WWUTT 2091 Wars and Rumors of Wars (Matthew 24:1-14)

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Reading Matthew 24:1-14 and recognizing the three sections of the chapter, where Jesus warns His disciples not to believe that certain major events are a sign of the end. Visit wwutt.com for all our videos!

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Matthew 24 and 25 is what we refer to as the Olivet Discourse where Jesus teaches
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His disciples about the end times. A lot of different confusing theories about what Jesus talked about here, but it's really not complicated when we understand the text.
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Many of the Bible stories and verses we think we know, we don't. When we understand the text is committed to teaching sound doctrine and rebuking those who contradict it.
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Visit our website at www .wutt .com. Here once again is Pastor Gabe.
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Thank you Becky and greetings everyone. Well, we've finally come to the part of the
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Gospel of Matthew you've all been waiting for, right? The Olivet Discourse in Matthew chapters 24 and 25.
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I'm going to begin by reading all of chapter 24, that's 51 verses, but it'll put it all in context for you and then
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I'm going to tell you how this chapter breaks down and I think it'll demystify it for you a little bit. So let me begin here.
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Chapter 24, verse 1, reading from the Legacy Standard Bible, hear the word of the
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Lord. And coming out from the temple, Jesus was going along and His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
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And He answered and said to them, do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another which will not be torn down.
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Now, as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately saying, tell us when will these things happen and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?
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And Jesus answered and said to them, see to it that no one deceives you, for many will come in My name saying,
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I am the Christ and will deceive many. And you are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars.
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See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place. But that is not yet the end.
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For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
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But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains. Then they will deliver you to tribulation and will kill you and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
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And at that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will deceive many.
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And because lawlessness is multiplied, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
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And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as witness to all the nations.
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And then the end will come. Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let the reader understand, then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
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Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things that are in his house. And whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his garment.
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But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days.
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But pray that your flight will not be in the winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation such has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now nor ever will.
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And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.
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Then if anyone says to you, Behold, here is the Christ, or there he is, do not believe him.
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For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
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Behold, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, Behold, he is out in the wilderness, do not go out.
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Or, Behold, he is in the inner rooms, do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and appears even to the west, so will be the coming of the
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Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
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But 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 the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
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And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. And then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the
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Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of the sky to the other.
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Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
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So you too, when you see all these things, recognize that he is near, right at the door.
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Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
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Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the
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Son of Man, but the Father alone. For just as the days of Noah were, so the coming of the
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Son of Man will be. For as in those days, before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark.
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And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away. So will the coming of the
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Son of Man be. Then there will be two in the field. One will be taken and one will be left.
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Two women will be grinding grain at the mill. One will be taken and one will be left. Therefore stay awake, for you do not know which day your
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Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
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For this reason, you also must be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour, when you do not think he will.
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Who then is the faithful and prudent slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?
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Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
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But if that evil slave says in his heart, my master is not coming for a long time and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites.
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In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. So there you go.
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That was all of Matthew chapter 24. Do you have it figured out yet? What Jesus does here, he responds to the disciples' question by warning them of three deceptions.
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We have the first deception, the first warning of deception in verses 1 to 14, the second warning in verses 15 to 35, and then the third warning in verses 36 to 51.
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The first deception, which is what we're going to look at today, is don't be alarmed by regular things that you see happening in the world, earthquakes, famines, wars.
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These things have always been happening. Don't think that that is a sign of the end. These are but the beginning of birth pains,
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Jesus says, and I'll explain that a little more as we continue on. The second warning of deception, don't think that when the temple is destroyed and Jesus prophesies about the destruction of the temple that is coming within their generation, don't think when you see the temple destroyed and the
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Jewish -Roman war that's going to be going on at the same time that that is the sign of the end of the world. And then the third warning that Jesus gives, don't be deceived thinking that as things continue on as they always have been, that it means that Jesus is not coming back and you begin to lose focus on the fact that he will return.
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So those are the three deceptions that he warns his disciples about. Once again, the regular chaos that happens in the world, not a sign of the end.
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The destruction of the temple, not a sign of the end. And don't be deceived into thinking that just because you haven't seen the end yet that the end is not going to come.
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It will come. And to those that are not expecting it, it will come like a thief in the night.
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So just knowing that much about Matthew 24, does that not already clarify what
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Jesus is talking about in this particular chapter? So what we want to do these three days, today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, is look at those three sections where Jesus warns his disciples not to be deceived.
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Let's come back to the very beginning and see the question that the disciples ask Jesus and then his first warning for them not to be deceived.
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So starting off in verse one, coming out from the temple, Jesus was going along and his disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to him.
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So they're there in Jerusalem. They're leaving Jerusalem, right? Because remember, Jesus was in the temple teaching.
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The Pharisees were constantly challenging him. Finally, he issues those seven woes to the Pharisees and he leaves the temple.
