Read Matthew 24:1-31
The story of man’s rescue includes two different dimensions of the second coming of Jesus to this earth. If you miss that point, many Bible passages…including the one you read today…will seem confusing.
I am not sure that the disciples, understood that reality. They asked Jesus questions that launched Him into two chapters of teaching often referred to as the “Olivet Discourse.” On the heels of Jesus predicting the destruction of the temple, they asked:
- When will this happen?
- What will be the sign of Your coming?
- [What will signal] the end of the age?
They were interested in the prophetic timing and indicators of Christ’s return and events associated with it.
But, as we have already indicated, His second coming is two-fold.
- He returns in the air for His saints at the “rapture.” (We saw that two days ago in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.)
- He returns to the earth with His saints at the “revelation.”
While I am not sure that the disciples yet understood the difference between the two, Christ’s response gives us details about the second of those, His revelation.
Between those two events, there will be roughly 7 years that we often refer to as the “tribulation.” In Matthew 24, Jesus is giving us insight to some signs to expect during that tribulation period. There are the…
- “Don’t be deceived” signs– Perhaps even more so than now, the beginning of the tribulation will be marked by wars, national conflict, famines, and earthquakes. But that is just the beginning.
- “Get out of Dodge” sign– When the Antichrist sits in the temple and demands worship, things are getting serious. It is time for believers to hit the road!
- “You can’t miss it” revelation– When Christ returns to the earth, it will not be an event that happens in a dark corner that travels slowly by word of mouth. It will not require Internet service, CNN coverage, or Twitter broadcasting. It will be visible and audible to all…and you will be with Him. There is no reason to fear!