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Sept. 21, 2003 a.m. Hal Hammons. End of time, or end of Jerusalem? Unlocking a widely misused text: Matthew 24.

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Presentation on theme: "Sept. 21, 2003 a.m. Hal Hammons. End of time, or end of Jerusalem? Unlocking a widely misused text: Matthew 24."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sept. 21, 2003 a.m. Hal Hammons

2 End of time, or end of Jerusalem? Unlocking a widely misused text: Matthew 24

3 “ The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here....Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation. ” (Mt. 12:41-42, 45) “This Generation”

4 4 “Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send unto them prophets and apostles; and some of them they shall kill and persecute; that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary: yea, I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation.” (Lk. 11:49-51) “This Generation”

5 “ But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their fellows and say, We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn. ” (Mt. 11:16-17; Lk. 7:31-32) “This Generation”

6  “But first must he suffer many things and be rejected of this generation.” (Lk. 17:25)  “Truly, truly I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” (Mt. 23:36)  “And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” (Acts 2:40)

7 Compare the texts:  “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” – Matt. 24:3  “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” – Mark 13:4  “Teacher, when therefore will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” – Luke 21:7

8 What are “these things”?  “These things” in all three texts refers to the destruction of the temple  The “sign” Jesus gives is the “abomination of desolation” (v.15), or “Jerusalem surrounded by armies” (Luke 21:20)  Warnings about fleeing to the mountains, not returning to one’s house to gather possessions, praying for good weather, etc., make no sense in an end-time context

9 What are “these things”?  “Let the reader understand” (v. 15) tells us Matthew’s readers were to expect these events  Therefore, vs.1-28 must be referring to the destruction of Jerusalem

10 “The End” (Dan. 9:26; Mt. 24:3, 6, 13-14)  Samaria in 722 B.C. (Amos 8:1-3, 10)  Nineveh in 612 BC (Nah. 1:8-9)  Jerusalem in 586 B.C. (Ezek. 7:1-9; Hab. 2:2-3)  Babylon in 539 B.C. (Dan. 5:26)  Jewish persecution in 165/164 BC (Dan. 8:17, 19)  Kings of the North and South (Dan. 11:27, 35, 40; 12:4, 8-9, 13)  Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Dan. 9:26; Mt. 24:3, 6, 13-14)

11 What about v.29-31?  This happens “immediately after …”  Many times in the Bible similar apocalyptic language refers to the destruction of nations.

12 Cataclysmic Astronomical Phenomena  Judgment on Babylon (Isa. 13:1,10,13,17)  Judgment on Edom (Isa. 34:4)  Judgment on the Peoples (Isa. 51:6)  Judgment on Judah (Jer. 4:23-24, 28)  Judgment on Egypt (Ezek. 32:1,7-8)  Judgment on Judah (Joel 2:10, 31)  Judgment on the Nations (Joel 3:15- 16)  Judgment on Israel (Amos 8:9)  Judgment on Jerusalem (Mt. 24:29)  Judgment of the Sixth Seal (Rev. 6:12- 14)

13 What about v.29-31?  This happens “immediately after …”  Many times in the Bible similar apocalyptic language refers to the destruction of nations.  The language draws attention to a day of judgment that should be noted and anticipated  Luke uses the same words in 21:25-28; they clearly refer only to A.D. 70 (21:20 - “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies”)  Therefore, Matt. 24:1-31 must be referring to the destruction of Jerusalem

14 What about v.32-34?  The parable of the fig tree indicates a specific sign they were to watch for  “He is near” (v.33) connects to the “coming” of Christ in v.30  All would transpire in the generation that was living then (v.34)  Therefore, v.1-34 must be referring to the destruction of Jerusalem  v.35 could be a transition point, or it could merely emphasize the reliability of Jesus’ words

15 What about v.36?  True, “no one knows” the day of Jesus’ second coming at the end of time, but no one knew when Jerusalem would be destroyed, either – that’s why Jesus gave them the signs.  “That day” likely connects back to Christ’s “coming” in v.33 and 30, which was in judgment on Jerusalem in A.D. 70.  Or, “that day” could refer to “heaven and earth” passing away, which would likely make v.35 the transition to a discussion of the final judgment.

16 What about v.37-41?  The “coming” of Christ (connects to v.27) is compared to the flood, which came suddenly after specific signs (Noah’s preaching, the construction of the ark, etc.).  Parallel to Luke 17:17-37, which clearly speaks of Jerusalem (see v.37 and Mt. 24:28).  Vs isn’t “the rapture”; those taken are taken in judgment.  Therefore, vs.1-41 seems to be still referring to the destruction of Jerusalem

17 What about the parables?  Jesus tells them to wait alertly (the head of the house), morally (the faithful slaves), thoughtfully (the virgins), and actively (the talents)  This alertness certainly has application to the end of time, but these are principles that refer to all of God’s judgments  Possibly Matt. 25:1 is a transition point to the final judgment – “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to…”

18 What about 25:31-46?  The Lord’s coming is described differently here: “in His glory, and all the angels with Him”  “All the nations” weren’t judged in A.D. 70; no apocalyptic language here  Therefore Matthew 25:31-46 must refer to the judgment scene at the end of time

19 Will You Become A Christian? Hear the Gospel (Rom. 10:17) Believe in Jesus as the Son of God (Mark 16:16) Repent of Your Sins (Acts 17:30) Confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) Be Baptized for Forgiveness of Sins (Acts 2:38) Live Faithfully until You Die (Rev. 2:10)


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