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." These that are resurrected are all the saved, which leaves the wicked that are not saved still here on earth.
Those remaining will mourn when they realize the truth of what they had refused to believe about Jesus and the Bible. "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." Rev.1:7. The reaction of those who remain is told us in more detail in Rev.6:15-16, "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:."
This great event, the second coming of Jesus, was foretold by Daniel in Dan.7:13-14, "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Continuing from the previous vs.30 we are now told how Jesus will gather together those who are to be resurrected. There are a number of verses from the Bible that will give us background to help in understanding this vs.31.
During the times of the Bible, with no semblance of the communication system we have today, the trumpet was used to make announcements and to call people together from over a distance beyond the range of the human voice. God told Moses in Num.10:2, "Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps."
The trumpet is mentioned also in the description of the same apparent time of which Jesus spoke when we read in I Cor.15:51-52, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
An interesting observation may be made in reference to at the last trump. In Rev 11:15 we read, "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." In the book of Revelation we read of seven trumpet judgments that are unleashed upon the earth. As each of seven angels sounds his trumpet, there follows severe events here on earth. In this Rev.11:15 verse we read of what follows the last trumpet sound, the seventh trumpet sound.
from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other as used in this vs.31 can easily lead to confusion unless we let the Bible explain the meaning of the word heaven as it is used in this verse. The word "heaven" as it is used in the Bible can mean "the location of God's throne" as it is often used and usually understood by most people. However, it is also used to mean "the atmosphere above the earth" as it is used in Is.55:10, "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, - ."
The end of heaven can easily mean "the horizon" or the distance at which the earth and sky (heaven) seem to meet. It is used in this manner in Is.13:5, "They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land." An even more complete similarity to the verse we are studying is as this expression is used in Jer.49:36, "And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come." from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other is referring to, in effect, the entire surface of the earth, as no one can ever reach to the horizon. This was an apt expression to use to indicate "everywhere" to a people of the time in which the Bible was written, when it was assumed by them that the earth was flat. Yet, it is accurate for today's knowledge as well.
Nehemiah used a similar expression in Neh.1:9, "But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there."
This time of which Jesus is speaking of in vs.31 in fulfilled in Rev.14:15-16, "And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped."
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Jesus is about to compare the confidence that mankind has in everyday signs of events that are about to happen, to the confidence mankind should have in the signs that Jesus is giving about his second coming.
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Just as assuredly as natural indicators are signs of the change in seasons, so we can be assured of the coming of Jesus when we see the signs that will indicate his soon coming. What we have read is Jesus' answer to what the disciples said in vs.3, " - Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
The next major event in God's plan will be the coming of the Lord. Heb.10:37 tells us, "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Again in I Pet.4:7 we are told, "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." Some have become impatient because it is taking so long for the Lord to come. (Read again the discussion under vs.14.) But each day is one day nearer to the coming of the Lord Jesus. "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5:8.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
This verse is another example of one that is often not read accurately. As with all verses in the Bible we must read them "carefully." Many have had trouble with this verse because the generation that Jesus was speaking to have long since died. Jesus has been speaking to all people (including us) about the signs of his second coming. Those people who will see the signs of his second coming will know his coming is imminent for they will be This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Or put another way: This generation was not the generation to which Jesus was speaking to at that time, but rather the generation that will see the signs of which he spoke.
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 35-39 - - - - Click to
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Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
As in the previous verse, we must be careful in trying to understand the content of this verse and not conclude too quickly as to its real meaning. This vs.35 might be understood to mean that heaven and earth will disappear and be gone. Another verse that would seem to reinforce this idea is in Rev.21:1, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Further, from what we read in Is.51:6 we could quickly conclude the same thing, "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, - ." However, note that although this verse says the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, it only tells us that the earth shall wax old.
A better understanding of what it means for the earth to perish is found in Ps.102:25-26, "Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:." They shall be destroyed by being completely changed.
It may surprise some Bible students to learn the earth has already been destroyed and perished - - by the flood. As this earth was destroyed and changed by the flood of Noah's time, it will again be destroyed and changed, but this time by fire. We read of all of this in II Pet.3:6-7,10, "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
We must remember what Isaiah told us in Is.45:18, "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."
Although the heaven and earth will be destroyed and changed, the word of the Lord will never be changed. We read in Is.40:8, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." This is repeated in I Pet.1:25, "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Trying to speculate on the exact time of the second coming of Jesus is entirely futile for mankind, as only God the Father knows exactly. Mark 13:32 gives us more information, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."
Although the signs Jesus gave us will indicate within a few years as to when Jesus will be coming, the exact day is not told us, as Jesus indicated again in his warning of Mat.25:13, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
God seems to be in no hurry to bring to a close this present world as we know it, but we might guess he is waiting for as many as possible to repent and to know the Lord before the end comes. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." II Pet.3:9. When the world reaches a point when there is no more repentance, then the verse of Rev.22:11 will be heard, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Almost continuing with the discussion from the last verse, we now learn that the conditions in the world will be similar to that which they were when the world was destroyed by the flood of Noah's time. We read in Gen.6:5 , "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
We read of God's verdict a few verses later in Gen.6:11-13, "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Luke recorded similar words of Jesus in Luke 21:34, "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." We can look for the usual activities and traditions of life to continue right up to the time of the return of Jesus to this earth.
There were a number of times in Bible history when cities became so wicked that God destroyed them. Even Jerusalem was destroyed more than once because of her disobedience and idol worship. We hear often the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for their great wickedness. "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." Ezek.16:49-50.
The time of which Jesus is speaking will be a time in which not only cities will be destroyed, but the entire surface of the earth as well.
