- Sermon Notes
This week we are going to continue our study of Matthew 24 and we will pick up where we left off and set our sights on an event that the Bible says is coming soon, and in light of that event there is a call for me and for you.
The event we will look at is the Second Coming of Christ, the Return of the Redeemer, and it isn’t going to happen in a land far, far away, it’s an event that will happen in the future, and event that is coming and about it, the Bible has much to say. Jesus is coming soon! Today we are going to look at that fact!
Illus. Context to Matthew 24.
Illus. Coming events.
So far in Matthew 24 we have looked at the signs that Jesus says define the end times, the rapture of the church which is when believers in Christ are caught up prior to the 7-year tribulation, we looked at several key events of the tribulation, the description of antichrist, the abomination of desolation, and today we will look at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of the 7-year tribulation period, and the way in which Jesus tells us to live our lives in light of the fact that He is coming soon!
Read: Matthew 24:29-51
In Verse 29, We see these words, “immediately after the tribulation of those days,” and He then spells out some of the specifics of what will be seen on earth, as well as, the way in which those in that day, those in the tribulation days, and us today, should live out our lives on earth. While the details of this last half of Matthew 24 center on Jesus’ Second Coming, after the great tribulation, the way that Jesus encourages those in that day to live are also important principles for you and I.
Illus. Rapture vs. Second Coming.
1 Thessalonians 5:9, God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 3:10, Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
What is clear in Scripture is that Jesus is coming soon, this is the immanency of Christ’s return. He is coming soon, and He is coming quickly. In the last 14 verses of the Bible in Revelation 22, three times Jesus tells us these words “I am coming quickly…” (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20) The reality of those words should impact the way we live currently. When Jesus says “I am coming quickly” it means “He is coming quickly,” in other words “He is coming quickly!”
2 Peter 3:8-11, But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
The Lord is coming quickly, He will return soon, some will mourn at the sight, others will let out a sigh of relief, but what does the reality that Jesus will return mean to you personally? His desire is that all would come to repentance, He is patient, but His Word, His promises are sure.
The Bible gives us insights into the last days so that we would live for Jesus today. Know that He will come quickly, and I encourage you this morning in light of all we see, to make sure you are right with Christ currently and take the opportunity He is giving right here, right now, in our day currently to respond to His grace and mercy.
I. Turn to Him Before He Returns
- Jesus will return visibly and for all to see. The tribes of earth will mourn on that day.
- This is an interesting reality because it will be a happy day for heaven, but a sad day for earth.
- Israel will mourn specifically as they realize that Jesus Christ was their Messiah all along.
Zechariah 12:10, I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.
- Zechariah 13:6 tells us that when Israel looks at Jesus and sees the wounds in His hands, they will say to Him “where did you get those wounds.” And Jesus will respond, “I was wounded in the house of my friends.”
John 1:11-12, He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God…
- He came to Jerusalem, to His own, but those who were His own did not receive Him.
- Those who did not receive Him, when He returns will see, every eye will see that Jesus is Lord.
Revelation 1:7, Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Illus. First Coming vs. Second Coming.
Illus. Coming soon.
- For those who are against Christ, who have chosen to reject, rather than accept Christ, His return will be a mournful day.
- For those who have put their faith and trust in Him, it will be a glorious day.
- In verse 31, we see that He will gather His elect (those in Israel and throughout the world who have given their lives to Him during the tribulation period).
- Those who were taken to be with Him prior to the great tribulation, will follow Him in on white horses.
Colossians 3:2-3, Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Matthew 24:36, But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
- 1 Corinthians 1:7 Tells us to eagerly await Jesus’ return; Titus 2:13, we are waiting for the blessed hope – the appearing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; Revelation 1:3 tells us the time is near; Revelation 1:1, these things will soon take place; Philippians 3:20, Our citizenship is in heave, and we eagerly await our Savior from there!
- There are some, however, who aren’t looking forward to the day of His return because they are not living for Jesus. He is not the Lord of their lives, and they know they need to get it right.
