When Jesus’ disciples asked Him for a sign of His coming and of the end of the world; He told them to watch for wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilences, famines and false prophets (Matthew 24:7-11)…..”but”, He said, “these were only the beginning of sorrows”. However a few verses later, in that same chapter, Jesus gave two signs that would lead the believer to the key of knowing when the actual day of the great tribulation would begin…..and the eventual answer to the disciples original question….the exact day of His return.
During the times of these wars, pestilences, earthquakes etc, that Jesus spoke of, the gospel of the Kingdom of God would continue to be preached to all nations. But in verse 14 Jesus points out that when this job of preaching to every nation is accomplished then the end would come. (Matthew 24:14)
This scripture as often been explained to mean every region, island, town and person receiving the good news. I believe this to be an unrealistic view. As each generation passes a new generation takes its place; which obviously is a non-ending cycle. When looking at other end time verses like for example “a great falling away in the faith” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) it makes one wonder who is going to do the job of evangelizing if the church has fallen away.
We shouldn’t forget what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 10:23b
” ….Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”
So it would not seem possible for the millions of podunk villages and towns throughout the whole world to recieve a personalized message from a church that has “fallen away”.
I have no doubt the gospel has indeed been preached in all the world as a witness to all nations. Yes this prediction by Jesus has been fulfilled and we are witnessing the beginning of the end of this world as we know it.
Abomination of desolation
In the verse (15) Jesus points His end time believers to the next piece of the puzzle.
“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:)
You would think this nugget would put us all at rest with the knowledge that no matter what is happening around us; be it earthquakes, comets, wars, economic collapse…etc, etc, we have in our hand the mother of all signs.
At the least we can rest assured that until the abomination of desolation stands in the holy place we can continue preaching the gospel without looking fearfully skyward or down the street after reading the latest sensationalist news article on our “big brother” controlled mobile phone.
In other words it is pointless to go looking under every rock or stick, or browse a million alternative or conspiratorial sites, when we as believers, have already been told what sign to expect before being commanded to flee into the wilderness.
when is the rapture?
Another amazing thing about Matthew 24 is that it puts to rest the question of when the rapture will take place.
It seems many Christians have been decieved into thinking the church won’t be here during the great tribulation. In Matthew 24:29-31 Jesus clearly describes His return as being after the tribulation of those days.
So dear ones be assured you will be very much needed by Jesus and the lost as their light in the darkness that the abomination of desolation will throw upon the whole world.
See link below for a full study on Daniel 9