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Matthew Chapter 24


Since the horrendous terrorist attack on the United States (rather the world), on September 11, 2001, I have had many people ask this same question. I will attempt to explain the 24th Chapter of Matthew with the Lord’s help. I know there are many much better qualified, much better educated Bible teachers than I, and they may disagree with what I say, and maybe you will too. I teach only what God places on my heart.

Jesus' Words are in bold, yellow italics.

Characteristics of this age.

Matthew 24:3 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? [KJV] Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the exact place where the prophet Zecharaiah had predicted that the Messiah would stand when He came to establish His kingdom (Zech. 14:4). The disciples asked Jesus when He would come in power and what they could expect. Jesus’ reply emphasized what events that would take place before the end of the world. He pointed out that His disciples should not be concerned with knowing the exact date but concerned with being prepared . . . living God’s way continually so that no matter when Jesus came in glory, they would be ready.

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (KJV) The Lord cautions the disciples (then and now), because He knew there would be much deception. We are to beware of false teachers, checking every sermon, tract, any literature or tape with the Bible (Acts 17:11). We must focus on Christ and His Words. Don’t look for special signs, or to other people who claim they know everything. Look to Christ. Jesus tended to promote caution rather than to satisfy their curiosity, and ours. He wanted to prepare them and us for the events that will happen.

Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. [KJV] . . . I believe that in verses 5-8, Jesus is speaking about the present age of the church; things that will happen before the Rapture takes place. As we near the end of this age, there will be increasingly more false Christs, such as what happened at Waco, Texas a few years ago. Koresh and many like him were NOT the Christ, and they certainly did deceive many! This is happening today, and what we can expect more in days to come!

Matthew 24:6 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. [KJV] Jesus foretells of wars and great commotions among all the nations. Was He right? Certainly!!! When the Jews rejected Christ, and He left their house desolate, turmoil and war has never left them. Those who will not listen to the messengers of peace, will always hear the messengers of war. But, those whose heart is firm, and trust in God, are kept in peace, and are not afraid, no matter what happens, for we know that God is in control of every circumstance. If your heart is troubled, you are NOT with Christ, and if you are NOT with Him (for Him), you are against Him.

The League of Nations will never be able to solve the problem of war. There will be NO peace until the Prince of Peace comes. Wars and rumors of wars is happening today!

Matthew 24:7-8 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. [KJV] These things: famines, disease and earthquakes in many places . . . have always have been in the world, but they seem to be increasing all the more. When we think of what the Bible says about the eternity of misery (Hell) that is before all the stubborn unbelievers of Christ and His Gospel, we can truly say that these things are just the “beginning of sorrows.” All the things listed in verses 5-8 will intensify as we close in on the end of this age. What we are seeing now, is only the “beginning of sorrows.”

Tribulation’s beginning with its signs.

Today we are living today in the ‘age of the church’ or the ‘age of the Holy Spirit.’ God’s Word divides the people of the world into 3 distinct groups of people: 1. the Jews, 2. the Gentiles, and 3. the church of God.

1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: [KJV] . . . At this time in which we now live, God is calling out people from both the Jews and the Gentiles to compose the 3rd group . . . the church. It will be this 3rd group, and it alone, who will be taken out (removed, raptured), before the Great Tribulation begins (1 Thes. 4:14-18). Once the church is raptured, the Tribulation will begin.

Matthew 24:9 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. [KJV] . . . Who is the “you”? It is not the church, for they are gone home to Heaven! Jesus is speaking to the Jews, the nation of Israel. The affliction of which Jesus is speaking is anti-Semitism on a world wide scale. It seems that Israel has always been hated by the world; but it is getting worse and worse by the day. But as long as the church is still here, there will NOT be world-wide anti-Semitism because a TRUE believer in Jesus could NEVER hate the Jews. It is impossible! I think there are many liberals exhibiting a false front and in the end, they will turn against the Jews. Anti-Semitism will be world-wide when the church is raptured (Zech. 12:2-3; 14:2). One day ALL nations will rise up against tiny Israel!!!

