Introduction: Are you looking forward to Jesus coming a second
time to take you to heaven? Do you want Him to end the problems
in your life and the sin problem in general? Are you beginning to
wonder if this will ever happen? Is there some way to know when
Jesus will come? Let’s jump into our study this week and find

  1. Jesus’ Uncertain Statements

    1. Read Matthew 24:1-2. What would be the equivalent
      statement for us in the United States? (Imagine you are
      walking down the mall in Washington, D.C. and Jesus
      says “not one stone” of the Capital, the White House,
      the Supreme Court, the Lincoln memorial, the
      Smithsonian, etc. will be standing.)

    2. What if you were walking downtown in New York City and
      were told that the next day the Twin Towers of the
      World Trade Center would not be standing?

      1. What would you conclude if this prediction were
        made about Washington, D.C. or New York City? (A
        catastrophic event was coming to America.)

    3. Read Matthew 24:3-4. The disciples come to Jesus and
      they have a question that contains an assumption. What
      did the disciples assume about Jesus’ statement? (That
      the destruction of Jerusalem would be the end of the

      1. Notice Jesus says (v.4) don’t let anyone deceive
        you. Doesn’t the disciples’ question show they are
        already confused? We know the destruction of
        Jerusalem was not the end of the world. Why not
        start out correcting that error? Why didn’t Jesus
        say, “Well, to begin with, you’ve got the wrong
        question?” (The only logical reason I can see is
        that Jesus did not want them to have a perfectly
        clear understanding of the end time.)

        1. If you agree with me, why would Jesus want
          His disciples to be a little unclear?

        2. Is that also true today?

    4. Let’s skip down and read Matthew 24:36, 42-44 to answer
      these questions. What do these verses suggest is Jesus’
      reason to be a little unclear about the future? (First,
      Jesus says He doesn’t know the exact time! Second, He
      says that we should be ready all the time.)

      1. Is verse 44 a promise? What is promised to you?
        (Jesus will come again. But, you will be surprised
        because you will not expect it.)

      2. If Jesus is right, what does this tell us about
        all attempts to set a date for Jesus’ Second
        Coming? (Anyone who sets a date does not believe
        Jesus’ words. The rest of that person’s theology
        should be equally suspect!)

  2. Jesus’ Certain Statements

    1. Read Matthew 24:31-33. Can you tell time from a fig
      tree? Is time-telling through the use of trees an
      exact science? (According to Jesus, you can tell when a
      season approaches (“summer is near”)by the leaves on
      the tree beginning to come out.)

      1. Since Jesus compares the coming of summer to the
        end of the world, what lessons about knowing the
        time of the end can we learn from the fig tree?
        (This is further proof that God does not reveal
        the exact time of the Second Coming. He says that
        He will reveal to us generally when He is coming

    2. Since Jesus has told us that we can only read signs of
      the general time of His return, let’s review those
      statements. Read Matthew 24:5-6. Were any of you
      alarmed recently? (My office is close enough to the
      Pentagon that we could feel the blast of the explosion
      on September 11.)

      1. Why does Jesus tell us not to be alarmed? Isn’t
        this something about which to be alarmed?

      2. All around the world you hear of trouble and
        fighting. My father grew up in the Great
        Depression and was in combat in World War II.
        I’ve often thought that I’ve had such an easy life
        compared to him. Should we find comfort in
        trouble? (I don’t think Jesus is telling us to
        enjoy problems, He is just saying consider where
        all of this is leading. When one of the little
        girls in my wife’s school heard about the
        terrorist attack on Washington and New York she
        said, “Good, Jesus is coming soon.” Despite
        terrible things happening around us, Jesus assures
        us that we should not be alarmed because such
        things happen as a prelude to His Second Coming
        where the problems of sin and death are ended.)

    3. Read Matthew 24:7-8. How are war, famine and earthquake
      like birth pains? (Every mother says, “I know what
      Jesus is talking about! Seriously, Jesus is making a
      comparison. Birth pains are very uncomfortable. But,
      they lead to a joyous event, the birth of your child.
      Jesus is saying that this hardship is leading to a
      joyous event — the return of Jesus!)

      1. Notice that verse 8 says these are the “beginning”
        of birth pains. Does the pain get worse?

    4. Read Matthew 24:9-12. How do the troubles mentioned in
      these verses differ from those mentioned in Matthew
      24:6-8? (This second group is not the description of
      general problems, it describes problems involving you!
      The trouble has now come to your house.)

      1. Obviously, the United States is not the center of
        the universe, but it can truly be said that
        serious problems, for the first time, have come to
        “our house” this week. Never, in any of the wars
        in which the U.S. had been involved, has such
        damage be done to the mainland.

    5. Read Matthew 24:13. What is the promise if we remain
      faithful? If we “stand firm?” (That Jesus will save us
      from all of the trouble.)

    6. Read Matthew 24:14. What is Jesus saying? That we have
      to preach the gospel to the entire world before He
      comes again? Or, that the result of all of this trouble
      in the world is the preaching of the gospel to the
      entire world? (This is not clear to me. What is clear
      is that the gospel is preached and that we should be
      partners in that task.)

    7. Read Matthew 24:23-24. Before the end of time
      impersonators of Christ will come. Why is it possible
      to be deceived by them? (The have the power to perform
      great signs and miracles.)

      1. Isn’t this one way Jesus proved who He was when He
        was here the first time? (Yes. Look at Matthew

      2. If these false christs use the same methods, how
        can we know the real from the fake? (Read Matthew
        24:25-27. This is not going to be a secret event,
        this is not going to be a private event, this is
        not going to be something you see on TV, when
        Jesus comes a Second time you will know it. If you
        have any doubt, it is not the “real thing.”)

        1. I once read an article where the person said,
          “This ‘every eye'[see Revelation 1:7]refers
          to television.” Why is that statement wrong?
          ( Matthew 24:27 refers to the event, not the
          reporting of it. My God does not need the
          power of television to make His power

    8. Read Matthew 24:30-31. What else is added to our
      picture of Jesus’ Second Coming? (Not only will He be
      seen from the east to the west, but He will have a loud
      “trumpet call” and the righteous will be gathered from
      earth. If “your christ” does not come in this way, he
      is not Jesus. Jesus tells us in v.25 that He has given
      us advance warning about this so we will not be
      deceived about His Second Coming.)

  3. New Views

    1. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5. In addition to warning us about
      physical signs of the end, we are also warned about the
      character of the world at the time of the end. Does
      this list seem to apply to the world today? Does this
      list apply to those of us who are in the church?

      1. Notice the phrase in verse 5, “having a form of
        godliness but denying its power.” What does that
        mean? (We see all sorts of “morality” outside of
        the teachings of the Bible.)

        1. Can you give examples of “morality” that is
          outside of the Bible? (Some claim a moral
          right to kill their unborn children. Some
          claim a moral right to be put in leadership
          positions of the church even though they have
          serious sexual problems. Some claim a moral
          right to be free from hearing the gospel.
          All of this shows the need to base our
          morality (v.5) on the power of the true God.)

    2. Read 2 Timothy 3:7. This is a very interesting phrase.
      Are these people well-educated? What is necessary to
      our education? (Not just to learn stuff, but to
      “acknowledge the truth.”)

    3. Friend, Jesus tells us He is coming again, but He
      refuses to be specific about the timing because He
      wants us always to be ready and waiting for Him to
      come. Will you agree to be continually faithful? If
      you see the signs that the season of His coming is
      soon, I encourage you to commit yourself today to be

  4. Next Week: Behold, He Comes!