“The Mount of Olives Discourse Part 2” Matthew 24:1-30

“The Mount of Olives Discourse Part 2” Matthew 24:1-30


“The Mount of Olives Discourse Part 2”

Matthew 24:1-30 | Pastor Richard C. Piatt II


Fellowship Baptist Church



Well, if you would take your copy of God’s holy and errant and inspired word and let’s turn to Matthew chapter 24. I confess that probably in all of my years of ministry, I with fear and trembling come to this passage of scripture. It is an extremely difficult passage of scripture to be accurate with. And because, boy, it just depends upon who you want to read and what century you want to read it. And if you’re on a dispensational side, or if you’re on a covenant side, if you’re on a reform side, a non-reform side, boy, talk about some real controversy. And I suppose that I will take a position, but don’t hold me to that position, for more than probably 24 hours, because I may change again for this whole week.

I spent a lot of time. A lot of time in meditation, contemplation and to consider certain things in the midst of this in reading. It’s interesting when you read, say, for example, a man I highly respect is with the Lord right now, James Montgomery Boyce. And as he takes an eschatological position, probably not far from mine, and so you think, okay, well, that’ll be the perspective. But then you see him making reference to Dr. R.C. Sproul, who was my first professor in my doctoral program at Reformed Theological Seminary, and who, as well, took an opposing position of this particular passage. And to see Dr. Montgomery Boyce disagree with one of his friends, and one of his mentors also, and a comrade in the faith. And then to see them do that, and then you go, and of course our pastor spent time over in California at Grace Community Church with Dr. McArthur, and he would take a third position or something slightly different. And so it’s like that discussion that we had when we got to the end of the gospel according to Mark, and what are you gonna do?

Well, this is one of those. But when you research it out, and I even had some who sent me different YouTube things to watch and to do that sort of thing, again, there’s just disagreement. And so I want to share with you what I believe the text to be saying. with some warnings as we come to it. And one of the things that makes this interesting, if nothing else, and as your pastor, to help you to think biblically on difficult passages, is to realize, as I’ve already mentioned, that this is a difficult passage, but it’s difficult enough that the man C.S. Lewis, you maybe have heard that name, he’s not a slouch when it comes to intellects, Dr. C.S. Lewis referred to this as containing the most embarrassing passage of the New Testament.

Now whether you agree with him or not, technically I don’t. but it’s difficult yes embarrassing I refuse to be embarrassed by the word of God and and so forth if I’m embarrassed then it’s my interpretation is the embarrassing part and I’ve already fully confessed there are some hard things here but this is a passage that we need to consider and I’d like to last week because we had communion and I couldn’t get too far into it. I’m going to do a little bit of review, but I want to set it up and then basically go through it. Now, Dr. R.C. Sproul, of whom that I do not necessarily agree with his interpretation, I will say that he had some good warnings up front. But he also had a comment that has sustained me throughout and that I want to share with you. It’ll be more of an ad lib, it’s not a direct quote. But as he was setting the context, and that’s what we will do, that’s actually part of the very beginning that we want to do, the disciples’ curiosity was being aroused, and they asked some questions.

If you remember, there’s actually three questions there. Some see two, because there’s two in the gospel according to Luke, which also really helps you understand the gospel of Matthew. But in the gospel of Luke, or in the gospel of Matthew, there’s really three questions that kind of come up. And in the midst of all of that, we all know, and because of the broader context, this is after the triumphal entry. This is after the cleansing of the temple. This is after Jesus has taken on the religious leaders in chapter 23. If you remember, they came and asked him questions and then finally he then pronounced his woe. And so it comes right on the heels of extremely heavy full of gravitas passage of scripture. And he pronounces the woes upon the scribes, the Pharisees, and the hypocrites. And then it says, assuredly, I say unto you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Well, that’s going to be part of the embarrassing part that C.S. Lewis says, because it’s there and it also is in the Sermon on the Mount. And I would believe definitely in that particular one, the woe is the judgment of God is coming upon you. And it did in 70 A.D., which is immediately the reason why then what is called a preterist interpretation comes in. Is it all 70 A.D.? And there are Dr. R.C. Sproul has in one of his commentaries. I also was told that he might have changed. But whether he did or not, it’s in print that he did say that pretty much all of it is 70 A.D. But then that will affect what you think about the second coming of Christ. And hence, we get into then eschatological disagreements or the doctrine of the second coming, future things. Did God basically whoop Israel and then it’s just Jesus comes and it’s over? That’d be more of an amil.

