By Colleen Donahue

We have been studying the Olivet Prophecy that Jesus gave his disciples in the 24th chapter of Matthew. In the first two studies we looked at the perils that would occur in the "pre-end of age" (the time frame between the first and second coming of Jesus Christ).

Our third study of the Olivet Prophecy moved into the period called "the end of the age". We looked at the rapture of the church, the appearing of the Antichrist and the time of the Great Tribulation. Now, in a continuation of our study we'll look at the most prophesied event in history --

The Second Coming of Christ - End Times - Part 4

Studies continued from Matthew 24

Three Events in Man's Final Hour

Day 1- In humanity's final hour, after the Great Tribulation and in the time of the great trial, there will be a series of three events that will take place. Here is the first event.
Matthew 24:29

It's an event also predicted in:
Joel 2:30-31 / Isaiah 13: 9-10 / Luke 21: 25-26

Note: This will be the second time a great catastrophe in the natural realm will occur. There will have been one during the Great Tribulation as well.
Revelation 6:12-14

These natural catastrophes will signal the end of a long and bloody human civilization.

Day 2- The second event to follow is:
Matthew 24:30a

In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Now in this verse 30 Jesus answers that. This sign is linked with the statement "and all nations of the earth will mourn." The word "nations" in Greek is phule which refers to a tribe or kindred group such as the 12 tribes of Israel. (In contrast the word ethos (nation) usually refers to Gentile nations. )

The earth in Greek is "ge". This refers to a tract of land within fixed borders such as the nation of Israel.

So, the sign is linked with Israel and suggests the reappearance of the cloud of glory that accompanied the nation of Israel in the day of Moses.
Revelation 1:7

Day 3- The third event will be....
Matthew 24: 30b
The cloud of glory will be followed by the dramatic appearance of Jesus himself. This will be the Second Coming of Christ.

Day 4- When the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is unveiled the first result will be that Israel mourns.
Matthew 24: 30a / Zechariah 12:10-11

But why will they mourn? They will see the one whom they pierced and realize their sin and error. They will weep for the pain he suffered and for the realization of their own rejection of the Messiah.

Day 5- What will be the second result after Christ appears?
Matthew 24:31

Who are "the elect"?
Isaiah 11:11-12 / Jeremiah 31: 7-8
This is the gathering of Jewish believers who have settled around the globe.

Day 6- The third result, not mentioned in Matthew but logical to suppose will be that the Antichrist and his reign will come to an end.
Revelation 19:19-21

Three Guarantees That All Will Come to Pass

Day 7- Jesus often used illustrations from nature to make his point. He does that here. Here is the first guarantee.
Matthew 24: 32-33
The trend of world events unfolding is the first guarantee that Jesus is telling the truth and His coming is drawing near. When God begins to fulfill the prophecies then we'll know that He will make an end.

The fig tree is a frequent Biblical symbol of the nation of Israel. It has a trait in which the leaves and fruit appear at the same time. Jesus thus associates a revitalized Jewish nation with the end of times.

Day 8- Christ's second guarantee is found in:
Matthew 24:34

Scholars disagree as to the meaning of "this generation". Some feel it is a reference to the Jewish people. The word in Greek for generation is "genia" referring to a group of people with a common family stock such as the Jews. Other scholars feel that generation points to a period of time characterized by evil, adultery, perverseness and crookedness. "This generation" include: Gentiles who worship idols and reject God, Jews who reject Christ and apostates who abandon their former loyalty to Jesus Christ.

Either way, Jesus is saying, "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place."

Day 9- The Lord's third guarantee is his own word.
Matthew 24:35

His word will endure forever.
Psalm 119:89 / Isaiah 40:8 / 1 Peter 1:25

It will never fail in its purpose.
Matthew 5:18 / Luke 16:17

Jesus is saying that His own Word is more enduring then the unchanging pattern of the world. The promise of his return is most certain.

Day 10- Do we know when Jesus will be coming again?
Matthew 24:36

Day 11- Why can't we know? Why doesn't God tell us? Our life on earth is a test and we already know the questions. There is really only one.
Matthew 16: 13-15

To rephrase the question it would go something like this. "What will you do with my Son -- Jesus?"

