Matthew Chapter 24

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-Matthew SAB: Matthew

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Matthew 24

(24:3-51)
The end of the world will be signaled by wars, famines, disease, and earthquakes (6-7). And that's just "the beginning of sorrows" (8). Next believers will be hated and killed by unbelievers (9), believers will hate and betray each other (10), false prophets will fool people (11), iniquity will abound and love wax cold (12). But hey, if you make through all that, you'll be saved (13).

Only one more thing will happen before the end comes: the gospel will be preached throughout the world (14). Well, that and the abomination of desolations will stand in the holy place (15), many false Christs and false prophets will show great signs and wonders (24), the sun and moon will be darkened and the stars will fall (29), the sign of the son of Man will appear in the sky, everyone on earth will mourn, and then, finally, the great and powerful son of Man will come in all his glory (30).

Oh, and all these things will happen within the lifespan of Jesus' contemporaries (34).

Or maybe not. Jesus was talking about things he knew nothing about (36). (See Mark 13:32.)

(24:3) "Tell us, ... what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

(24:6) "Wars and rumours of wars"

(24:7) "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes."

(24:8) "All these are the beginning of sorrows."

(24:9) "Then shall they ... kill you: and ye shall be hated."

(24:10) "Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."

(24:11) "Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."

(24:12) "Iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.."

(24:13) "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
What must you do to be saved?

(24:14) "This gospel ... shall be preached in all the world ... and then shall the end come." Jesus says the gospel will be preached to all nations "and then shall the end come." But in Matthew 10:23, he said the end would come before the gospel was preached to all the cities of Israel.
In any case, this is a false prophecy since the gospel has been preached throughout the world (as Paul says in Romans 10:18) yet the world hasn't ended.
When will the world end?

(24:15) "When ye ... see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" If you see the abomination of desolation in the holy place, try to understand. God is trying to say something.

(24:16) "Let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains."
Why? Can't God find and kill them there, too?

(24:19) "Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days."
Why? Does God especially hate pregnant and nursing women?

(24:24) "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders."
Jesus himself, according to Acts 2:22, fits this description.

(24:29) "The sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven."
Apparently, Jesus believed that the moon produces its own light, and that the stars are lights held in place by a firmament only a few miles above our heads.

(24:30) "Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all ... the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
Will Jesus' second coming be visible to all?

(24:31) "He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect."

(24:32-33) "Learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." Based on these verses, Hal Linsey's The Late, Great Planet Earth predicted that the end of the world would occur before 1988. The fig tree represents Israel, Israel came back to life in 1948, and Jesus said the end would come within one generation (40 years).

(24:34) "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
Jesus was a false prophet, since he predicted that the end of the world will come within the lifetimes of his disciples. The world didn't end then, and according to Ec.1:4 it never will.
What the Bible says about the end of the world

Speaking of false prophets, the Jehovah's Witnesses used to interpret this verse to mean that some of those who witnessed Jesus' return in 1914 would still be alive when Armageddon happened. Now that those alive in 1914 are now pretty much dead, the JWs have given up on this prediction.

(24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away."
With the earth last forever?

(24:36) "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." The best and earliest Greek manuscripts say, "not the angels of heaven, neither the son, but the Father only." But apparently it bothered the scribes that there were some things Jesus didn't know, so they fixed it by omitting the phrase, "neither the son." (Bart D. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus (2005), p.95)

(24:37) "As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Jesus believed that Noah's flood actually happened and he had no problem with drowning everyone on earth. It'll be just like that when he returns.

(24:44) "In such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."

(24:45) "Who then is a faithful and wise servant?"
For JWs, this is the most important verse in the bible. It is the basis of their central dogma, that the governing body of the Jehovah's Witnesses is the "faithful and wise servant," or as the NWT puts it "the faithful and discrete slave." As such, the governing body must be obeyed in all matters and all of their teachings must be accepted. Those who do so will survive Armageddon; those who do not, will not.

(24:48-51) "That evil servant ... The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him ... And shall cut him asunder, and ... there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
God will come when people least expect him. Then he'll "cut [them] asunder." And "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
What the Bible says about torture

24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
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.
24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
24:14 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.
24:15 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:)
24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
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.
24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24:24 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.
24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
24:26 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.
24:27 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.
24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
24:29 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 the heavens shall be shaken:
24:30 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.
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.
24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
24:36 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter

The End of the World
Dwindling in Unbelief
Forget Camping: What Jesus said about the end of the world (Matthew 24:3-51
175 ways to get yourself saved (24:13)
Woe is everyone! (24:19)
And I beheld when the moon became as blood (24:29)
The Bible's guide to torture (24:51)

Wikipedia
The Late, Great Planet Earth

Capella's Guide to Atheism
Was Jesus wrong about his second coming and the end of the world?

Answers in Genesis
The Gospel -- Evidence for Creaion

Christian Responses
Waterrock
Matthew 24:13 - Faith That Endures
Matthew 24:14 - And Then, The End (Cross-reference)
Matthew 24:15 - Let The Reader Understand
Matthew 24:16 - Flee To The Mountains
Matthew 24:19 - Woe to the Mothers
Matthew 24:24 - Wonder-Working Pseudo-Christs
Matthew 24:29 - Moonlight
Matthew 24:30 - 1914 and the End of the World
Matthew 24:34 - This Generation Shall Not Pass Away ...
Matthew 24:35 - Earth, Eternal or Not? (Cross-reference
Matthew 24:37 - The Days of Noah
Matthew 24:50-51 - The Fate of the Evil Servant

SAB Author Answered
SAB Author Answered