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A View Of The Not Too Distant Future?
Key Verse: Matthew 24:12, “lawlessness will abound.”
This post addresses a situation of violence that is never-ending in America, and throughout much of our world. The lawlessness that is shown in the opening video is severe but will be much more common-place after the Lord catches up His saints in the event that is known as the rapture of the church. The situation of worldwide violence will be heightened due to the fact that the rapture will remove all born again believers in Christ from the earth. With only unbelievers remaining after the rapture, no one who is left, whether citizen nor government leader, will have Godly wisdom within their spirit. None of the “left behind earth dwellers” will have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within their “unborn again” spirits prompting them in the key spiritual areas of sin, and righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-11). The key verse, Matthew 24:12, “lawlessness will abound,” is the focus of this post, as it relates to our current day situation, as well as to the time of the tribulation. As you read the verses of Matthew 24, put yourself in the audience of Jews who are hearing the Words of Christ. In this context, our Lord’s words relate primarily to the Jews, who are His chosen people. The comments that are contained in this post will show how much the Jews are loved by God, not that He does not love the nations of the world, who are Gentiles, but that the Jews are “the apple of His eye.” (Zechariah 2:8)
Pay close attention to the timeline of events that is shown in the order of scriptures: Pre-Rapture, Rapture, and Post Rapture; the Tribulation, Great Tribulation, and Second Coming Of Christ; followed by the gathering of the elect of Israel by angels, from their dispersed areas in the four corners of the earth, to be taken to Jerusalem. The elect believers in Christ will have already been caught up to be with Christ prior to the tribulation. Those, who had been caught up to be with Christ in Heaven at the time of the rapture, will return to earth with Christ, when He returns to earth with His saints, and steps foot on the Mount of Olives (Revelation 19:11-21;Zechariah 14:1-9; Matthew 24:29-31).
Jesus Movie – Gospel of Matthew Chapter 24
What does Daniel 9:27 tell us about when the Messiah would come?
God’s Plan For The Ages – 35 – Lawlessness Will Abound – Matthew 24:12
Lesson Verses And Comments
The Believer’s Expectant Hope
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
The Comfort of Christ’s Coming
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
The Great Apostasy
1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
Post Rapture – Tribulation – Great Tribulation – Second Coming Of Christ – Renewal Of Israel
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
3 Now 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?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (SEE NOTE: “GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM; NOT THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST).
The Great Tribulation
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
The Coming of the Christ
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Notice the focus that is on Israel
The Prophecy Of The Return of Israel
The Redeeming of Israel
5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west;
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—
The Renewal of Israel
24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
Titus 2:13 blessed hope. A general reference to the second coming of Jesus Christ, including the resurrection (cf. Rom. 8:22, 23; 1 Cor. 15:51–58; Phil. 3:20, 21; 1 Thess. 4:13–18; 1 John 3:2, 3) and the reign of the saints with Christ in glory (2 Tim. 2:10). glorious appearing. Cf. 2 Tim. 1:10. Lit. “the appearing of the glory.” This will be our salvation from the presence of sin. God and Savior. A clear reference to the deity of Jesus. Cf. 2 Pet. 1:1.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 Even though Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica was brief, it is clear the people had come to believe in and hope for the reality of their Savior’s return (cf. 1:3, 9, 10; 2:19; 5:1, 2; 2 Thess. 2:1, 5). They were living in expectation of that coming, eagerly awaiting Christ. Verse 13 (cf. 2 Thess. 2:1–3) indicates they were even agitated about some things that were happening to them that might affect their participation in it. They knew Christ’s return was the climactic event in redemptive history and didn’t want to miss it. The major question they had was “What happens to the Christians who die before He comes? Do they miss His return?” Clearly, they had an imminent view of Christ’s return and Paul had left the impression it could happen in their lifetime. Their confusion came as they were being persecuted, an experience they thought they were to be delivered from by the Lord’s return (cf. 3:3, 4).
