Chapter 24 of Matthew is the same conversation Jesus had with His disciples in Luke 17.
Matthew’s account gives even more detail, for he was there as one of those disciples. This gives it a personal understanding of what Jesus taught concerning the end times.
In Luke 17 there was a focus on the kingdom of God and how it will come. It begins with a debate between Jesus and the Pharisees.
Matthew 24 is different. From this perspective, the conversation with the disciples was an answer to their question about the temple.
There are many parallels between the two versions of this conversation. Both say the Lord’s coming will be like the days of Noah and Sodom. Both ending with a sudden Judgment. Both versions also mention the analogy of, “Two women will be grinding at the mill. One is taken and the other left.” Both explain His coming as profound as lightning in the sky.
The greatest indicator that this is the same conversation also proves its connection to the second coming of Christ in Revelation 19.
37 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
And so the conversation explained in Luke and Matthew are reveled in the second coming of Jesus prophesied in Revelation 19.
Reading about the second coming (19:11-21) you will find that Jesus is coming to judge the world. This does not fit rapture theology. It does, however, fit the bible.
Let’s begin by reading a few verses right before chapter 24.
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
In here we find Jesus lamenting the hard-hearted foolishness of Jerusalem. Even with all of their sins, He longed to gather them into his arms in protection. But they were not willing. Their sin brought them judgment. And so it is with Christians.
We do not deserve the rapture. We have not earned it in any way. Jesus longs to protect us from harm, but our continued sin and hard-hearted ways keeps this from happening. Jesus died for our sins, but we must suffer the consequences of this fallen world along with the world itself.
So it was with Jesus. So it was with the martyrs who came after. So it will continue to be with us. We are not greater than our Master.
20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
Let’s continue on and look now at chapter 24.
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 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.”
This happened in 70 AD when Jerusalem was besieged by the Romans for their rebellion. The Romans destroyed the city and the temple. Today… there is not one stone standing on the other. It is utterly gone.
3 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?”
To the disciples, the destruction of the temple could only be a sign that the end is near. Listen to Jesus’ response.
4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
So, basically the destruction of the temple is only the beginning. “Don’t worry” Jesus says, “The end is not yet here.” And so these birth pains have continued for that past 2,000 years. We have seen wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes… but “the end is not yet.”
Heed Jesus’ warning here. Anyone who claims authority from heaven and says “the end is nigh”; Jesus laughs at such foolishness. Such a man is claiming to be like the Christ when they say this.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
The tribulation spoken here is not the “tribulation” that I was taught about growing up. That would be, the chiseled-in-stone-absolute-7-year-tribulation that many from my church growing up professed.
This tribulation is something the disciples themselves would experience. For, all but one was martyred for their Lord, and many more martyrs besides them happened across hundreds of years until; even today we have this evil martyrdom in places like China, Iran, and Turkey. This is the great tribulation Jesus was talking about.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
We are coming close to this! But we are not there, not yet.
15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Jesus is using a parallel to what happened to the temple in the 2nd century BC. The Greek king of that time, Antiochus IV, replaced the Old Testament offerings to the Lord with pig offerings. He also placed the Greek god Zeus in the holy hollies. This was prophesied to happen in the book of Danial. Jesus is saying, something like this will happen again.
17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
This event did happen again in 70 AD when the temple was destroyed by the Romans. So, the verses here are answering the question that the disciples asked concerning the destruction of the temple.
23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
Again, who is His audience? His disciples of course. He is warning them of something that many will see in their lifetime.
26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
And so here we have it. He must be speaking of His second coming of judgment in Revelation 19. It is too clear to say otherwise, unless you wish to call yourself Christ… and say otherwise.
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30
Again, what tribulation is He speaking of? The tribulation of martyrdom that we all face today. Until this tribualtion has passed, according to God’s timing not ours, there will be no “Immediately after…”.
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
This sounds like the rapture! But, in context, it is Christ’s second coming. It is the great resurrection that Paul spoke of in 1 Thessalonians 4.
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians seems to be speaking of the first resurrection spoken of in Revelation 20.
4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
Christ Will Come to Earth Twice
There is no third coming of Christ mentioned in the bible. There is no inbetween coming of Christ mentioned in the bible. The prophecy of the rapture is a false doctrine.
Matthew 24 continues:
32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
And we are still in this rebellious generation against the Lord! Revelation 19 has yet to come!
36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus is coming again… to bring judgment. We must be prudent and watch. We must flee from wickedness and repent!