When Jesus says in verse 5, “many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many,” He is saying that they will acknowledge Him (Jesus) as the Christ, or they couldn’t be coming in His name. A lunatic that claims to be “the Christ” is easy to spot and large numbers of people don’t follow them; the deception becomes much greater when they claim to come in the name of Jesus and say Jesus is the Christ, but they change important aspects of the faith and deny the whole truth.
In verses 6 and 7, Jesus talks about the “beginning of sorrows;” these are birth pangs that become more severe and closer together with time. I believe we are in that time now where things are escalating but “the end is not yet” (vs. 6).
Jesus says in verse 12 that the “love of many will grow cold.” Let me exhort you to pursue love with all your heart… forgive and give while you put others above yourself.
The goal of Jesus Christ is for the witness of the Gospel to reach the entire world (vs. 14), bringing in the largest harvest possible while weeding out those your refuse repentance.
Verse 15: The “abomination of desolation” is the idolatrous abomination that antichrist sets up in Jerusalem and it results in desolation. The prophet Daniel wrote about this in Daniel 9:27. Here is the verse; the words in (brackets) are mine: “Then he (antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many (nations including Israel) for one week (a period of 7; refers to 7 years); But in the middle of the week (after 3 ½ years) He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering (at the Temple in Jerusalem which is yet to be built). And on the wing (pinnacle) of abominations shall be one (antichrist) who makes desolate, Even until the consummation (completion), which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate." 2 Thessalonians 2:4 also speaks of the antichrist and the “abomination of desolation;” it says he “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” What antichrist does along with the worship of those who have given themselves over to a reprobate heart causes God to bring desolation.
The “abomination of desolation” is the “trigger” for what Jesus calls a “great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (vs. 21). Immediately after the tribulation (vs. 29), the sun and moon will be darkened and Jesus will appear to every tribe of the earth (vs. 30). Verse 31 says, “He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” This is what is commonly referred to as the “rapture” or the “catching away” of God’s people. Apostle Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians 15:52; he says it will happen “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” If we look at these two Scriptures together, we see in 1 Corinthians 15:52 that the rapture happens at the “last trumpet,” and in Matthew 24 we see that this trumpet is blown “immediately after the tribulation.” So, it is impossible for the rapture described in 1 Corinthians 15 to happen before the great tribulation Jesus described in Matthew 24. We shouldn’t assume things that are not in Scripture as many have done. He who endures to the end will be saved (Matt 24:13), but don’t fear; He can keep us from stumbling and present us faultless before the presence of glory (Jude 1:24).
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan