Introduction: Would you like to know when Jesus will come again?
Jesus’ disciples wanted to know! Their problem was that they were not
skilled lawyers who could construct a clear question about the end of
time. Jesus, no doubt, understood their confusion about His Second
Coming. But, for some reason He allowed their confusion remain.
Another problem for the disciples was preconceived ideas. This week
we study Jesus’ comments about end times to see what we can
understand. We will see if we can put our preconceived ideas aside.
Let’s dive into our study!

  1. The Confusing Question

    1. Read Matthew 24:1-2. What would be going through your mind
      if you were one of Jesus’ disciples? (This would be the
      worst tragedy they could imagine. Their nation would be
      destroyed. Their beautiful place of worship ruined. This
      had happened once before when the Babylonians destroyed
      Jerusalem. Their lives would never be the same.)

    2. Read Matthew 24:3. How do you understand this question? Is
      it only one question, or is it two or more? (I’m sure the
      disciples were still in shock, so they might not have been
      thinking clearly. This is really three questions: 1)When
      will the temple buildings be destroyed; 2) When will be
      the Second Coming of Jesus; and, 3) When will be the end
      of the age? By this last, I think they mean the end of

      1. Are these three separate questions in your mind? (I
        think they are all separate questions, but the
        disciples thought they were only one question. They
        conflated the three into one.)

  2. The Answer

    1. Read Matthew 24:4. What is Jesus’ stated concern? (They
      will be deceived.)

      1. Why didn’t Jesus say, “Wait, you have asked Me three

      2. Are being confused and being deceived similar?

        1. Jesus obviously loved them. Why do you think He
          answered as He did? (For some reason Jesus did
          not want them to have perfect clarity about the
          future. At the same time, he did not want their
          lack of clarity to result in deception. From
          that we should conclude that the areas in which
          Jesus brings clarity are very important for us
          to understand. In those areas in which He does
          not bring clarity, it is important for us to
          trust Him.)

    2. Read Matthew 24:5-8. Which of the three questions is Jesus
      answering here? (He specifically answers about His Second
      Coming and “the end.” He is not talking about the
      destruction of Jerusalem.)

    3. Read Matthew 24:9-14. What do these verses and the
      earlier verses say are connected with Jesus’ Second coming
      and the end of time? (Fake Christs. Wars, famines,
      earthquakes, persecution, death, hatred of Christians,
      false prophets, increased wickedness and decreased love.
      The gospel is spread world-wide.)

      1. Do you see these things in the world now?

    4. Read Matthew 24:15-20. What is Jesus describing here?
      Which question is He answering? (This must be the
      destruction of Jerusalem, for He makes a geographical
      reference to Judea.)

      1. Notice the language about the “abomination that
        causes desolation.” Who does it say prophesied this?

        1. Let’s explore some texts from Daniel. Read
          Daniel 9:26-27. Is this the prophesied
          abomination that causes desolation? (It refers
          to “the Anointed One” being “cut off.” It
          refers to the “sanctuary” being destroyed. It
          was not too long after Jesus was crucified that
          Rome destroyed the temple in Jerusalem as Jesus
          warned. This prophesy fits.)

        2. Read Daniel 12:9-12. Here is another reference
          to the abomination that causes desolation. Is
          it the same? (The language seems to preclude
          this being the same event for it refers to a
          period of time after the temple is destroyed
          and thus the daily sacrifice ended.)

        3. Why is it fair to call the conquering Roman
          army an “abomination that caused desolation?”
          (It destroyed the way God’s people had
          historically come to Him to have their sins

        4. What does this suggest about the second
          abomination that occurs later? (It might also
          be an attack on our ability to come to God and
          have our sins removed.)

        5. What would that mean after Jesus’ resurrection?
          What would that mean for us today? (Then and
          now that suggests an abomination that attempts
          to destroy righteousness by faith.)

          1. Can you think of some powers that fit that

    5. Read Matthew 24:21-25. Which question is being answered
      here? (The reference to great distress could refer to
      Christians who were in Jerusalem when it was destroyed.
      Notice that verse 21 starts out “For then,” which ties the
      distress to Judea. However, the distress could also refer
      to the Second Coming of Jesus. Notice the “at that time,”
      statement that is tied to false Christs. As we will
      discuss next, this is a clear reference to the Second
      Coming. It tells us that no followers of God would survive
      if He did not intervene.)

  3. The Clear Points

    1. Read Matthew 24:26-27. How will you be able to positively
      determine Jesus’ Second Coming from any fakes? (If someone
      has to inform you that Jesus has come, it is not Jesus!)

    2. Read Matthew 24:28. Why is Jesus talking about vultures?
      (If you see vultures gathering in the sky, you know
      something died. Jesus tells us that looking up will help
      keep us from being deceived.)

    3. Read Matthew 24:29. Is this a world-wide event? (It has to
      be, given the context. That is why I think some prior
      teaching of my church was ill-considered when it pointed
      to events that were observed in the New England section of
      the United States as the fulfillment of this prophesy.)

      1. What do you think is meant by the words “the heavenly
        bodies will be shaken?” ( Revelation 21:1 tells us
        that the old heaven will end and a new heaven will be
        created. This suggests the disintegration of the
        heavenly bodies is underway. This makes sense since
        some of these stars are billions of light years away.
        A cataclysmic event is taking place in the universe.)

    4. Read Matthew 24:30. What is the “sign” of the Son of Man?
      Where does it appear? (Once again, we have something going
      on in the sky that takes place before Jesus comes.
      Doubtless, this gets everyone’s attention.)

      1. How does Jesus come? (In the sky and with power and
        great glory.)

      2. Why will all nations “mourn?” (The righteous are not
        mourning. This tells us that the majority of the
        people have not accepted Jesus as their Savior.)

    5. Read Matthew 24:31. Where do the followers of Jesus live?
      (They live all over the earth. This further proof that
      these heavenly signs are not a regional event.)

    6. Read Matthew 24:32-35. Jesus tells us that we need to be
      alert for these signs, and that His words are absolutely
      reliable. He also says that this generation will not pass.
      How should we understand this since Jesus’ listeners died
      2,000 years ago and Jesus has not returned? (That
      generation did not pass before Jerusalem was destroyed.
      That question, of course, was the first one asked by the
      disciples. Perhaps Jesus is also saying that the
      generation that sees the signs will not pass before He

    7. Read Matthew 24:37-39. Is it a historical fact that the
      people knew nothing about the coming of the flood? (Read 2
      Peter 2:5 and 1 Peter 3:19-20. They infer that Noah warned
      the people while he was building the ark. Thus, the “knew
      nothing” people must be those who wish to know nothing.)

    8. Read Matthew 24:42. If you consider the points that seem
      clear and those which are unclear, what should you
      conclude about your preparation for the end times? (Our
      lack of clarity commands that we keep watch, that we
      remain faithful.)

    9. Friend, will you remain faithful? Why not ask the Holy
      Spirit, right now, to help your understanding of end time
      events and to aid you in remaining faithful until then?

  4. Next week: Worship the Creator.