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And this was this was like the picture that was seen in Ezekiel of God getting up and leaving the temple before Babylon came and destroyed it.
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God's presence was no longer with his people, which was why Babylon was able to come against Jerusalem in the temple the way that they did.
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And so here Jesus has left the temple. God, once again, departing from them in the very place where they think
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God meets with them, God has just left them, even mourns over Jerusalem because he knows about the destruction that will come to Jerusalem.
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That's that's not as clearly stated at the end of Matthew, chapter twenty three, where Jesus says, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her.
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How often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
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But you were not you did not want it. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate because Jesus is leaving and God is not going to be with them in that house.
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So because Christ has left the building, then this is going to leave that place vulnerable to the destruction that's going to come against it at the hands of the
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Romans. Now, that won't happen until 40 years from now, but that is what is going to take place.
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The temple curtain is going to be torn into when Jesus dies, God showing that he no longer dwells in places built by human hands, but he lives in the heart of every person who believes in his son, in Jesus Christ, the giving of the
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Holy Spirit that would come not long after that, not not long after Jesus ascension into heaven.
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But then the temple would be destroyed 40 years later, showing that that entire system is totally done and it has never been rebuilt.
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And none of those things have ever been reinstituted, nor will they ever be. That's even talked about in the book of Hebrews.
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So they've left the temple. They're leaving Jerusalem and the disciples are enamored with the temple itself.
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It really was a colossal structure. And I think because of its destruction and how total its destruction was that maybe that could be the reason why the temple is not considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which in that case it would be the eighth wonder of the of the ancient world.
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But the temple really was Herod's temple. It really was a a a wonder of architecture during that time.
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It was incredibly massive. It was a huge temple structure and it was so big that nobody imagined that it could be destroyed the way that it was.
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But it was completely leveled, even to the point that Romans were even digging up foundation stones because when they set the temple on fire, the gold in the temple melted and it went into the foundation stones.
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So you had some Romans that were prying up those stones so they could get the gold out of it, thus securing that the temple would never be rebuilt.
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It was completely destroyed. And God has, by his providence, created such unrest in that part of the world for the last two thousand years that there's no way it can be rebuilt.
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God has prevented the rebuilding of the temple, thus fulfilling even what
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Christ had prophesied concerning its destruction. And it just is in this particular section we're looking at here, wars and things like that, the kingdom against kingdom, those things are going to happen.
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That's not the sign of the end. Just like we've seen those wars still going on in the Middle East, they've been going on there for two thousand years.
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Yet you'll see some major conflict that will happen there and everybody will suddenly pop up and say, ah, look at this.
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It's happening right here in Israel. So this must be a sign of the end. No, this is the very first warning that Jesus gives to his disciples.
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Don't be deceived into thinking that these normal things that have always been happening in the world are going to be a sign of the end times.
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And so as they're walking along and they're pointing out the temple stones and they're awed by the structure and everything,
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Jesus said to them, do you not see all these things? Truly, I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another which will not be torn down.
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And he is talking about the destruction of the temple. That's going to happen within 40 years.
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Now, like I said, I didn't I didn't finish this thought earlier. But at the end of chapter 23, Jesus laments over Jerusalem, but he doesn't explicitly say there in his lament that destruction is coming upon Jerusalem.
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In Luke's account, he does say that. So it's the same mourning over Jerusalem when he leaves it.
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But he he even prophesies that siege works are going to be laid against it when the
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Romans come and will destroy the walls and destroy the temple. So Jesus does prophesy about that, even though Matthew doesn't lay that out at the end of chapter 23.
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So then in verse three, he was sitting up on the Mount of Olives. The disciples come to him privately saying, tell us, when will these things happen and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?
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Now, the way that they ask that question is often the way that people will break down.
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Many commentators will break down Matthew 24 based on their question. When will these things happen?
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Thinking of the destruction of the temple and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age, but really their question is not creating an outline here.
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We understand the three sections of Matthew 24 with Jesus warning them of these deceptions because he says, do not be deceived.
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That's how this thing gets broken up that way. Or in the third section, he says, stay awake and be sober. But nonetheless, his calling their attention to these things is what separates these three sections.
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When the disciples are asking him this question, he had just told them that that even the stones that make up the temple are going to be thrown down.
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Not one will be left on top of another. They think the disciples think that when the when the temple will be destroyed, that's the end of the world.
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Hence why Jesus responds to them saying, don't think that wars and earthquakes and famines and all that stuff are a sign of the end of the world.
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Don't think that the destruction of the temple is the sign of the end of the world. And then when it does come to the end of the world is coming soon.
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Don't get so complacent and comfortable with life that you forget the fact that Jesus is coming.
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And so that's the way that Jesus answers their question. In verse four, Jesus answered and said to them, see to it that no one deceives you.
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For many will come in my name saying, I am the Christ and will deceive many.
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And you're going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed for those things must take place.
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But that is not yet the end. These are not signs of the end times.
