ESCHATOLOGY – The Study of the End Times
PART III. WHY?
All things in the Bible are fixed. All things in the Bible are without error, and we cannot change them by recasting or reframing them according to our personal views, ideas, likes or dislikes or by seeing them through a 21st century lens. So, what is the point, what is the necessity of studying them?
It is important so…
(1). That you are not ignorant of what is coming – so you can BE READY, you WILL NOT BE DECEIVED OR MISLED. (Matthew 24:4-8)
(2). You will be ON THE ALERT and the thief will not break into your house and steal and plunder your ‘household’. (Matthew 24:42-44)
(3). You will not be left behind or left out (cast out). (Matthew 24:45-51)
(4). You do not faint, fall back, give up, or surrender. (Luke 21.26)
NOW TO THE MAIN POINT:
(Since there are several eschatological viewpoints, rather than ‘do the impossible’ and compare and contrast them all, I will present these End Times events from a Pre-Wrath Pre-tribulation view.)
Imagine with me that are present when Jesus’ disciples asked Him …“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:e)
Matthew 24:1 “Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Verse 2. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
In order to fully understand the mood and temperament of Jesus in Matthew chapter 24, you should first read Matthew chapter 23, wherein Jesus issues eight woes against the scribes and the Pharisees and completes his remarks with the prophetic proclamation, “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
All four of the gospels record a similar version of Jesus words to his disciples regarding the temple. What seems to be an innocent question about the temple buildings and their beauty is met with a prophetic rebuke from Jesus, provoked, most likely, because of Jesus’ recent encounter with the scribes and Pharisees.
We see, in Matthew 24:3, As Jesus was (now) sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus departs for the Mount of Olives, which a place Jesus goes to pray, meditate and teach. Jesus’s disciples then come to him privately, apparently having misunderstood His earlier remarks, asking for clarification.
THE QUESTION: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
(Notice that even the disciples are asking the ‘when’ and ‘where’ and not ‘WHY”.)
THE ANSWER TO “WHEN” – part 1:
Matthew 24:4, “And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. Verse 5. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
It is important, when trying to understand Jesus’ explanation, to first realize that He is speaking directly to His disciples, at that very moment, about current circumstances.
The year is around A.D. 25.
Jesus is saying “I SAY TO YOU, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, “see that no one leads you men astray.”
This is instruction for them in that day and is meant for us in our day, as well.
IMPORTANT: Jesus is saying that the beginning of the End of the Age had already begun at that time, around A.D. 25 – otherwise WHY would He warn His disciple? It is also important to know that prophecy often times takes time, decades or centuries to reach fulfillment, and that it may repeat and ‘reverberate’ (repeat) throughout time until it is fulfilled.
(PART IV – coming soon)