Or if you hold that there’s gonna be a future kingdom on earth that’s not part of the eternal kingdom, then you get into post-millennialism. And so the preterist interpretation and how and how much and any is this all future all come into play. What I want to say is what was also given warning of Dr. R.C. Sproul, and that is this. It comes on the heels, the Olivet discourse on the heels of a heavy, serious judgment upon the spiritual leaders of Israel. There was a terrible. Awesome. And I don’t mean that in a good sense. an awesomely destructive judgment upon Israel and upon Jerusalem at 70 AD. And Jesus was giving them warnings on that. And the one thing you don’t want to do is downplay that. You don’t downplay that. And that is what they mean by saying, don’t let your eschatological position Force you to believe certain things and downplay things. Let the text stand as it stands. And that’s really where I want to go.

However, to understand it, I think there’s some easy things to come to help you understand why it’s so difficult. Because Jesus, in the pronouncing of all these things in chapter 20, the end of 23, 24, and 25, The work cut out for him to cover because of where he’s at in time and in history and what he was answering. There is a span there that is literally unbelievable. They ask a question. It was not the only time they asked the question. And they were still asking it at the resurrection and the ascension. Because then the angels gave further, this same Jesus will come in the clouds in like manner. And so the disciples to whom Jesus is talking to here in the passage, they don’t get it. They don’t get it at the crucifixion. They don’t get it after the crucifixion. They don’t get it after the resurrection. And apparently they weren’t getting it even into the book of Acts and in early church history. And then the fall of Jerusalem comes. And so you see there’s a lot of dynamics that are going on here.

So let me just say up front. There’s reasons why this is difficult because of what the task is that Jesus has before him in the midst of that. And we cannot lose the fact that it is full of passion. Oh Jerusalem, this is in 23, 37. Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who sent to her. How often I would have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not, you were not willing. See, your house is left to you desolate.” Well, that’s going to happen in about 40 years, we’ll round. For I say to you, you shall see me no more until you say.

Now, again, as I mentioned last week, they will see him. I mean, you’re going to see him on a cross. They’ll actually see him without clothing on a cross, bleeding and dying. It isn’t that they won’t physically see him, but they’re not going to see him until you say. You’re not going to see me and who I really am until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. And then after that, it says, then Jesus went out and we come to chapter 24. And in the first three verses, we have the setting and the the questions that Jesus is answering. And I think this is one thing that I think it’s extremely important. They asked the questions. Jesus answered the questions. They weren’t just talking about, and if you’re a preterist, sorry for me being so blunt, but they aren’t just asking about being a predatist about the fall of Jerusalem.

Notice what they asked. Jesus went out, departed from there, and they came up to him and they see the temple, verse two, And he said to them, Do you see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down. And that was fulfilled at the fall of Jerusalem. And that’s what his response was, his teaching moment of the setting that the disciples heard. But the disciples hear that, but then they go on to another question, because as you know, with the Old Testament prophecies concerning Messiah, they were still having a problem with his dying.

Keep in mind, the shepherd is gonna be smitten, and the sheep are gonna scatter, and they’re still expecting some kind of deliverance with the Messiah on a throne, ruling and reigning, and that we’re gonna have a kingdom here. And they’re still trying to figure that out. So then they asked the question at verse three, he tells them about this judgment that the temple is coming down. Now, as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately saying, and this is where R.C. said, he said, they wanted to know some future things. They wanted to know the certainty of certain things. Jesus was interested in them knowing how to respond to the certain things that are coming. There’s a lot of instruction, especially the end of chapter 24 and in 25. Lord willing, we’ll get that far and we’ll see that next week. But they wanted to know about his other coming, It says, when will these things be?

