The course of the present age is to be marked by wars, famines, pestilences, persecutions, false Christs, and religious systems, increasing in intensity as the age nears its end, and culminating in tribulation such as the world has never seen, nor ever shall see again. Jesus Christ shall suddenly, unexpectedly and gloriously appear, coming in the clouds of heaven with His hosts. Blessed are they who cherish the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) and live in hourly expectation of His coming.
1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 ¶ And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 ¶ Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 ¶ But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 ¶ Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 24:1-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 24:4-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 24:9-13 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 24:14 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 24:15-22 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 24:23-31 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 24:32-41 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 24:42-51 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 24:1-14 – Be Ready to Endure
Successive generations have pored over these words of our Lord with great eagerness, endeavoring to extract from them a clear forecast of the future. In the case of the early Christians, they warned them to flee to Pella, and in doing so, to escape the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. But to all of us they are full of instruction.
It is best to consider these paragraphs as containing a double reference. In the first place, up to Matthew 24:28, they evidently deal with the approaching fall of Jerusalem. Our Lord describes the events which were to mark the consummation of the age, Matthew 24:3. Antichrists, disturbances of physical and national conditions, the persecutions which the infant Church must encounter, the progress of the gospel, and finally the swoop of the Roman eagles on their prey—all these were to mark the close of the Hebrew dispensation and the birth of the Christian Church. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 24:15-28 – Beware of False Christs
The abomination of desolation is explained in Luke 21:20, and probably refers to the Roman ensigns as the symbols of pagan and therefore unclean power. So urgent would be their need of flight that the outside steps of the houses must be used. None might try to save his property. Ever, the winter’s cold must be faced, if life were to be saved; and the flight must be farther than could be covered on a Sabbath day, that is, according to Jewish law, less than a mile.
It is a matter of literal fact that there was compressed into the period of the Jewish War an amount of suffering perhaps unparalleled. Josephus’ history of the period abounds in references to these false Christs who professed themselves to be the Messiah.
Notice that, though the elect may be powerfully tempted, they will repudiate and resist the attack and still remain loyal to their Lord. What a searching word is this!—“whom he did predestinate… them he also glorified”, Romans 8:30. They may be tempted, tried, almost deceived, but angels will bear them up in their hands and God will keep their feet. See Psalm 91:12; I Samuel 2:9. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 24:29-39 – Words That Must Be Fulfilled
The preceding portion of this prophecy is by all interpreters applied to the destruction of Jerusalem. But on the portion that follows there is a considerable division of opinion.
Perhaps it is wisest, between Matthew 24:28-29, to interpolate the Christian centuries during which the gospel is being preached to the Gentiles, according to Romans 11:25, (but that whole chapter should be considered). Just as one who looks across a mountainous country may count the successive ranks of sierras or ranges, but does not record the valleys that lie between, so our Lord, who speaks as the last of the Hebrew prophets, does not stop to notice the story of the Church, but confines Himself to the events which are specially Hebrew.
Probably the present age will be ushered out by scenes not unlike those of the preceding one; and immediately afterward the Lord will set up His reign, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth. The Advent will be sudden, Matthew 24:36; and will find men unprepared, Matthew 24:38. The Jewish people will exist as a people till then, Matthew 24:34. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 24:32—The summer is nigh.
You say that it is rather overdue. The nipping winds and morning frosts have held back vegetation so long that it has seemed as if summer would never visit us, spreading her carpet on the earth, and giving her intense hues to stream and lake and sky. But summer is nigh in spite of all prognostications to the contrary, because He is nigh, who is the King of summer, whose presence makes summer. Be sure that He, and therefore it, is nigh, even at the doors.
He is always nigh, and those that love Him realize the perpetual summer of his presence; but his appearing, the parousia, is nigh. Presently the swing doors will be flung wide, and his triumphal procession will sweep into our view. Then the millennial summer of the world will break, and her long winter will be gone for ever. Their the bride will hear Him say: “The winter is past, the rain is over and gone;…the time of the singing of birds is come…Arise…my fair one, and come away” (Song of Solomon 2:11-13).
The rumors of war that frighten the nations; the slackening faith and waning love; the dissemination of the Gospel to all lands; the great movement now in progress in the midst of the ancient people of God; the decrease of conversion work in favor of the preparation of the Bride for the Bridegroom—all these are like the tender shoots of the fig-tree which show that the Lord is at hand. Oh, lonely and sequestered ones, by his appearing, and by our gathering together unto Him, be of good courage, and do the King’s work.
Do you want perpetual summer in your soul? There is only one condition which needs to be fulfilled. You must leave the northern climes to dwell between the Tropics, where the sun is always on the throne of the sky. Thy sun shall no more go down. —Our Daily Homily
Matthew 24:40-51 – Watch and Work
There are many comings of the Son of man before the final one to judgment. We may derive the full benefit of our Lord’s words, even though we have arrived at no settled opinion as to the precise order of future events. The hour of our death is as uncertain as that of His coming in the clouds. For each, we should be ready!
Watchfulness is keeping awake! We are beset by temptations to sleep. Bunyan said that we are traveling over the Enchanted Ground, the air of which is very heavy and sleep-producing. How dull we are to perceive the unseen, or to meet the great opportunities of life! Broken up alludes to the mud or clay house which could not keep off the thief. Death breaks in and carries us away from all of our treasures. See I Thessalonians 5:2, 4.
We had best wait for our Lord while engaged in carefully discharging our appointed tasks. The Church is a big household in which each has his niche. “To labor is to pray;” to serve is to be ready. —Through the Bible Day by Day