An Overview of the Events that precede Christ’s Return
Jesus’ explanation of the end time events is in two parts, similar to Daniel’s visions. First He gives an overview, in Matthew 24:4-14, and then He gives a detailed explanation in verses 15-31. The detailed explanation begins with the appearance of the Antichrist, and takes us to the end of the world.
1 Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “Don’t you see all of these things? Most assuredly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.”
Matt 24:1-2/ Mark 13:1-2/Luke 21:5-6
not one stone – from Daniel 9:26, this verse will introduce Daniel 9:27, as described in Matthew 24:15, and Mark 13:14. From here, we begin the comparison the destruction and restoration of the physical Jerusalem, to the spiritual Jerusalem, New Jerusalem. Both were given into the hands of the Gentiles, until they were finally restored.
3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?”
Matt 24:3/Mark 13:2-4/Luke 21:7
what will be the sign? – Jesus answers this clearly in verses 15-29.
4 Jesus answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will lead many astray.
Matt 24:4-5/Mark 13:5-6/Luke 21:8
many will say “I am the Christ” – an entire line of Popes said “I am Christ on earth.”
6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren’t troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. 8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.
Matt 24:6-8/Mark 13:7-8/Luke 21:9-11
wars, famines, earthquakes – see Rev 6:1-8, these are the plagues over a fourth of the earth, the four seals, the four horsemen.
9Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake. 10 Then will many stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. 11Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray. 12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.
Matt 24:9-13/Mark 13:9-12/Luke 21:12-19
then they will deliver you – Luke gives the opposite message to Matthew, and quotes Jesus saying: “but before all these things, they will lay hands on you and persecute you,” (Luke 21:12-19). We can’t really ascribe any significance to the statement: “then they will deliver,” to place it sometime after the wars, famines and earthquakes. Indeed, the persecution of the saints, had already begun in the Apostolic age. The detailed chronology of events begins in verse 15.
14 This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Matt 24:14/Mark 13:13/
this gospel will be preached…and then the end will come – the conclusion of the overview.