Well, he tells them, no man knows. He’s gonna tell them again, no man, not the angels, no. In Acts, he’s gonna say again, when is it gonna be? No man knows. So timing is not what is the big, Deal. Timing is what we want. Timing is not the big deal of this passage. So sometimes, that’s partly of, I think, the reason why, when we bring our eschatology to it, we wanna know, is this gonna be pre-mill, post-mill, all-mill? Is this gonna be pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib? Is this gonna be, and we get so caught up into those thoughts, but all of those deal with an awful lot of timing. And he’s already told us over and over and over again before this and during the passage. Don’t know, but be ready.

And that’s why it was interesting to read that in the London Confession, because they put the emphasis of that where that’s necessary. So let us tell us when these things will be. Well, nobody can know what will be the sign of your coming. Now he will talk about that. And. The end of the age, what will be the end of the age? And he’s actually gonna talk about that. And because of their question, and because of some of the areas of the answer, it just seems to me all of the Olivet discourse cannot refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. position strictly that says it all and almost all refers to the destruction of Jerusalem. That to me, I can’t take that position.

Then the other one is the position of some that the whole thing is just future and doesn’t refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. Then there’s a third position that says, well, some of it refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, and some of it goes on all the way till the end of the age, and so forth. I don’t wanna fully identify with that last one, but that’s probably a lot of where this is gonna end up. And I wanna tell you why, because as we just read the text, there’s gonna be some things that I think whether it is a direct prophecy concerning the fall of Jerusalem. Well, we have that up in chapter 23, and that we’ve already considered. When he says, you know, there in verse 36, all these things will come upon this generation, and he sent about the fact that how their destruction, that it will be real, see that your house has left you desolate. and he is gonna bring terrible judgment against them and there’s terrible judgment here. But then when you consider some of this, it just can’t, apparently it doesn’t seem to me that it fits only at that. So then it’s gonna jump in. The key I think is found in the gospel according to Luke, because Luke is the only one who refers to then the times of the Gentiles, which at best might refer to the church age, if you want to use that phraseology.

So hence, I’ve given you a lot of warnings, a lot of things here, but let’s consider the very basic thing, and we don’t need to spend too much time on the first part of this, is the setting of the questions in chapter 23, the message to the religious leaders. Chapter 2425 is a major message to the disciples, especially with respect to answering the question, when will these things be? What will be the sign of your coming? And what will be the sign of the end of the age? Now, I wrote down in mine and my mind went here and I thought it was kind of interesting. But in Acts chapter.

In Acts chapter 1 at the time of right before or during the ascension, it says they were wanting to know some things about that. Look at Acts chapter 1 verse 4. You can just listen. It says, He commanded them not to depart to Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. which he said, You have heard from me, for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?

Now, this is within a week of the Olivet discord. Well, no, I’m sorry. That would have been 50 days within two months. So now you’ve got still short term. Are you going to restore the kingdom now? And he had given all those other signs and everything so you can see they weren’t understanding it. And he said to them it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the father put in his own authority. So it’s it’s basically get off the timing. Says it again, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come and you shall be witnesses unto me, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the utter ends of the earth. That’s what we’re to be doing.

See, that’s the thrust of what Jesus is going to say. With the certainty he’s coming. Are you working? He’s coming. Are you prepared? That’s the thrust of the Olivet Discourse and the midst of all of this. So he says, you’ll receive power and this is what you’re going to do. Now, verse nine. Now, when he had spoken these things while they watched, he was taken up and a cloud received him out of their sight. Now, I think that that’s literal, that’s real. It’s called the ascension. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as they went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, no doubt angels, who said, men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?

