Possibly with the exception of chapter 13, no part of this great book has been more misunderstood than chapters 24 and 25. Many major cults have used chapter 24:1-41, with Daniel 9:23-27, to try to prove that Christ has already returned. Even some well-meaning evangelicals confuse the issue by applying this section to the Church Age. It is important that we get the overall view of the Olivet Discourse in order to correctly understand these chapters. In this Discourse, Jesus predicted the events of that still future time when He will resume dealing with Israel, just before His return to earth in glory.
Chapter 24:1,2 predicts the destruction of the Temple; verses 4-26 are prophecies dealing with Israel in the period of the Tribulation, just prior to the return of Messiah-King to establish His earthly Kingdom; and, in verses 27-30, the prophecy is recorded of the second coming of the Messiah. This event will take place immediately after the Tribulation Period, preceded by a particular sign (verse 30). The coming will be sudden (verse 27) and evident to all (verse 30). Verse 31 deals with the regathering of Israel through special angelic ministries, and verses 31-51 illustrate the certainty of His second coming, exhorting everyone to be watchful. All three illustrations in verses 37-51 emphasize the unexpectedness of the Lord's coming, by showing that the individuals concerned were occupied with the usual cares of life, without giving thought to the Messiah's return. Israel is thereby exhorted to be prepared for that great day.
As we read this chapter we must remember that no signs in the Scriptures point to the Rapture of the Church but, rather, to the second coming of Christ in power and glory. This second coming takes place immediately after the Tribulation Period. We can already see the regathering of the Jewish people in their homeland, and we know that the world today is as much in sin as it was in the days of Noah. Since these are signs of the second coming of Christ, and the Rapture will take place seven years prior to His second coming; then we must realize that His return for the Church could be very near. It could be today! Are you ready to meet Him? MEMORY VERSE FOR TODAY: Man now can be: Reconciled.Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
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