Matthew 24:9, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” The word “Then” indicates the change from the “beginning of sorrows” (Vs. 5-8) into the tribulation period. Jesus says to Israel, You will suffer affliction and be hated and many will be killed. All these things will be intensified, especially through the work of the false prophet and then the antichrist shall come on the scene.
V. 10, “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” There will be secret believers and someone will snitch on them, for fear of their own lives. The words, “hate,” “betray,” “afflicted” and “kill” tells the story of what that tribulation time will be like.
Vs. 11-12, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Here we read more descriptive words, “deceive” and “love wax cold,” this will be the condition after the rapture of the overcomers. It is bad enough now, but when the overcomers are taken out of the world, evil men will have their day. Their hatred waxing worse and worse, the love of even true disciples of Christ will wax cold.
The overcomers today are holding back the darkness that is coming on the world: by their presence, their prayers, by proclaiming the Word of God and standing for the truth. When these powerful light are taken up, how much easier it will be for the powers of darkness to descend on this world and the man of sin shall be revealed. II Thess. 2:6-7.
V. 13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” This verse has been widely misused and misapplied, saying we have to hold out faithful to the end of our life to be saved (keeping the law, keeping saved, etc.). We must consider the context, the subject is tribulation days not keeping ourselves saved. We are saved eternally, because when God does a thing, He doesn’t do it half way. We are saved because of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross and He finished the work. We are not saved because of our works. But every man will receive rewards or lack of rewards for the deeds done in the body.
We can know right now that we are the sons of God. We don’t have to wait until we endure to the end to know whether we are saved. Let us not take a verse out of context, leave it in the chapter where it belongs. Here it is speaking of people who will endure to the end of the tribulation. They will be saved physically from death at the hand of the antichrist.
V. 14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” It is the gospel of the kingdom, not of the church. Have you ever heard that the gospel has to be preached in all the world before the rapture? That is not what this verse is about. The kingdom is not our message, we are of the Church Age. There are those who preach the gospel of the kingdom and say they will be her during the tribulation and not go to heaven, but will help set up Christ’s kingdom. According to your faith, so be it. But the Lord has given us a revelation of something better, the high calling in Christ Jesus. That we have been seated in the heavenlies in Christ. Eph. 2:4-7; Phil. 3:14.
“Then shall the end come,” the end or conclusion is described in the following verses.
V. 15, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” The “abomination of desolation” is the image of the antichrist (Dan. 12:11; Rev. 13:14-15). Jesus says, When you see it stand in the holy place, this is a defining change (whoso readeth, let him understand). Take notice, ponder, consider and heed. The next verses tells us what to heed.
Vs. 16-21, “Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Then shall come the end” (V. 14), “When” ye…see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place” (V. 15), “then shall be great tribulation (V. 21). The last three and a half years of tribulation will be terrific suffering, called Jacob’s trouble in Jer. 30:7.
Some preach this, concerning the rapture. NO, this is not going to happen until the antichrist’s image is in the temple. The remnant of Israel that will be looking for their Messiah to come will have to flee and hide. God is going to protect them (Rev. 12:6,14-17). It will be harder for a woman heavy with child or having little children to flee. They will have to go by night and under the treat of being killed, such a terrible time.
V. 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.” The elect are the believing remnant, for their sakes, those day will be shortened, so they will not be Killed. Satan’s measured off time will be shortened.
Vs. 23-24, “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” The false prophets shall be empowered by Satan to do signs and wonders. No doubt we will see more supernatural things as time goes by, even in occults. Be careful, for even today, believers can be deceived by things that are not right. That is why it is so important to keep in the Word of God measuring everything by it.
For Satan will even use Scripture to deceive believers if they are not watchful. Satan quoted scripture to Jesus in the wilderness temptation (Mt. 4:6), “Prove all things,” I Thess. 5:21. Anyone can take a scripture out of its setting and make it say anything they want to say. Paul withstood Peter to the face when He was acting outside of God’s Word. Christian psychologist use scripture to prove their man-made formulas. They brain wash Christians into thinking they can solve all their problems (a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump). It leaves the Holy Spirit out. God works His Word in us by His Spirit as we yield to Him.
Vs. 25-26, “Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” For this is not how the Messiah is coming.
V. 27, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” This is not how He is coming for the church, this is how He is coming to Israel Swiftly and openly, not secretly, but as the Judge of the nations and the helper of His people the Jews. Lightning is destructive and He is coming in unsurpassing judgment of all unrighteousness.
V. 28, “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” “For,” this is the result of it. After the great warfare, the carnivorous birds will be gathered unto the great supper of God (Rev. 19:17-18), to eat the flesh of those ungodly men that have fallen in battle, being slain of God.
Continued next issue: after tribulation