Matthew 24: Signs of His Coming (7)
Pray Psalm 96.11-13.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice
before the LORD.
For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.
Sing Psalm 96.11-13.
(Mit Freuden Zart: All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above)
Let heaven sing with lusty voice; let earth and sea sing sweetly!
Let fields and trees in Him rejoice, for He is coming swiftly
to judge the world in righteousness, the peoples in His faithfulness –
He comes; exalt Him greatly!
Read and meditate on Matthew 24.1-51.
1. How will we know when Jesus is coming? How should we prepare for that event?
2. How did Jesus characterize the age in which we live, these “last days”?
The primary message of Matthew 24 is that Jesus is coming again. This is an event of unprecedented importance. Until it happens, the world will be wracked with strife and turmoil and sorrows. Jesus did not give us many details about what will happen after He returns, except to warn of the judgment of all those who refuse to believe in Him. The focus is on Him and His coming. When we see Him, that will be all that matters; He is the complete realization of all the righteousness, peace, and joy we could ever want to know.
The age in which we live – the last days, as Peter explained in Acts 2 – will be fraught with difficulty. Wars, famines, plagues, and tribulation for the followers of Christ will be in every generation. The destruction of Jerusalem will mark the official start of this time of woes, although precursors of it can be seen in the book of Acts. So sorrowful and difficult will these times be, that many will appear from time to time, claiming to be Christ and promising to deliver us into a better way of life. We must not be misled.
When Jesus does return, everyone will know it. Every eye shall see Him. All the dead will be raised – the righteous to eternal life and the unbelieving to eternal perdition. In the meantime, Jesus has given us a charge to keep: Set His house in order by loving service and faithful witness. Each of us has a calling from the Lord. We must be diligent to work the work He has appointed to us until He comes again, and not waste precious moments and thoughts in vain speculations about the precise details of His return. The world is wracked with sorrow and sin; our calling is to watch and work, so that when He comes, He will find us busy about seeking and advancing His Kingdom.
For now, that’s all we need to know.
1. What has Jesus appointed for you to do until He comes?
2. Why must we not waste time or thought speculating about the precise events of Jesus’ return?
3. How can Christians encourage and help one another in being faithful until He comes?
A great promise is extended to the Lord’s faithful and wise stewards. It is like the promise he made to those to whom he said, “Take authority over five cities” or “take authority over ten cities.” For to be made the head “over all his possessions” is nothing other than to be made an “heir of God and coheir with Christ” and to reign with Christ. Origen (185-254), Commentary on Matthew 62
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and help me today as I…
Pray Psalm 96.1-10.
Commit yourself to the Lord, and live this day in the joy and strength of His coming.
Sing Psalm 96.1-10.
Psalm 96.1-10 (Mit Freuden Zart: All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above)
Sing to the Lord! O, bless His Name! All nations tell His glory!
Salvation’s tidings loud proclaim; let earth rehearse His story!
For God is greatly to be praised; His throne above all gods is raised –
fear Him, and sing His glory!
All other gods are idols vain – the Lord created heaven.
Splendor and strength with Him obtain; to Him be glory given!
All fam’lies, praise this mighty Lord! Give strength and glory to His Word;
exalt the Lord of heaven.
Bring off’rings sweet to Him, our Lord, in holy garments praise Him!
Tremble before Him, all the earth; among the nations raise Him!
The earth is fixed, it will not move; the peoples will His justice prove –
exalt the Lord and praise Him.
T. M. Moore
Worship the Lord!
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).