End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 5 w/AnswersMatthew Chapters 24 and 25 — Part 1
In this lesson we begin a two-lesson study of Matthew Chapters 24 and 25, which is comprised of Christ’s teachings on End Time events and his Second Coming. Since Christ conveyed these teachings to his disciples on the Mount of Olives, it these passages are also referred to as the "Olivet Discourse" Following our study of these two chapters, we will begin our study of the book of Revelation.
As we observed in our earlier studies, the Old Testament scriptures are full of references to the coming Messiah and the events that would surround that period of judgment and the establishment of His earthly Millennium Kingdom. On the day that we now refer to as "Palm Sunday", the disciples following Jesus were becoming more and more convinced that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah. His triumphant entry into Jerusalem certainly reinforced that view, as they saw much of the earlier prophecies about the Messiah fulfilled before their eyes during their time with Christ, and now His entry into Jerusalem.
As the week progressed, however, they continued to find themselves unable to understand the full ramifications of all the prophecy surrounding the Messiah and his coming crucifixion and death on the cross, and his resurrection. Following his last day in the Temple, as they were leaving the city and conversed regarding its great buildings; Christ got their attention by foretelling its coming destruction. Later, in response to their questions about the timing of End Time events and the establishment of His earthly kingdom, Christ provided a more elaborate response. That response, contained in Chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew, provides us great insight into the coming events; particularly now that we too understand the Old Testament scriptures and the impact of Christ’s death and resurrection.
As you respond to the questions in this lesson, consider them from a Jewish perspective. After all, Christ was talking to twelve fellow Jews that he had hand-picked to be his Apostles. His answer is directed first to them, then to us. By reading this passage and responding to the reading as though you were Jewish, it will add context and understanding to the passage.
Read Matthew Chapters 24 and 25 and answer the following:
- In Matthew 24:2, Christ refers to what event that actually later occurred in 70 AD?
- ANSWER: The complete destruction of the Temple. Literally not a stone was left unturned; the Temple was broken apart, stone-by-stone, right down to the foundation.
- Camped on the Mount of Olives during Passover Week, the Disciples approached Jesus and asked him three questions which are recorded in Matthew 24:3. What were they?
- ANSWER 1: When will this happen (referring to every stone being thrown down)?
- ANSWER 2: What will be the sign of your coming again?
- ANSWER 3: What will be the sign of the end of the age?
- In Matthew 24:5, Jesus says to his disciples that many will come saying "I am the Christ". What does that mean, and why would that have any significance to the disciples? They were looking for Jesus to be the Messiah, but we have read no references in the Old Testament prophecies about a "Christ" — or have we?
- ANSWER 1: "Christ", or "Kristos", is the Greek word for "the Anointed One" or "Messiah"; Messuah in Hebrew.
- ANSWER 2: Jesus is telling them now for certain that He is indeed the person they have waited for. He is telling them that HE IS THE MESSIAH. (See Matt. 24:9 for example.) Wow! That must have been striking for them to hear. And, at the same time, he is warning them that many will come and try to fool them.
- What "signs" does Jesus say will be seen over and over again before they see the actual signs of the end coming? (see Matt. 24:5-8)
- ANSWER 1: People ("you") will hear of wars and rumors of wars;
- ANSWER 2: Many will be deceived by false Christs;
- ANSWER 3: Nation will rise against nation;
- ANSWER 4: Kingdom will rise against kingdom;
- ANSWER 5: Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places.
- What does Christ say will be the "signs of the end" (see Matt. 24:9-14)
- ANSWER 1: "You" will be hated by ALL nations because of Christ;
- ANSWER 2: "You" will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death;
- ANSWER 3: Many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other;
- ANSWER 4: Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people;
- ANSWER 5: The love of most people will grow cold.
- In Matthew 24:13-14, Jesus tells the disciples that "this gospel of the kingdom" will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to ALL nations, and "then" the end will come. What gospel is he referring to? (It is summarized in Matt. 24:13.)
- ANSWER: "He who stands firm to the end will be saved". Remaining firm in their faith, in spite of all that will be happening around them during the Tribulation Period, will be the outward indication of true believers in Christ. Witnesses will spread throughout the world preaching that Jesus, the Christ/Messiah is coming quickly and shortly. They will be telling the world to repent, just as John the Baptist did prior to Christ’s baptism and the beginning of his earthly ministry. Those who believe and stand firm will be saved. That is the gospel that will be preached worldwide by the 144,000 witnesses and their followers.
- In Matthew 24:15, Christ tells them of one specific sign of the end: "the abomination that causes desolation" standing in the holy place. And he tells them that it is prophesied in the book of Daniel: "...spoken of through the prophet Daniel". What is he referring to specifically, and where will it be standing? (see Daniel 12:11)
- ANSWER: It will be an image, and it will be set up in the Temple.
- Beginning in Matthew 24:16 and continuing through verse 28, Christ tells a group of people to "flee to the mountains". What people is he specifically referring to, and where are they before they are told to flee to the mountains?
- ANSWER 1: He is talking about the Jews. The Antichrist will have broken his covenant with them and put his image up as an idol in the middle of Temple. The Jews will be hated by all nations, and the Gentiles will now take over Jerusalem until Christ comes.
- ANSWER 2: We can tell that he is referring to the Jews , because he specifically refers to "those who are in Judea".
- In Matthew 24:27-31, Christ says that the coming of the Son of Man will be like "lightning that comes from the east" and "is visible even in the west". He tells us that the "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light". What did Zechariah tell us that the day of the Christ’s coming would be like in terms of illumination and light?
- ANSWER: Zechariah foretold that there will be no night; that the light during the night will be as bright as the light during the day. It will be a completely unique day in the history of man and in the universe, and will be unmistakably acknowledged as such by all.
In our next lesson, we will conclude our study of Matthew Chapters 24 and 25, observing the rest of the signs that Christ referred to as indications of his return, as well as his recounting of what establishing His kingdom will be like. It is amazing how much deeper our understanding is of these passages will be, having previously studied all of the Old Testament prophecy relating to them. As we move closer and closer to our examination of the book of Revelation, God is building a framework for us that will allow us to better understand His revelation of Jesus.
I pray that this study continues to strengthen your walk and deepen your faith in the one true Messiah, Jesus The Christ, our Lord and Savior.