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The unexpected and unprepared for, return of Jesus to a wicked world is described in I Thess.5:2-3, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
The destruction of this present world will be at a time of great wickedness on the earth as it was in the time of Noah. "And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;" II Pet.2:5.
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 40-44 - - - - Click to
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Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Verses 40 and 41 might be confusing if we try to relate these two verses to the destruction that will come upon the world. However, we read a number of verses that pertain to the second coming of Christ in the discussion under Mat.24:30. Recall the verses of I Thess.4:16-17 in which Paul is writing to the Christians at Thessalonica. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
The Christians will be removed from the earth, leaving the unbelievers still here on the earth. Verses 40 and 41 refer to this separation of the believers from the unbelievers. The sixteenth chapter of the book of Revelation tells of the wrath of God that is poured out onto the wicked and unrepentant that are still here on earth. The faithful Christians do not have to be concerned about experiencing the wrath of God as is assured in I Thess.5:9, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,." To the faithful church at Philadelphia Jesus said, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." Rev.3:10.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
This verse is a continuation of the previous verse and is discussed under that verse. It further emphasizes the separation of the believer from the unbeliever at the second coming of Christ.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
The substance of this verse has been mentioned by Jesus in the previous two verses plus that of vs.36. Refer to the discussion under vs.36. In this vs.42 however, Jesus further cautions that we should Watch therefore. Jesus also repeated this caution in Luke 12:40, "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Jesus is stressing the importance for the Christian to be watching, which means to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. The word thief as used in this vs.43 is used to illustrate the unpreparedness of the goodman of the house for the unexpected coming of the thief.
It is often said by Christians that Jesus will come as “a thief in the night” but that is an insult to Jesus. A thief is not welcome, comes unexpectedly, and comes to those who are not prepared for his coming. A true Christian will welcome Jesus with open arms, is expecting Jesus at any time soon, and works to lead a righteous life in preparation for the coming of our Lord. The Bible does not say that Jesus will come as a "thief in the night" to the Christian.
The “thief in the night” mentioned in I Thess.5:2 and also in II Peter 3:10 is referring to the unexpected coming to the unbeliever of the “day of the Lord”, a time when Almighty God unleashes his wrath upon an unrepentant and wicked world which the book of Revelation indicates will be as, or about the time of, Christ’s return to this earth. I Thess.5:2-5 explains “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Jesus again emphsizes the importance of be ye also ready as he just did in vs.42. The discussion under that verse plus of that under vs.36 applies to this verse as well.
Here again in this verse Jesus refers to himself as the Son of man, an expression he has used in this chapter as he often did elsewhere. He stresses that he is a human being like the rest of us.
The expression "son of man" is used in the Bible to denote people in general and only when we see the "S" capitalized do we recognize it as referring to Jesus. In Heb.2:6 we note where it is used with a small "s," referring to mankind in general. "But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?" In the Old Testament the expression is also used, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." Ps.146:3-4.
MATTHEW CHAP.24 VERSES 45-51 - - - - Click to
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Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
The remainder of this chapter 24 is a parable that directly compares a lord of his household and the two types of servants he has working for him, to the coming of Jesus and the two types of people that will be on earth when Jesus comes.
Luke referred to these two types of servants in Luke 16:10, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."
This vs.45 introduces us to the faithful and wise servant who is the "saved in Christ" who will be preparing for and looking for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Luke again describes for us the blessing bestowed upon the prepared believers, the faithful servants, referred to in this parable, "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." Luke 12:37.
These blessings to the saved we read about in Rev.7:16-17, "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
In the parable of the talents, it is said in Mat.25:21, "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." This concept of Jesus making his faithful servants rulers is given us in other verses, especially in the book of Revelation where we learn much of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Rev.3:21. Again in Revelation we read, " - for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Rev.5:9-10. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them - and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Rev.20:4. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father." Rev.2:26-27.
This basic concept of the good and bad servants and the rewards given to them is repeated in II Tim.2:12, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:."
In the Old Testament Daniel prophesied of the time when Jesus shall make him ruler, "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. - Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. - And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." Dan.7:18,22,27.
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
The last three verses (45-47) were about the faithful servant of the parable. The remaining verses of this chapter tell us about the evil servant.
It is easy and more convenient for the people of this world to feel that the present world will continue on as it now is and they will continue to "get away" with the kind of life they are leading. But the Bible tells us otherwise. II Pet.3:3-6 tells us of this time and of these people, "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:."
There are many evils inherent in all men but the evil servant does not try to suppress those evils or to repent of the sins he commits. "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." Mark 7:21-23.
And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
The wicked person or evil servant will ignore the consequences of his actions and will try to feel that things in this world will always be the same. "Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant." Is.56:12. Paul spoke of these persons in Philp.3:19, "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Although Jesus is speaking to Christians and encouraging them to prepare for his second coming, he uses this parable and the actions of the evil servant in the parable to warn them of the consequences of those who ignore the promise of his coming.
This vs.50 repeats again the substance of what Jesus said in Mat.24:36,42,44. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man - ." "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
After answering the disciples' question as to what shall be the sign of thy coming earlier in this chapter, the central theme of what Jesus says to the disciples in the remainder of chapter 24 may be summed up by Jesus in Luke 21:36, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall ome to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The parable closes with this vs.51 along with Chapter 24 of Matthew by telling of the destruction of the evil servant and thereby those who refuse to prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Later in Mat.25:30 we can read, "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Long before, Job had declared, "This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God." Job 20:29. Jesus also said in Luke to the workers of iniquity, " - depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." Luke 13:27-28.
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