1 Thessalonians 4:13 those who have fallen asleep. Sleep is the familiar NT euphemism for death which describes the appearance of the deceased (see note on 1 Cor. 11:30). It describes the dead body, not the soul (cf. 2 Cor. 5:1–9; Phil. 1:23). Sleep is used of Jarius’ daughter (Matt. 9:24) whom Jesus raised from the dead and Stephen who was stoned to death (Acts 7:60; cf. John 11:11; 1 Cor. 7:39; 15:6, 18, 51; 2 Pet. 3:4). Those who sleep are identified in v. 16 as “the dead in Christ.” The people, in ignorance, had come to the conclusion that those who die miss the Lord’s return and they were grieved over their absence at such a glorious event. Thus the departure of a loved one brought great anguish to the soul. But there is no reason for Christians to sorrow when a brother dies as if some great loss to that person has come.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 God will bring with Him. As Jesus died and rose, so also will those who die believing in Him rise again so they can be taken to heaven with the Lord (see notes on John 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 15:51–58). These texts describe the rapture of the church, which takes place when Jesus comes to collect His redeemed and take them back to heaven. Those who have died before that time (called “those who sleep”) will be gathered and taken back to heaven with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:15 we who are alive and remain. This refers to Christians alive at the time of the Rapture, those who live on this earth to see the coming of the Lord for His own. Since Paul didn’t know God’s timing, he lived and spoke as if it could happen in his lifetime. As with all early Christians, he believed the event was near (cf. Rom. 13:11; 1 Cor. 6:14; 10:11; 16:22; Phil. 3:20, 21; 1 Tim. 6:14; Titus 2:13). Those alive at the Rapture will follow those dead who rise first (v. 16).
1 Thessalonians 4:16 the Lord Himself will descend. This fulfills the pledge of John 14:1–3 (cf. Acts 1:11). Until then, He remains in heaven (cf. 1:10; Heb. 1:1–3). At that moment (cf. 1 Cor. 15:52, “twinkling of an eye”), the dead rise first. They will not miss the Rapture, but be the first participants. trumpet of God. Cf. 1 Cor. 15:52. This trumpet is not the judgment trumpets of Rev. 8–11, but is illustrated by the trumpet of Ex. 19:16–19, which called the people out of the camp to meet God. It will be a trumpet of deliverance (cf. Zeph. 1:16; Zech. 9:14).
1 Thessalonians 4:17 caught up. After the dead come forth, their spirits, already with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23), are now being joined to resurrected new bodies (see notes on 1 Cor. 15:35–50); the living Christians will be raptured, lit. snatched away (cf. John 10:28; Acts 8:39). This passage, along with John 14:1–3 and 1 Cor. 15:51, 52, forms the biblical basis for “the Rapture” of the church.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 comfort one another. The primary purpose of this passage is not to teach a scheme of prophecy, but rather to provide encouragement to those Christians whose loved ones have died. The comfort here is based on the following: 1) the dead will be resurrected and will participate in the Lord’s coming for His own; 2) when Christ comes the living will be reunited forever with their loved ones; and 3) they all will be with the Lord eternally (v. 17).
2 Thessalonians 2:1 coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the fifth mention of Christ’s coming in the Thessalonian letters (cf. 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; see note at 1 Thess. 2:19). The aspect of His particular coming in view here is identified by the next phrase “our gathering together,” which conveys the idea of all believers meeting together with the Lord Jesus, obviously referring to the rapture of the church described in 1 Thess. 4:13–18 and John 14:1–3. Cf. Heb. 10:25 for the only other use of this phrase in the NT. This was the event the Thessalonians were anticipating (cf. 1 Thess. 1:10; 3:13; 5:9).
Matthew 24:8 sorrows. The word means “birth pangs.” Famines, earthquakes, and conflicts have always characterized life in a fallen world; but by calling these things “the beginning” of labor pains, He indicated that things will get notably and remarkably worse at the end of the era as these unique tribulations signal the soon arrival of Messiah to judge sinful humanity and set up His millennial kingdom. Cf. 1 Thess. 5:3; Rev. 6:1–17; 8:1—9:21; 16:1–21; see note on v. 14.
