Worldwide Spread of Gospel – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Despite the widespread apostasy, despite the increasing spread of evil, and despite the downward spiral of love as it grows colder and colder, the end will not come until the Gospel is spread worldwide. This probably seemed like a dauntless task when Jesus commissioned the twelve. Yet within a generation, the Gospel had spread as far as Caesar’s household with the imprisonment of Paul in Rome. By the third century, Constantine had made it the state religion of the Roman Empire.
In the first century, the Roman networks of roads, the Roman peace (pax Romana) and a universal language (Greek) facilitated Continue reading “Worldwide Spread of Gospel”
Love Grows Cold – “…the love of most will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12b)
The love spoken of here is the highest form of love defined in Scripture (agape). It is one in which “spiritual energy is blighted or chilled by a malign [ant] or poisonous wind.” (1)Love growing cold is being cultivated by the increase of evil (“because of the increase of wickedness“). Continue reading “Love Grows Cold”
Increased Wickedness – “Because of the increase of wickedness…” (Matthew 24:12a).
In most respects, civilization is more advanced today than it has ever been. Paradoxically, the advancement of civilization has not led to a corresponding advancement in civility, as even a casual survey of “traditional” and “social” media will attest. Some may even argue that civilization (or at least civility) has retreated rather than advanced. But how does one accurately measure the decline in morality and the increase in wickedness when the standard of measurement is constantly being redefined by society? Continue reading “Increased Wickedness”
False Prophets – “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” (Matthew 24:11)
Closely related to apostasy, heresy and scoffing are those that promote these deceitful things, namely false prophets. We must be on our guard against them. Being able to recognize them and their false teaching is crucial to being able to guard against them. Continue reading “False Prophets”
Apostasy and Betrayal – “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.” (Matthew 24:10)
In the classical Greek, the term turn away is apostasia, from which we get the English word apostasy. Technically, the term means political revolt or defection. In the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) however, it is always used to refer to rebellion against God (Joshua 22:22; 2 Chronicles 29:19). There are two New Testament instances of the word. The first Continue reading “Apostasy & Betrayal”
Persecution of the Saints – “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” (Matthew 24: 9)
Most are familiar with the persecution of the early church, which lasted until the 4th century AD when Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and declared the Roman Empire to be a Christian empire. So, this part of Christ’s Olivet prophecy did in fact play out within a generation’s time. But what about today Continue reading “Persecution Of The Saints”
Famine and Natural Disaster – “There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Matthew 24:7b).
This verse lists two signs, which can occur independently or in tandem (natural disasters often lead to famine). Continue reading “Famine & Natural Disaster”