So often someone will approach you with a “time-bomb” and present you with an argument that is as removed from Scripture as the East is from West. This is especially true when it comes to prophecy in the Scriptures.

In Matthew 24 there is much said about the return of Christ and there are those who purport to have answers that do not fit into the context of Scripture. I am taking only a few thoughts from the first eight verses because they have a time-line that is apparent.

The Lord, and his disciples, had just left the Temple area. The disciples came to Him and pointed “out the temple buildings to Him”. It is then that He says to them: “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” The statement was such that they waited until He was sitting on the Mount of Olives and they could ask Him, privately what He meant by that. The question was three-fold… “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

He does not answer directly to the first part of the question, but refers back to what had been said when “they pointed out the temple buildings to Him”. That event, of not one stone being left upon another took place in 70 A.D. when Rome destroyed it.

Now, to the second part of the question: “What will be the sign of your coming?” Keep the emphasis where it should be, “sign”. Because the Church, which had been promised and would be established, (Acts 2) and the catching away of His Bride (The Church) unto Himself (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) He refers now to the events of the Great Tribulation, wherein they would “hear of wars and rumors of war. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not the end.” A list of still more things is listed, nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, famines and earthquakes. Please note carefully: “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”

More things follow in the succeeding verses but He never gives a direct answer concerning a date. The Church, having been raptured, will never have to undergo these things. We will see gradual decay, most possibly in high-speed, as indicators of His return prior to our Rapture, but we will not have to go through the Great Tribulation in all of its intensity.

We rest in His promises and await with excitement, Even so come, Lord Jesus!

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