"So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading."
Sometimes the Bible is read, but not understood. Sometimes the Lord has put a message in His book, but people take it all wrong. In this section, with the help of Bible footnotes and references, I'll help you to understand some of those confusing verses, so that the Lord's message may be clear to you.
Jesus references the last days.
24:1-2: "And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Verily I say to you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Jesus was explaining that Jerusalem, as well as the rest of the world, will be utterly destroyed in the last days.
24:3-4: "And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?' And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Take heed that no man deceive you.'"
The disciples didn't understand. Jesus told them to be on their guard, and watch for 'deceivers'
24:5: "For many shall come in My name, saying 'I am Christ' and shall deceive many"
A lot of people will come up and say that they are Jesus, coming to save His people. Yes, it seems weird, but there have been thousands through time who have done just that: appeared, claiming they're Christ- and they have deceived many. And there will be many more of those 'deceivers' that will come as the 'last days' draw closer.
24:6-7: "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you not be troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be fires, and diseases, and earthquakes, in various places."
'Wars and rumors of wars.' Almost everyone knows of the wars over in the middle east, and the constant talk of wars everywhere else. It seems like all countries are against each other. And, there are 'fires, diseases, and earthquakes' everywhere. However, Jesus specifically said that when these things happen, 'The end is not yet.' This means that we are, in fact in the beginning stages of the 'last days' but we are still far from the very end.
24:8: "All these are the beginning of sorrows."
Jesus is making it very clear that, just because there are earthquakes and wars, the world is not going to end immediately. In another part of the New Testament it says that all the signs of the last days will happen slowly. That means that the signs Jesus speaks of are starting to happen, not that the world is going to crumble apart tomorrow.
Matthew 24:22, 29-35
The Last Days, Continued
*note: Matthew 24:9-21 and 23-28 are also words spoken by Jesus, and equally as important. However, Matthew 24 is quite a long chapter, and the main topic is centralized in the verses studied.*
24:22: "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
What Jesus is saying is that this is an exception. The 'elect' are all those who are believers in Christ, and we are included in that. What He means by saying that 'those days shall be shortened' is that all people will suffer these foretold judgements, except believers. This is one of the many references to what is called the 'Rapture', when we, and all believers, will be taken in an instant to be with Him in Heaven, meaning we will miss a great deal of the judgements.
24:29-30:"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of Heaven shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory."
These event occur long after the rapture and right after the 'tribulation', the period of judgements. What Jesus is referencing now is the 'second coming', when He returns to Earth to judge all mankind.
Matthew 24:31: "And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to the other."
He will send His angels to gather all those who believe in Him, those who came to Him both before and after the rapture.
Matthew 24:32-33: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
This is a parable, or example. Jesus is saying that, just as you know by the leaves on a tree that summer is here, you will know when all of these foretold signs happen, that He is near.
Matthew 24:34: "Verily I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Many people say that Jesus was talking about the generation of people He was talking to, but He was referencing the generation of people that see these judgements and signs fulfilled. That might be us, and it might not, nobody but God knows.
Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away."
No matter what happens, the words of Jesus Christ will never pass away.