The Temple to Be Destroyed
Verse 1 – Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple.
Verse 2 – And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
The disciples must have stood in astonishment of what Jesus just said. This temple was constructed of blocks of white limestone that measured 37.5 feet long, 12 feet high, and 18 feet wide. Some of the blocks weighed nearly 400 ton. So sad that in 40 years, 70 A.D., the Roman armies, under the command of Titus, destroyed it.
Verse 3 – Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
From the Mount of Olives, Jesus had a perfect view of the whole city. Not all the disciples went up with Him. Mark 13:3, says Peter, James, John, and Andrew were there.
Verse 4 – And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Verse 5 – “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and will deceive man.
Anytime we start looking for signs, we become susceptible to being deceived. The only way to not be deceived is to stick to scripture. Down through history, people have set dates and have been wrong, but many still followed or believed.
Verse 6 – “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Are there wars going on now? Yes. Are there threats of wars? Yes. The end is not yet.
Verse 7 – “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Verse 8 – “All these things are the beginning of sorrows.
Verse 9 – “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
This statement is directed to Jesus disciples and future Christians. Stephen was stoned, James was killed by Herod, in addition all the others were persecuted and died because of their faith. This persecution continues today, brought on by another religion that opposes everything the Christian stands for. However, there is coming a time when Christians will be beheaded, when the “Antichrist” rules for a time.
Verse 10 – “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Many will stumble, apostatize from a profession of religion. Many who “professed” to love Me will show that they had no real attachment to Me, in those trying times. The time will come when the true believers will be in hiding, but will be betrayed by others as to where they are. This hatred for the Christian has been, and yet will intensify in the latter days.
Verse 11 – “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
This occurred during and after Jesus time, but we see this more today with people claiming, “God said…!”
Verse 12 – “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Verse 13 – “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
We may not be facing intense persecution where we live, but people in other parts of the world are. With false teaching and loose morals comes a destructive disease – the loss of true love for God and others. Sin cools your love for God and others by turning your focus on yourself. We have to stay strong in our faith until we draw our last breath, no matter what happens.
Verse 14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come.
There are millions of Bibles in print, in every language; pastors, preachers, missionaries, and Christians all around the world preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the final judgement comes, man will be without excuse.
Verse 15 – “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place , whoever reads, let him understand,
Verse 16 – “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
This abomination of desolation has two future events. The one spoke of by Daniel in which the Roman army standing in the holy city, encamped around the temple. The Romans brought their idols into the temple and placed them over the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them there (Daniel 9:26, 27; 11:31; and 12:11).
This second reference is found in Revelation chapter 13, where the statue of the beast is probably set up in the third temple that is yet to be built. The mountains of Palestine abound in caves and will be a safe retreat for those being pursued either by the Roman army in 70 A.D. or the future after the beast sets up his image.
Verse 17 – “Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of the house.
Verse 18 – “And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
Verse 19 – “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those with nursing babies in those days!
Verse 20 – “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
The only thing I can think of that this verse refers to is: The gates to the city were closed on the Sabbath and there was a law that the Jews obeyed that they could only go the distance of “a Sabbath’s Day Journey, so this may be concerning when the Roman’s attacked Jerusalem.
Verse 21 – “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Luke describes this event in Luke 21:24 – “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. The time that the Gentiles have control over Jerusalem is limited.
Verse 22 – “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
The “elect” here means Christians. Elect; to choose, chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (1 Peter 1:2).
Verse 23 – “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
Verse 24 – “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
How do people know an object is counterfeit? By studying the real thing, over and over, until they know the difference. So in these last days, don’t neglect your Bible. The truth and the evidence is all in there. Know it so well that it becomes a part of your being and it will be almost impossible for you to be deceived!
Verse 25 – “See, I have told you beforehand.
Verse 26 – “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.
Only a solid foundation in God’s Word can equip us to perceive the errors and distinctions in false teaching. Don’t be caught off guard when a new prophet comes to town with signs and wonders. It takes an in-filling of God’s Spirit to know the difference.
The Second Coming
Verse 27 – “For as the lightning comes form the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
This does not mean Jesus will come from the east, it means He will come in a rapid and unexpected manner, like lightning.
Verse 28 – “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gatherer together.
Verse 29 – “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Verse 30 – “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
During the time of the “great tribulation on earth, many will be beheaded for their faith. These are those that turn to Christ after the rapture of the saints. The bodies will pile up. Immediately following these events, the sun and moon will go dark and the stars will fall from the sky. There will be mourning and great sorrow because unbelievers realize they have chosen the wrong side to stand for. When they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds, all eyes on the earth will see Him and know it’s too late to change their minds and hearts.
Verse 31 – “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds form one end of heaven to another.
What Jesus says is very plain and clear: The elect, Christians, Saints, that are in heaven will be gathered by a trumpet. This also includes those who are dead after the tribulation started, that were converted to believe in Christ. Keep in mind; Jesus said gathered from the four winds from one end of heaven to another, not the earth.
Revelation 19:11-14 – (Verse 11) Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. (Verse 12) His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. (Verse 13) He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (Verse 14) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
The saints are with Him dressed in their wedding apparel, because this is after the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Verse 32 – “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know summer is near.
Verse 33 – “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors.
Verse 34 – “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.
Jesus is not talking about the destruction of Jerusalem 40 years after His ascension. He is not talking about the generation that was then. Why? Because He has not yet been seen on a cloud with the gathered elect from heaven. That hasn’t happened yet! He’s talking about the generation that sees all these things happen that He just mentioned. Is it our generation? Only haven knows.
Verse 35 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Everything that is in God’s word is true and will come to pass. We are to live our lives as though His return can be any minute. If we continue to live like that, we will be ready upon His return!
Illustration of the Days of Noah
Verse 36 – “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
Verse 37 – “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
The world will be found as it was then. His second coming will be sudden and unexpected by the unbelievers. Believers know He is coming, just not when.
Verse 38 – “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
As it is now; conducting business as usual; never giving a thought to God or His coming. Noah preached God’s judgment 120 years before He and his family entered the ark. Do we not have millions of Bibles in circulation and thousands upon thousands preaching God’s Word? We have had our warnings.
Verse 39 – “And did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
People are unconcerned, could care less about anything other than themselves. This was the attitude then, as it is now.
Verse 40 – “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
The choice we make now, while living, will determine our eternal destiny.
Verse 41 – “Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
Verse 42 – “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Verse 43 – “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Verse 44 – Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 – Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. Sober means exactly what it’s supposed to mean – in self-control, watching and anticipating His second coming.
Illustration of the Two Servants
Verse 45 – “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
Verse 46 – “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
Verse 47 – “Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
What will the Lord find us doing when He returns? As Christians, we are stewards, this is not our home. All that has been given us is only temporary, but we still are to take care of things. For instance; if you have a ministry, feed the flock; do you have a home, take care of it; everything we have can be used to represent God’s kingdom as a witness of His goodness.
Verse 48 – “But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’
Verse 49 – “and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,
Verse 50 – “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,
Verse 51 – “and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
We should live our lives as though each day Christ could return. Never with the attitude, “I can live as I wish because He’s not coming today.” Ministers especially, are to feed their flocks, not beat them up every Sunday. Always be watchful, and yes, it does matter that others are watching our actions!