March 31 – The Gospel of Matthew – Chapter 24

Read Matthew 24:1-51

“When will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world? – Matthew 24:3 NLT

In my lifetime, there have been numerous predictions that the earth was about to end and on the exact return of Jesus. If we know the word of God, it is easier to respond to predictions like these.

In 1954, a cult called Brotherhood of the Seven Rays predicted that the world would be destroyed by flooding on December 21.

Jesus said, “Watch out that no one deceives you” in verse 4. There are people who want to deceive others as you see in verse 5.

In 1962, Jeane Dixon predicted destruction to the world due to a planetary alignment on Feb 4. I recall that many Americans were alarmed at this prediction, including my family.

Then in 1967, George Van Tassel predicted the beginning of the third woe of the Apocalypse during which the southeastern USA would be destroyed by Soviet nuclear missiles.

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.  – (verse 6a)

In 1967, Jimmy Jones, founder of the People’s Temple, announced that a nuclear holocaust was to take place. Then in 1969, Charles Manson predicted that Helter Skelter, an apocalyptic race war, would occur.

“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”  – (verse 7a).

There were many more of these predictions over the past 60 years or more. There have actually been many predictions in the past 2000 years!

Jeane Dixon also predicted that Armageddon would take place in 2020. She made many predictions in her newspaper column and they appeared to be based on Astrology. We now know that these predictions were all inaccurate.

Jesus talks about the signs of His return but not specifically. Is Chapter 24 about the return of Christ at the end of history? Or could it be a prediction of events of AD 70, when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans? Could it be both?

We all know that lightning is quick. If you blink, you could miss lightning. When Jesus returns, it will be like lightning (see verse 27).

But the day of Christ’s return is unknown. In fact, only the Father knows when Christ will be returning (see verse 36).  Jesus said that His return will be like the flood (verse 39).

“So, keep watch because you don’t know when the Lord will come and you must be ready because he’s coming in an hour we do not expect him.”  – (verse 44)

So, live the Christian life on a daily basis – stay with it and know the word of God! With the end in mind, what are some ways that you need to be better prepared? In what way do you need to change the way you are living/acting?

“Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry…” – (verse 13 MSB)

Tom Weckesser

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