Matthew 24:12 lawlessness will abound. The lawlessness will be epitomized by “the man of lawlessness” (2 Thes 2:3), the Antichrist. His hatred for God and God’s people, particularly the Jewish remnant, will be symptomatic of the worldwide hatred of God and all who acknowledge Christ. (Unger’s Commentary On The Gospels, Dr. Merrill F. Unger, 1909-1980).
Matthew 24:13 endures to the end…be saved. Physical salvation. (John Walvoord Commentary)
Matthew 24:14 THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM…NOT THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST…preached in all the world. Despite all the tribulations that would come—the deception of false teachers, the wars, persecutions, natural disasters, defections from Christ, and all the obstacles to the spread of the gospel—the message ultimately penetrates every part of the globe. God is never without a witness, and He will proclaim the gospel from heaven itself if necessary (cf. Rev. 14:6). and then the end will come. “The end” refers to the final, excruciating birth pangs (see note on v. 8). This is how Christ characterizes the time of Great Tribulation described in the verses that follow.
Matthew 24:15 abomination of desolation. See notes on Daniel 9:27; 11:31.—when the Antichrist sets up an image in the temple during the future tribulation. Christ’s words here therefore look beyond the events of A.D. 70 to a time of even greater global cataclysm that will immediately precede His coming (cf. vv. 29–31).
Matthew 24:20 great tribulation…sabbath…reflective of the relationship to the Jews. Gentiles will have not such understanding of the significance of the sabbath. Exodus 31:15-17 (mine)
Matthew 24:21 great tribulation. The words “has not been” and “nor ever shall be”—along with the description that follows—identify this as the yet-future time in which God’s wrath shall be poured out upon the earth (see note on Rev. 7:14). Jesus’ descriptions of the cataclysms that follow closely resemble the outpouring of divine wrath described in the bowl judgments of Rev. 16 and His subsequent appearing in Rev. 19 (see note on v. 30).
Matthew 24:22 those days will be shortened…elect: Israel..,Deuteronomy 7:6 (John Walvoord Commentary)
Matthew 24:24 to deceive, if possible, even the elect. This clearly implies that such deception is not possible (John 10:4, 5). (Consider the deception of the Antichrist) (mine).
Matthew 24:28 the eagles will be gathered together. The location of a carcass is visible from great distances because of the circling carrion birds overhead (cf. Job 39:27–30). Similarly, Christ’s return will be clearly evident to all near and far. The same point is made by the lightning in v. 27. The eagle-carcass imagery here also speaks of the judgment that will accompany His return (Rev. 19:21)
Matthew 24:29 the sun will be darkened. Such phenomena are a common feature of Day of the Lord prophecy (see Is. 13:9, 10; Ezek. 32:7, 8; Joel 2:10, 31; 3:15; Amos 8:9). The ultimate fulfillment of these prophecies takes place during the time of the Beast’s reign (Rev. 6:12, 13; 8:12).
Matthew 24:30 the sign of the Son of Man. I.e., the Son of Man Himself is the sign. The events described here precisely parallel the description in Dan. 7:13; Rev. 19:11–21. all the tribes of the earth will mourn. I.e., over their own rebellion. Israel in particular will mourn over their rejection of the Messiah (cf. Zech 12:10–12).
Matthew 24:31 from one end of heaven to the other. All the “elect” from heaven and earth are gathered and assembled before Christ. This is the culmination of world history, ushering in the millennial reign of Christ (cf. Rev. 20:4).
Isaiah 43:5, 6 east…west…north…south…ends of the earth. The Lord will regather to the land of Israel the faithful remnant of His people from their worldwide dispersion in conjunction with the institution of the Messiah’s kingdom on earth (cf. 11:12).
Ezekiel 36:24 bring you into your own land. God assured Israel that He will bring them out of other lands back to the Promised Land (v. 24), the very land from which He scattered them (v. 20). It is the same “land that I gave to your fathers” (v. 28), a land distinct from those of other nations (v. 36), and a land whose cities will be inhabited by those who return (vv. 33, 36, 38). The establishment of the modern state of Israel indicates this has initially begun.
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The scripture text was taken from Biblegateway.com
The translation of the text is from The New King James Version.
Unless otherwise noted, scripture notes were taken from The MacArthur Study Bible notes that are contained in Biblegateway.com
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