Well, it’s a bit obvious why they were, but now they deposit some more gems, this same Jesus. who was taken up into heaven will come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven. It was a spectacular thing. He was gonna come. There will be references to what he said. They’re still oblivious to understanding death, burial, resurrection, passion. He just nailed all the leaders. There’s a lot of dynamics going on. And when Jesus uttered this, it’s within days, hours of the crucifixion. They gotta work their brains through that. Then three days of despair. Then the glory of the ascension. Then the some 50 days of post-resurrection, pre-ascension. And then he’s gone and he’s going to come in like manner and they got to figure this out. And they’re still saying, are you going to do it now? You’re going to do it now. You’re going to do it now. Don’t worry about it. Work. I’m going to empower you. Be about it.

Now, with that as the backdrop in the midst of all of this and to those questions, let’s look at the answer of Jesus and the Olivet discourse, keeping in mind the span of time that is going to be covered in the Olivet discourse. pre-crucifixion, post-crucifixion, ascension, destruction of the preaching of the gospel, the establishment of the church, the fall of Jerusalem, and then the preaching of the gospel and the epistles and everything. And then you get the book of the Revelation that talks about some of the same kind of stuff and apparently still seems future.

Now that is because we date the book of the Revelation late. It would have been after the destruction. Preterists date the book of the Revelation early because they got to get Revelation, John writing down all that stuff before 70 AD. See, I suppose since they don’t have dates on them, but it would seem an awful lot of Revelation, awful lot of stuff going on. And I don’t see all that stuff in Revelation being fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem. I’m sorry. I just don’t. A third of the earth being killed or some stuff like that. When does that ever happen? And if you’re going to play around with the facts, then does God usually fulfill prophecy with facts? Yeah. So that’s when it comes to our hermeneutic. Yet take things literally until you’re forced otherwise. OK. That’s part of this whole process of why this is so difficult.

Now let’s just come and walk through. We’ve got the three questions of verse three. We now begin at verse four. And in the midst of this, Jesus is going to answer the question and we can get to verse eight and notice it says, and all these are the beginning of sorrows or the beginning of pangs or the birth pangs. And I mentioned that last week. So he’s going to talk about with warnings of things that are going to happen. But then they but then notice that verse 14 at the end, it says in this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations.

Well that’s kind of what Acts 1 was talking about. I don’t think they got that done in the first, I don’t think the gospel had reached Australia or came to this continent before then. But then notice it says, and the world is a witness to all the nations and then the end will come. So these things are not the end, they are birth pangs to foresee the end, and that’s what they ask. Will be the sign of these comings? Tell us when these things will be. What are signs of your coming?

So let’s take a look and see what he says in the midst of this. He gives a warning in the first 14 verses. Jesus answered and said to them, and again, when we Come to the text, let the text speak, and notice what he says. They said, we want to know these things. First word, the verb, take heed that no one deceives you. So I think that that is comprehensive over everything else that he’s going to be saying. There are going to be people, they’re going to try and mess you up. Take heed. that no one deceives you. This is a warning. Do not be deceived. Well, what does he want us to keep watch? What does he want us to verify, to make sure that everything is good? Take heed that no one deceives you. One, false messiahs. For many will come in my name Many will come in my name. Think of the false teachers, false religions, cult leaders. Many have come.

Now, there are no doubt might have been some in the first century, but I don’t think that was all. So Jesus is trying to give instructions, not taking away from the fact that Jerusalem is going to fall. But these are going to be signs. There’s going to don’t be deceived. Fakers are out there saying, I am the Christ and will deceive many. And you will hear the second thing to beware is wars and rumors of wars. That’s always been what we got him today. It’ll never go away. But these are not the these are just birth pangs. They’re kind of signs. This is going to go. But these this doesn’t mean he’s going to come right away. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled.

I love that. You see, he’s comforting the disciples. Don’t worry about the wars and rumors of wars. We had the and again, this is not a political statement. We had the president go through the State of the Union and he goes talking about it. And we got problems with Iran, with China, with Putin and Russia, with North Korea. And everyone, you know, and the Houdis and the Hamas and we have all these. Don’t let that trouble you. Wars, rumors of wars, troubles. God is on his throne. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must come to pass.

Now, he wants you to have spiritual backbone in the fear of all this is that it’s going on, whether you’re pre meal, post meal, on meal, whatever. God is on the throne. But notice what he says, see that you’re not troubled for all these things must come to pass. But this isn’t the end. The end is not yet, for nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and pestilence and earthquakes.