Every man and woman is free to choose what to do with the fact that Jesus came as the Son of God. Will we recognize the reason that he came? Will we accept the fact that we were born in sin and therefore bent on sinning? Will we accept that our sin has separated us from God? Will we accept the remedy for sin that Jesus died to provide? Will we let Jesus continue to live his life through us? Will we live to love, honor, and obey Him?

Day 12- We have a whole lifetime to pass this test and align ourselves with the Maker of the Universe. We have been given free will to know and embrace God's son and in so doing we know and embrace God the Father. Obedience to God's will leads to love for him and finally to eternal life.
John 3:16-18 / John 17:3

Day 13- How will things be on earth among men when the Lord comes?
Genesis 6: 11-12 / Matthew 24: 37-38

Day 14- When He comes our test will be over. We will either have passed or failed. A great separation will take place.
Matthew 24: 40-41

C.S. Lewis has a telling quote in his book "Mere Christianity" that is relevant here. He say.... "When the author walks onto the stage, the play is over....It will be too late to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing. It will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen."

Day 15- Until our testing days are over what is the Lord's advice?
Matthew 24:42-44

WHO does Jesus address this advice to?
Matthew 24:3

It is important to see that his advice is addressed to His disciples - his followers - believers. Non-believers will not be watching or expecting. They will have little or no interest in the things of God and will live as they want without regard to God.

Watching For Jesus To Return

I'd like to study now about this whole matter of our watching and waiting so that we are clear as to what it means for us.

Day 16- The first thing that watching involves is that we wake up.
Romans 13:11 / 1 Corinthians 15:34 / Ephesians 5: 14-15 / 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8

Day 17- Once we have risen from our lethargy and sleep we are to actively seek God. How are we to seek Him?
Deuteronomy 4:29 / Jeremiah 29:13-14 / Psalm 119:10

If we do so, will God be found by us?
2 Chronicles 15:2,15 / Isaiah 55:6 / Luke 11:9-10

Day 18- Watching then involves taking time to be with God. What should we do in our time with God? Here are three main things:
A. Acts 3:19 / Acts 17:30

Repentance involves turning around 180 degrees from where we were headed . It's a recognition that before God we are sinful men -- in need of the salvation He has provided for every man in his son.

B. Read the Bible ---Why?
Psalm 119:11 / 2 Timothy 3:16-17

C. Pray
Matthew 7:7 / John 16:24 / Ephesians 6:18 / 1 Thessalonians 5:17 / James 5:13
God does nothing apart from our asking (praying) of Him.

Day 19- Watching means we are calling upon God in our day to day lives. When God is involved in all the things that we are involved in, then we start truly watching for Him.
2 Chronicles 14:11 / 2 Chronicles 20:4 / Jeremiah 29:11-12

Day 20- Finally to watch for God means that we honor Him as God so that we recognize and exalt Him for all that He does. This verse starts with a declaration that must be ours.
Isaiah 25:1

W=Wake up
A=Actively seek God
T=Take time with God
C=Call upon God
H=Honor Him as God

A person engaged in these things is watching for God.

Waiting For Jesus to Return

Day 21- To WAIT for God means first that we are WATCHING for him.
Matthew 25:13/ Luke 12:35-36 / 1 Corinthians 16:13 / Colossians 4:2

Day 22- To wait for God means that we are ANTICIPATING His coming and what He will do.
Genesis 49:18 / Psalm 123:1-2 / Isaiah 33:2

Day 23- To wait for God means that we are INTERESTED in His will and what He wants. We pray in accordance with that.
Psalm 40:8 / Psalm 143:10 / James 4:15

Day 24- To wait for God means that we take our hands off so that He can work. We do this as we go about our life obeying him.
Isaiah 26:8 / Jude 21

Day 25- How are we to wait on God?
Psalm 37:7 / Psalm 40:1 / Psalm 46:10A / Revelations 16:15

To help you remember what it means to wait, here is an acronym.

W=Watch for God
A=Anticipate God
I= Interested in God's will
T=Take our hands off so He can work

We will end our study here as the final verses in Matthew 24 begins with Jesus presenting three stories to illustrate what He means by watching and waiting. We'll continue looking at what it means to watch and wait in our next study.

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