End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 6Matthew Chapters 24 and 25 — Part 2
We continue our study of the Olivet Discourse, Matthew Chapters 24 and 25, picking up our study at verse 32 of Chapter 24. Christ has just finished giving the disciples an overview of the events that will occur over the time called the Tribulation Period, and he has highlighted the effect of these events on the Jews.
After describing the signs that will be indicative of the end times, Jesus goes on to teach an important lesson to the disciples, and this is where we will pick up our study with this lesson.
Review Matthew Chapters 24 and 25, and answer the following:
- What phrase in Matthew 24:32 indicates to us that Jesus is about to teach the disciples something important about these End Time events?
- The lesson that Jesus has for them to learn about the End Times is simple and yet profound. What is he telling them? (Matthew 24:32-35)
- Read Matthew 24:36-41. This passage is often mistaken or misinterpreted as referring to the rapture. One reason why we know that this is not referring to the Rapture of the church is because these verses are addressing the Jews and not the church. There is also a second reason why these verses could not be referring to the Rapture. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 3:10, and note why this passage in Matthew cannot be referencing the Rapture.
- What is remarkable about the events described in Matthew 24:38-39?
- Read Matthew 24:42-44. What do these verses tell us about the hour that Christ comes? (see verse 44)
- What is Christ telling his disciples in Matthew 24:45-51, and what can we learn from it as well?
- Beginning with verse 1 of Matthew Chapter 25, we see "judgment" as the common theme throughout the chapter. Who is being judged in the first 14 verses, and what is the discriminating test that causes some to be included in the kingdom and others to be thrown out? Let’s begin by looking at verse 1; it tells us when this judgment will occur, when it happens. Can you also tell by reading verses 1-13 who is being judged? (And no, it is not the church or "Christians", because they have already been resurrected and have returned with Christ.) (See also Ezekiel 20:33-44.)
- What do you believe is the significance of the oil in the lamps, i.e., those that have it and those that do not?
- So, in the first parable of Matthew 25, verses 1-14 stressed the need for the Jews to be alert, to be ready and always watching for Christ’s return. What does the second parable, found in verses 14-30, teach them?
- The last verses of Matthew Chapter 25 deal with the judging of the goats and sheep. Given the context of this judgment occurring upon Christ’s return and at the beginning of the establishment of His earthly kingdom, and given that He has just finished judging the Jews; what group of people would comprise the goats and sheep, and what are they being judged on?
Using the foundation of our study of Old Testament prophecy in our previous lessons, and Christ’s teaching in Matthew Chapters 24 and 25, we are now ready to begin our study of the book of Revelation. We will begin that study in the next lesson, as we look toward the day when Christ will physically return, and the entire world will see Him as Lord of Lord and King of Kings!