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They are things that have always been happening in the world. There have always been conflicts between nations,
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Russia and Ukraine right now. Yeah, that even that conflict has existed before.
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And of course, stuff that's been going on in the Middle East between Muslims and Jews, conflicts that have existed in Far East Asia, between Pakistan and India, between China and Taiwan, between North and South Korea.
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I mean, all of these things have these conflicts have always gone on. There are always going to be wars.
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There may be another war. There could be another World War three, and that won't even be the sign of the end. Jesus says, you're going to hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that you are not alarmed for these things must take place, they must take place.
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This war that's going to happen between the Jews and the Romans, that's in their immediate future, but this is not yet the end.
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For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
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We still have that going on now. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.
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Now, some will take that to mean that that's like the signs that will come at the start of the end times or the start of the time of tribulation, and therefore it's the beginning of birth pains.
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No, because the apostle Paul talks about how all of creation has been groaning in birth pains.
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Since God subjected all things to futility and all creation groans awaiting the revealing of the sons of God, that's in Romans chapter eight,
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Paul Paul uses the same language there about how the earth is groaning as in birth pains.
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So this is not the sign of the end. Verse nine, then they will deliver you over to tribulation and will kill you and you will be hated by all nations because of my name.
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And at that time, many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and deceive many.
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And because lawlessness is multiplied, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
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Now, all of that that Jesus had just outlined there, that happened in the disciples lifetime.
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But once again, this is not the sign of the end. This is what Jesus is saying is going to happen even before the temple is destroyed, that these things are going to happen to the disciples so they are not to be alarmed whenever they take place.
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Lawlessness is multiplied. Most people's love will grow cold. You'll see many people that will say that they come to faith, but then eventually they're going to they're going to fall away.
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They're going to be led astray by the doctrines of demons. Paul talks about in first Timothy four. Jesus says in verse 13, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.
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And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a witness to all the nations.
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And then the end will come. Now, the disciples surely did go out into all the nations in the sense that they spread out across the entire
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Roman Empire. Paul himself went as far west as Spain. It is believed that the apostle
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Thomas went as far east as India. So they really spread out even in the in that first century, in the age of the apostles, when they went out with the gospel of Jesus Christ unto all the nations, but they didn't get everybody.
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And there was still parts of the world that had not yet heard the gospel by the time the temple was destroyed. But even after the destruction of the temple, still the gospel would be proclaimed in all the in all the world.
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This gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
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And so we know as the gospel is continuing to go out, these things are still going to take place.
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We're still going to be seeing wars and earthquakes and famines and all this other kind of stuff. That's not the end.
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We are to continue diligently sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the whole world, because it is only by faith in Jesus that anyone can be saved from the judgment that is to come.
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Now, this is the first warning that Jesus gives. Do not be deceived by these things happening in the world, thinking that this is going to be the end.
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The gospel must go out and to all the nations, and then the end will come. And so the next warning, which we'll get to tomorrow,
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Jesus warns his disciples not to be deceived into thinking that the end of the world comes with the destruction of the temple.
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That was going to be an incredible, colossal event for as Jesus describes it here as something that has not happened in the world until now and never will happen again.
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And indeed, that's still true. So that's what we get to tomorrow. Don't be deceived by this, thinking that it's the end of the world.
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That's also not the sign of the end. Now, as I'm going through these things here, understand me clearly.
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I am just I am just laying out exactly what Matthew is saying. I am not of the camp that says that Jesus returned in 70
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AD, so don't think that's where I'm going with this. All we're doing here is reading the text and understanding the text for what it is.
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Jesus does talk about the destruction of the temple here, and that's exactly what he is prophesying about.
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But he also talks about his coming as a separate event from the destruction of the temple.
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And that's what we want to explore further as we look over Matthew 24 over these next couple of days.
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Let's finish here with prayer. Heavenly Father, I thank you for the goodness that you have shown us in Christ.
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We have been forgiven our sins by faith in Jesus because he died on the cross for our sins. He rose again from the dead.
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He ascended into heaven. He is seated at the right hand of God, interceding for us on our behalf.
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He is coming back again to judge the living and the dead.
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But we must be able to discern and read the signs rightly. And that's what Jesus tells his disciples here.
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And so I pray that as we go through these things together, that it fills us with hope.
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We're looking back on events that have already taken place, as Jesus prophesied about here in Matthew 24.
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But we're also looking at events that have not yet taken place with Christ returning to receive his own and bringing judgment upon those who did not believe.
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The only way a person escapes judgment is by faith in Jesus Christ. So may we be among those with boldness to go out into all the nations preaching the gospel.
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And then the end will come. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, we pray in his name.
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Amen. Thank you for listening to When We Understand the Text with Pastor Gabe Hughes. If you'd like to support this ministry, visit our website www .tt
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.com and click on the Give tab in the top right corner of the page. Join us again tomorrow as we continue our