“But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.” (Mathew 24:13, HCSB).
In Matthew 24:1-28 Jesus described a number of signs and events including an increase in evil and great deception, wars, famines, natural disasters, persecution, false Christ’s, and astronomical disruption. that would precede His Second Coming and the end of world.
He also noted that the good news of His coming Kingdom would be preached to all nations.
Following the distress of the last days, Christ will return in power and glory in full view of all nations and He will gather all His people to Himself.
Many biblical scholars interpret these predictions of Jesus to have dual meanings, referring to both the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and the Apocalypse.
Some maintain that the abomination that causes desolation in vs. 15 was caused by the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who desecrated the Jewish temple in Jerusalem by erecting a statue of Zeus in the sanctuary in 167 B.C.
Jesus was certainly aware of the acts committed by Antiochus IV Epiphanes as were all Jews, because the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah was a celebration of the Temple’s liberation from the rule of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Others have concluded that the abomination that causes desolation occurred when the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Roman General Titus and an idol was placed on the site of the burned down Temple.
Yet, it is not unusual for biblical prophecies about future events to include both an immediate and distant fulfillment.
Jesus could very well be referring to the destruction of the Temple and the end of the world because he was answering the questions of “when will these things happen” (i.e., the destruction of the Temple) and “what is the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” (vs. 3).
Undoubtedly, some of these predictions were fulfilled when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in 70 A.D, but it is apparent that all these predictions were not fulfilled by that event alone.
So it seems reasonable to look for another, more cataclysmic fulfillment in the future that constitutes the end of the present age.
Jesus’s apocalyptic narrative suggests that we should anticipate His Second Coming at any time and not get caught in the trap of living our lives like “business as usual.”
The Second Coming of Christ opens the finale in the cosmic drama of God’s redemptive plan for His universe. It’s the end of days!
The expectation of Christ’s appearing is the driving force in keeping God’s people alert and attentive to what they do with their lives in this present age.
So, the bottom line is that we must live our lives now like it matters for eternity…because it does!
“But our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20, HCSB)