Matthew 24:3a And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be?
Over the years, it has never ceased to amaze me how God has “coincidentally” timed our studies in Scripture. Such is true of our study this morning. We are in Mark 13, and it begins this way: “And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.” What a shocker those words of Jesus must have been for the disciples. But after He tells them about the destruction of the temple, Matthew adds this question: “And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3b) So Jesus is going to prophesy in this chapter the destruction of the temple and, secondly, the signs of His coming and the end of the age. Within 40 years, the prophecy of Jesus Christ regarding the destruction of the temple was fulfilled just the way He said it would happen. Likewise, the signs of His coming and the end of the age will take place just as Jesus said they would.
Did you know that there are more prophecies of the second coming of Jesus Christ and the last days than prophecies regarding His first coming? In other words, the eternal plans and purposes of God are going to happen and nothing is going to stop them. No evil scheme of the devil or conspiracy of man is going to stop the coming of The Lord. No pestilence or natural disasters are going to stop the coming of The Lord. It is sad when the lives of the people of God are more preoccupied with and wrapped up in the current crisis and pandemics and conspiracy theories than with God’s Word.
A word that Jesus repeats in His end of the world discourse is “watch” (Mark 13:33,35,37). It is in the present imperative tense. This means that our lives are to be shaped by the constant anticipation of Jesus. The only appropriate response to darkness is to preach the gospel, not draw more attention to the darkness. In Revelation 22:7 Jesus said, “Behold I come quickly.” Jesus is coming soon. Those were His last words in Scripture. His final words before His ascension were to go into the entire world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15,19). Beware of living your life in constant reaction to the evil deeds of darkness. Like the wise virgins, be filled with The Spirit (Matthew 25:1-13) and be about your Father’s business of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ’s soon return. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12) Selah