Matthew 24:10-11 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. [KJV] . . . As we saw in verses 4-5, Jesus warned the church to beware of false teachers; now He warns Israel to beware of false prophets. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive Israel. There were false prophets in Jesus’ day, we have them today and they will be with us till the end. They are the popular leaders who tell people what they want to hear: “God wants you to be rich,” “Do whatever you want,” “Everyone will go to Heaven,” or “There is no such thing as sin or Hell.” Jesus said false teachers would come. He was right, He is always right! He warned His disciples, He warns us today, and He warns Israel here not to listen to their dangerous words.

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. [KJV] . . . False teaching and loose morals produce a destructive disease: the loss of true love for God and others. Repeated sin freezes your conscience and hardens your heart, and love for God and others is gone, because all you think of is me, me, me! You can never truly love God or other people if all you think of is yourself. True love is rare today; it consists of care, concern and compassion for others.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. [KJV] . . . Jesus knew that His followers would be severely persecuted by those who hated what He stood for. In the midst of all the terrible persecutions of the Tribulation, those who hold out to the end shall be saved. There will be millions killed for their faith in the Tribulation period because they stood fast for the Lord. If only they would turn to Jesus today, they would not have to experience the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5).

Matthew 24:14 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. [KJV] . . . What is the “Gospel of the Kingdom”? It’s the same Message that John the Baptist preached (Matthew 3:2). It’s the same Message that Jesus preached (Matthew 4:17). It’s the same Message that the disciples preached (Matthew 10). “Repent ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Jesus said that before He returns, this Gospel (the message of salvation) would be preached throughout the world. This was John the Baptist’s mission, the disciples’ mission, and it is ours today. There are not many ways to be saved. There is ONE Way, and that is Jesus! We must repent and accept what He did for us on the cross. The end of the world will not come until the Gospel has reached the utter most parts of the world. Do you think that this prophecy is almost fulfilled, right now???


Matthew 24:23-25 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. [KJV] . . . BEWARE of miracles and so-called signs; miracles should be looked upon with great suspicion in our day; because the next miracle worker will NOT be Christ, but the Antichrist, with a multitude of false prophets behind him. Who are the “elect” mentioned here? The Bible tells us there are two ‘elect’ groups: the elect of the nation Israel and the elect of the church. WHO has Jesus been talking to in these veres? ISRAEL!!! So, he is still speaking to the Jews here too, NOT the church. Jesus warns about false teachers time after time. MANY are the nice-sounding messages today, but they do NOT agree with God’s Message in the Bible. Only a solid foundation in God’s Word can equip us to discern and see the errors and distortions in false teaching (Acts 17:11).

Matthew 24:26-27 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. [KJV] When Jesus comes back, John the Baptist won’t have to announce Him. The world will KNOW it! He will come like lightening! No one will be able to miss Him. No one will need to announce Him! Everybody will know it! Today we have many who say they are Christ. If we study the Bible, we know that those who claim to be Christ, are not Him! Jesus’ return will be unmistakable (Mark 13:26); no one will doubt that it is He. If someone has to tell you that the Messiah has come, then He hasn’t! Christ’s second coming will be obvious to everyone. The second coming of Christ is NOT the Rapture.

Israel is to be a sign of the Rapture!

Matthew 24:32-33 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. [KJV] . . . The fig tree is a symbol for Israel (Jer. 24:1; Hos. 9:10). God will never do anything without His first revealing His secret plans to His servants (Amos 3:7). Every great event in history was always previously revealed, before God took action: the Flood, Israel’s captivity, Christ’s first coming, the destruction of Jerusalem, etc. So too it will be with the end of this age. There are signs we can look for, and here, Jesus states that the main one is Israel! We need to keep our eyes on Israel. She is the ‘key’ that will turn God’s plan into action.