We got all those things now. I’m not convinced that all of that took place, which is then giving me the idea that maybe Jerusalem, the fall of Jerusalem isn’t so much not seen here as the fall of Jerusalem is seen as the precursor of a future when it’s going to happen again. and with even a more devastating judgment. And earthquakes in various places. And all these things are just the birth pangs. This is just getting things going. The earth is rebelling. I think that’s one reason why Paul in the gospel or in the book of Romans when it talks, the earth has birth pangs. The earth groans and travails. awaiting the day of redemption. What’s the day of redemption? When Jesus comes and he sets it in order. Then he goes on and makes it personal, then they will deliver you up to tribulation and they will kill you and you will be hated by all nations for my namesake.

Now, think about this. If it’s Jerusalem and Jerusalem will be future just, but notice this is people Jews being hated by all nations because of the name of Jesus. What Jews are the ones that are taking the name of Jesus upon themselves unless they’re saved? So, in other words, there appears to be a high Jewish population in the early church before the fall of Jerusalem, that would be true. But also, it appears that in the book of the Revelation that there’s a turn back to the nation of Israel. It doesn’t mean that they are not Christians because Christ has come. That’s a loaded, very pregnant phrase. I don’t want to go more involved than that, but just follow along.

You’ll be hated by all nations for my namesake. anti-Semitism, but anti-Christianity. And then many will be offended and will betray another and will hate one another. And then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. All that’s going on, but I think there’s coming a time it’s going to be even more. And because lawless deeds will abound. The love of many will grow cold. That would be love towards God, love towards righteousness. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world. I don’t know that you can get that only into 70 years. But it was preached in the world as a witness to all nations. And then notice, he says, and then the end will come.

So When they ask about the end, it’s gonna come with all these other things going on. Okay, so I think the destruction of Jerusalem definitely is an illustration. There can be comments there. It’s definitely over in chapter 23, but is that the only thing here? Is it everything here? I don’t see that, but let’s go on. But then he goes on and then he comes back. And this is why I think we don’t want to downplay what Jerusalem is. Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, whoever reads this, let him understand. Yeah, like, wow, that one’s a tough one. And that’s part of where there is some discussion.

Well, if you go back to the book of Daniel and you have to go read Daniel 9, 27, 11, 31, 12, 11, chapter 8, verse 13, and you look at this and Most of the people that I know that tend to take a look at what is the the abomination of desolation is what took place with Antiochus Epiphanes as Israel was going to be totally destroyed the Jerusalem the temple was going to be down. He slaughtered a sow a pig on the altar. That’s an abomination that you know the whole desolation of abomination and all of that. And then they brought the full judgment Antiochus Epiphanes and brought the full judgment. And then eventually, what is it? Maccabees, all of that that goes on. That’s all historic. That has all taken place. And that was history. But just notice what Jesus said about that, though.

Therefore, when you see when you see this, when you see the fall of Jerusalem and you see the judgment coming unto God’s people spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, Standing in the holy place and everything understand then let those who are in Judea This isn’t just Christians in the early church who are in Judea, flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down, take anything out of his house. Let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing.”

By the way, remember that term, woe, can be used in a lot of different ways. That woe isn’t the woe of chapter 23. It’s a woe of judgment, but it’s woe How pitiful to those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days. Pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath. Well, the church was a meeting on the Sabbath. They were meeting on the first day of the week.

So I don’t know that it is fully met by that time frame of. crucifixion to get to 70 A.D. in that 30, 40 years. This seems to be much more Jewish orient. For then there will be a great tribulation, which has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, nor no, nor shall ever be. The destruction of Jerusalem was bad. It was really bad. Women filleting their children. Eating their own cannibalism, family. We’re talking bad of how destitute and the destruction and the death. But we’ve had really bad things since then. This one says no, nor shall ever be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved for the elect’s sake and for those who the days will be shortened. Then, if anyone says to you, look, here is the Christ, or there, do not believe it. That goes back to verse, or earlier, all the way up to verse 14. And there, do not believe it, for false Christs, false prophets will arise, showing great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore, if they say to you, look, he’s in the desert, do not go out. Or look, he’s in the inner rooms, do not believe it. So he’s talking about this span. There is judgment, there’s all of that. Maybe the destruction of Jerusalem is there, but some of this just seems to be a little bit more than how that happened there. Now, I’m not downplaying the destruction of Jerusalem, and it was devastating, and it does say, I will leave you your house desolate.