- The Bible has given us these things not to scare us, but to prepare us. That being the case, I encourage you to not wait for the day of His return, but to learn what it means to turn to Jesus and live for Him.
- Let His Words Guide Your Way
Matthew 24:32-35, 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; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
- Again, Jesus reminds us that this world is not where its at. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will not pass away.”
- In light of that, we should hold on to His word, and let His word guide our ways.
- In 2 Peter 3 we see that the day of the Lord will come like a thief, the heavens and the earth will pass away.
2 Peter 3:13, But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
- And Jesus gives a parable, of the fig tree. In our study of Matthew 21, we looked at the fact that Israel is likened to a fig tree, specifically the leaders, who had good looking leaves, but no fruit!
- Here we see Jesus use the fig tree as an example of the signs of the times.
Luke 21:29-30, “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near.
- Just like leaves come on the tree and we know summer is near, signs will be seen, and those on earth will know that Jesus is near.
- He says to recognize that He is near, right at the door.
- The last couple of weeks we looked at signs, that they are like birth pangs, they have happened throughout history, and will continue happening increasingly.
- Surely, during the tribulation they will be seen like no other time in history, but Jesus says, when you see these things, know that I am near, at the door.
- We see the beginnings of the signs; He is at the door! What that should encourage you to do is let His words guide your way.
2 Timothy 3:1-5, But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Matthew 24:37, For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah…
- Noah is an interesting example.
- During the days of Noah, the people didn’t pay attention to the warning signs, that judgement was coming.
- Noah displayed great faith because God divinely warned him about coming events that the world had never seen…and Noah did not doubt.
- God warned Noah that it would rain, and the earth was going to be flooded (Gen. 6:17, Ch.’s 6-9).
- This rain and flood could only be prepared for by faith because it had never rained before on earth.
- God commanded Noah to build a huge boat in the middle of a dry land…and Noah did it.
- His obedience made him look strange, it made him stand out, but He was building according to faith in God’s instruction, not according to sight.
- The people on the other hand, saw the signs, a large ark, to prepare for rain in a land where there had never been rain.
- You would think the people might stop, look, and listen to what Noah had to say about what was coming.
Genesis 6:5, Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 6:9, Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
- Noah was to build the Ark, Noah walked by faith, not by sight. The sign was there for all to see, for 120 years, Noah was building by faith.
- In contrast to Noah, the earth was corrupt (Genesis 6:11), filled with violence, all flesh had corrupted their way.
- God’s judgement came like a flood. Those in that day had 120 years to turn, but what we learn is that is was only Noah, his family, the animals of the earth, and the birds of the sky.
- Those who did not turn to God and respond to the sign Noah was sending in his building of the ark, were taken in judgement.
- Some look at this passage as speaking of the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, but since it is being spoken of in light of Jesus’ Second Coming, what I see is that it speaks specifically of the reality that those who accept Christ during the tribulation and respond to the signs of that time will remain on earth and populate the earth.
- Those who receive Jesus during the tribulation will remain to populate the earth during the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth.
- The days of Noah are interesting and actually shed further light on the order of events we have been talking about in the end.
Illus. Enoch was such a man that walked with God and God loved him so much that God simply took him up to heaven.
Genesis 5:24, Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Hebrews 11:5, By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
- We will be caught up in a “moment,” the word there is “atomos,” which means it cannot be cut in two or divided. This is where we get our English word, atom.
- While Jesus in Matthew 24 seems to be referring to the day of His Second Coming, the picture applies and is an important one for you and I.
- Remain Ready, No Matter the Day
Matthew 24:42-44, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your 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 been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 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.
- Jesus is coming soon, and the call He gives is to remain ready, no matter the day.
Illus. The call has been made.
Hebrews 10:23-25, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
“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. 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 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 blast, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: as soon as its branch has become tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that summer is near; so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. “But about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 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, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. At that time there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your 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 been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you must be ready as well; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household slaves, to give them their food at the proper time? 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. But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and he eats and drinks with those habitually drunk; then the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect, and at an hour that he does not know, and he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.