The Rapture must take place before the Great Tribulation. The Rapture is the next event on God's calendar! Immediately after the church is removed from this Earth, the Antichrist will sign a peace treaty with Israel. Do you see what is happening with Israel today? She is in constant unrest, always in conflict with her neighbors. She grasps for peace, but it eludes her. When Antichrist offers her peace, she will jump at the chance. Just as an expectant mother knows the approximate time of her child’s birth, we too can know the approximate time of Christ’s return for the church at the Rapture (1 Thes. 5:1-6).

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. [KJV] . . . “Listen to Me,” Jesus says. Generation means time, age or age group, but it can also mean nation. In the Bible it generally means a period of about 40 years (Num. 14:33; Heb. 3:9-10). Jesus could be talking about the nation Israel, for she will never pass away; or He could mean that the generation that sees the budding of the fig tree will also see the second coming of Christ. Maybe Israel started budding on May 15, 1948 when she became a nation.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. [KJV] . . . Heaven and Earth shall indeed pass away (2 Peter 3:10-13; Rev. 21:1), but the Word of the Lord is here to stay!

Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. [KJV] . . . How can so many brilliant people predict exactly when the end will come, when the only One who knows is God the Father? NO one knows for sure exactly when the Rapture will take place! We can have a general idea, because He has given us many signs, but NO one knows for sure!

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [KJV] . . . Christ will come very unexpectedly at the Rapture, that's why we must be watching, be ready!!!

Matthew 24:38-39 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.
[KJV]. . . Just what was going on in the days of Noah?
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [KJV] . . . Evil and wickedness! That’s what! What about our world today? The United States has turned its back on God! We are no longer a God fearing nation. 2 Timothy 3:2-5 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. [KJV]

People love themselves, NOT God or their fellow man. They lust after what their neighbor has. They boast of all they have or have accomplished. Pride won’t let them humble themselves before God. They blespheme God with nearly every breath, including TV programs and movies. You would have to search far and wide before you could find an obedient child. People rarely ever say “thank you” any more. They are disrespectful and profane. Natural affection has flown out the window long ago; with women aborting their unborn children, and doctors with no feelings, that perform the surgery. People will quickly betray you instead of standing by you in friendship. And on and on! People have no qualms about living together outside of marriage, and the homosexual life is common place today. Homosexuals teach our children in schools. Is any one objecting? Very few! Our pastor recently said in his sermon that if God doesn’t punish the U.S., He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.

Are we living in the last times? What do you think? People are living just as they were before the Flood, as though God didn’t even exist!

Matthew 24:40-41 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. [KJV] . . . These words strongly describe the suddenness of our Saviour’s coming! Men and women will be at their jobs, and suddenly Jesus will appear in the clouds. Are you prepared to meet Him if He came today? Can I stand before him? Could you? Christ’s coming at the Rapture will be swift and sudden. The choice we have already made will determine whether we go with Him or not.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. [KJV] . . . To watch for Christ is to be in such a spirit of mind that we wouldn’t be sad if the Lord came today. Our Lord’s coming will be a joyous time to those that are ready, but dreadful to those that are not.

Matthew 24:43-45 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? [KJV] . . . Jesus uses two parables (a simple story with a some what hidden meaning) in the following verses. These parables illustrate the attitudes of people, and what will happen when He does come. Here, if the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, he would have stayed awake and not let the thief break into his house. So, too we must also be ready at all times. For Jesus will come when least expected. We must be faithful and wise servants.

Matthew 24:46-51 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. [KJV] . . . We cannot live carelessly even though Christ has not yet come. There is an exact moment prepared for Christ to come. Remember, a day is as a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:9). We ought to live our lives in the light of the fact that we will one day stand in His awesome Presence. Are we ready? Will we be ashamed?

All those who choose to be Satan’s children, will have Hell for eternity. When He comes, may our Lord Jesus declare us blessed and present us to the Father; washed in His Blood, purified by His Spirit, and fit to share in the inheritance God has promised.


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