But notice, now verse 27, and we have a real, a change here at verse 27. We’ve got Jesus returns, and this is also seen in the Gospel of Luke chapter 21, verses 25 and 26. We have a little bit more here. It says, for as the lightning comes from the east and flashes into the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

So now he is talking about the second coming. There have been some, and as what Dr. James Montgomery Boyce pointed out to R.C. Sproul, he kind of gets soft on, if this all refers to the fall of Jerusalem, how do you explain that one? For wherever the carcass is, and a carcass is that something is dead, context, that would be a picture of Jerusalem and those outside of faith, is where the eagles will be gathered together immediately after the tribulation of those days. Well, tribulation is tribulation. If it’s the tribulation of the capital T that dispensationalism doesn’t say that, it could allow for that, but it says the tribulation of those day, the sun will be darkened. The moon will not give its light. The stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Now, there’s been times I’ve been driving down Hallam and I see the moon and it’s blood red and it looks real big. And then later on it changes. And I always think of this passage and say, is that what he’s talking about? I don’t think so. Exactly what is he talking about? I don’t know. But there’s one thing I do know that that concluding phrase and the heavens will be shaken. I don’t know if at the fall of Jerusalem, that’s it. This says when Christ come back again, and he is coming again, then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven. Oh, well, okay, that’s what they wanted to know. When is Jesus coming? The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, 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. Hmm, that sounds like Acts 1. You men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus that is taken up from you into heaven will come in like manner. Pretty glorious in the clouds, come back.

Now I’m not fitting that in pre-post-trib, mid-trib, pre-rat. I’m just saying he’s coming, it’s in the clouds, the heavens are shaking, and things are really wild. And I think we have left any possibility of interpreting this 70 AD. I’m working up to the reason why all of this because Jesus wants to help his disciples be able to endure what they’re about to see in his death and in their deaths. And he will send his angels with a great sound of the trumpet. Okay. And they will gather together his elect from the four winds of one end of heaven to the other. So there’s a great gathering. Cool.

So that puts us at the end of the age, right? Well now learn this parable. Oh no, a parable. Remember parables are something that are given to reveal truth and to conceal truth. So I just want you to trip you up just even that much more. The parable of the fig tree. What is it? Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So basically the general idea that there is a time that you can see growth and things that are good.

So you also, when you see all these things, and I think things all goes to up here with the heavens and it ultimately probably goes back to, I think it’d be fair to say to verse 27, the lightning comes from the east and the west, the son of man, the coming of the son of man will be. So when he says here, so you also, when you see all these things, you will know it is near at the door. Crouching, you know, it’s going to happen. Okay, now here’s where C.S. Lewis said, this is the embarrassing part. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. And they say, he meant that generation in the first century. So it has to refer to all of this some way, devastatingly, to the fall of Jerusalem and what to confirm what he said about what was going to happen, that he would leave their house desolate. But you go, but that isn’t not, you know, I just don’t see that. Or. It could refer to. The generation, that’d be like 40 to 60 years. That when you begin to see some of these things, It’s all gonna take place at the beginning of when the generation that sees those things at the coming of the son of man be back up there to verse 27. That generation apparently hasn’t been here yet, but could be this generation. But the timing is still left unknown. But the thrust of the importance of all of this, okay, what’s the practical import of all of this?

