My View Of The End Times 2
Matt. 24 is a summary of the End Times up to, and including, Jesus’ return when He will rapture the elect (Christians) out of the Great Tribulation. Once the elect have been safely removed from the earth, God will then pour out His wrath on sinners during the time known as the Day Of The Lord (DOTL). The following is a breakdown of Matt. 24.
In Matt. 24:4-14, after Jesus was asked about His return and the end of the age, He said –
- Watch, because many false Christs will deceive many (vs.4-5).
- There will be wars, famines and earthquakes (vs.6-7).
- These things are the beginning of birth pains but the end is yet to come (v.8).
- Christians will be hated by all nations, persecuted and put to death (v.9).
- Many will turn from the faith; he who stands firm to the end will be saved (vs.10-13).
- And, after the gospel is preached throughout the world, the end will come (v.14).
In these verses, Jesus spoke of the terrible events leading up to the end and then, in Matt. 24:15-27, He continued on to give us more detail of what will happen during that time. He said –
- The Abomination, the Antichrist, will appear in the Holy Place (v.15).
- The Jews must flee to the mountains to avoid the Antichrist’s wrath (vs.16-20).
- There will be great distress, great tribulation, like never before (v.21).
- The Great Tribulation will be cut short otherwise no one will survive (v.22).
- He again warns not to be deceived by false prophets and false Christs (vs. 23-26).
- And during the Great Tribulation, He will return like lightning (27).
From this we can see that the Great Tribulation will be a time of deep deception and severe persecution brought on by the Antichrist. Believers are strongly warned not to be deceived but to wait for Jesus’ unmistakable return to Rapture them as described in vs.29-31, which tell us –
- The sun and moon will be darkened and the stars will fall (v.29).
- Then Jesus will come (like lightning) with power and great glory (v.30).
- And the angels will rapture the elect (v.31).
So, Matt. 24 gives us an overall picture of the End Times and the order of events is –
1) The Antichrist will appear (v.15) after which
2) The Great Tribulation begins (v.21) then, during the Great Tribulation,
3) The Cosmic Sign appears – the sun and moon are darkened and the stars fall (v.29) then
4) Jesus will return to rapture the elect (vs.30-31) and
5) The nations will mourn (v.30).
Why will the nations mourn? They will mourn because they have just seen Jesus return like lightning to rapture the Christians they had been severely persecuting, and they know that God is about to take revenge by pouring out His wrath on them. God has set a time, calling it the Day Of The Lord, when He is going to destroy the nations that oppose Him. Isa 13:9 tells us, “See, the day of the LORD is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.”
From the above order of events, we can see that the Great Tribulation (# 2) and the Day Of The Lord (# 5) are different events, separated in time by the Cosmic Sign (# 3). In the next article, I will give more Scripture to show clearly that –
1) The Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord are separate events and
2) The Day Of The Lord begins immediately after the Rapture. Amen.
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