Well, he tells you. Even though this is very confusing, and this generation will not pass away until all these things take place, and that is the generation at the beginning of when they see these things, heaven and earth will pass away. But my words will by no means pass away. You see, in the midst of all of that, and this is a reason why I can have good fellowship with people that I don’t agree with their eschatology, because my eschatology might be messed up too. but the one thing we all believe, Jesus is coming again. Judgment is certain. It’s gonna happen based upon the work and word of Christ. He said, I’m going to the cross and I’m dying and I’m gonna save a bunch of people. And it’s gonna go on and there’s gonna be a lot accomplished. But whatever one thing I know for certain is, my Savior doesn’t lie. and there is going to be certain judgment. Are you ready? He’s coming. And that is the context of a couple of illustrations. So we see that in verse 36. But of that day and that hour knows no one. No one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my father only. You see, this is a big secret. And it’s good, just like the reason, because if we knew, we’d respond in another way. Hence these illustrations.

Notice how he illustrates it. But as of the day, okay, but as the days of Noah were, so also will be the coming of the son of man be. That could be, I mean, this is really true. Describes us today. For as the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, giving and marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark. And he did not know until the flood came and took them all away. So also will the coming of the son of man be.

Now, what is that? Well, we have the surety of prophecy, but it’s unexpected. Thoroughly, they didn’t expect it, they didn’t expect it, they had never seen anything like it as the days of Noah. And how were those days? The two men will be in one field, be in the field, one will be taken, the other left. Two women shall be grinding in the mill, the one shall be taken, the other left.

You know, I cannot tell you how many gospel concerts I went to with some country-western style singing, and they always refer to that as the rapture. May I just say, this is not the rapture. This is the dividing and judgment between people unexpectedly when Christ comes. It doesn’t say they go up, this one taken, they’re taken in judgment. Because he says, verse 42, watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. What was Jesus doing, trying to give us the final marks on our dispensational calendar to get our eschatology straight? Or to give those who don’t have that calendar and they just want it to end, and Jesus comes, it’s all over, and to give them assurance? What was the reason why this is revealed? Because you don’t know when he’s coming, and he wants us to be ready at his coming. He does that with the second illustration, verse 45. Who then is faithful and wise servant whom his master made ruler over household to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find him so doing. Assuredly, I say to you, that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

In other words, the one, the servant who’s working, he will be rewarded. But if that evil servant says in his heart, my master is delaying his coming and begins to beat his fellow servant to eat and drink with drunkards and the master of that servant will come on that day when he is not looking for him and at that hour he is not aware of and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. That’s not a good thing, no matter where, you know, whatever he’s talking. This is not a good thing.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. That’s Jesus wording for eternal judgment. There is a separation. See, that’s why I said one take and the other. There is a separate when he comes. Remember what Jesus said? When he comes, he’s gonna separate the sheeps and the goats. He’s gonna separate the wheat from the tare. There’s a separation. And the thrust of the Olivet Discourse isn’t to give us a timing scheme. It is given to us, be ready, be working. For you know not what hour your Lord does come. And he’s coming when you least expect it.

Now, chapter 25 continues the Sermon on the Mount. There’s going to be a parable of 10 virgins. There’ll be the terrible of the talents. See, we can cover a lot of verses in those because they’re just used as illustrations in this last teaching time before. Because as you know, as we finish this up, And when he says, look at verse 46, and these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life, that’s called ultimate eternal future. Verse 26, verse one, now it came to pass when Jesus had finished all these things, he said to his disciples, do you know that after two days is the Passover and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified?

In the words of R.C. Sproul, Jesus wasn’t so much trying to help everybody out so they could pass their eschatological course. What he was doing is, as he’s saying, my word stand. I’m going to go, but I’m coming again. Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my word will not. And you don’t know when it’s going to be. But you need to be watch watching. You need to be ready. You need to be working.

My brethren, That’s the message for us today. May we heed it. I trust you know Christ as Savior. If not, you can work all you want. It’s still not going to work out good for you. You need to come so that you have that readiness. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Let’s pray. Our Father in heaven. Seal these words to our hearts. Help us to not get caught up in the controversy, but to heed the warnings and the instruction. Father, we thank you for the reality and the certainty of the coming of Jesus Christ. We rejoice in his blessed name. Amen.

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