The Olivet Discourse PII

5 12 2008

General Idea of Matthew 24: 29- 51, Part II

This is part two of a two part study as a prelude into The Book of Revelation. It is essential we understand the events that are to come and not bow to false teachings or sensationalism, and the best way to do that is see what our Lord Jesus Christ taught on the matter.

The Coming of the Son of Man!

A spectacular glimpse to things that will come! Jesus is explaining here, symbolically, the events of the coming Tribulation (Matt. 24:29-35), and then, in the following chapters, gives us some illustrations, using parables, to help us understand these events and the importance of our being ready (Matt. 24: 36 through chap. 25). Jesus is coming back and this time it will not be a subtle event, as a baby born in a feed trough in a cave; rather, the entire creation will glow and bend to show the whole world His glory. This passage gives hope to a persecuted church, hope to people in despair, and hope that He is indeed in charge, even when we cannot see it!

This is also one of the main passages that people refer to as the Rapture. That is, Jesus’ return, and our being “caught up” with Him as air being lifted up in the sky. This is, of course, in great debate. Did you know that this Rapture is a “theory” that is only a hundred years old, and comes from people who expounded lots of false doctrine as well? Did you know that none of the most brilliant theological minds who ever lived—Augustine, Kempis, Calvin, Luther, and Spurgeon, to name a few—ever taught this?(see our series on this for more info)! Perhaps the information is true but we were not ready for it; perhaps it is all fantasy, allegory turned it into theology, which is a very dangerous and false practice!

Wherever the truth may lie, or to whatever view you subscribe, the particulars are not important; that is why they are not given to us! What is important is to believe in Christ, hold on to Him, and be confident in Him. It is all about our faith development and our diligence in obedience—diligence in knowing He is coming; how, where, and when are irrelevant.

But, when it does happen, there will be no doubt. All the theology debates will be tossed aside as His Kingdom comes to its realization and completion (2 Pet. 1:16-21)!

The main point of this passage is to tell us not to be discouraged, but remain faithful and vigilant. We are to live our lives as if Christ would be coming tomorrow, or preparing and planning as if He were coming a thousand years from now. We are no to be preoccupied with the details and trivialities. That is why Jesus did not give them to us. Rather, our faith development and steadfastness are far more impacting and real on ourselves and others around us! Isn’t it strange that people on TV can predict the day and hour of Christ’s return when Jesus Himself did not?

I remember a popular book, 88 Reasons why Jesus Is Coming Back In 1988! Most of the TV preachers were expounding this; I knew people who gave away their homes and cars, and when He did not come back, they were so disillusioned that many of them are not part of any church today! There may be a rapture, there may not be one; Jesus may come in the beginning, or the middle of, or at the end of the tribulation. He is God and He is not confined to our wishful thinking or ideas! I will still buy cars with sunroofs (get out easier) and keep watchful, but this will not consume me as it has others.

Do not be distracted from that to which Christ has called you! Do not waste your time in the particulars of eschatology; it really is not important.

Christ commands us to know Him and make Him known, to grow in Him and help others grow, to worship Him and help others worship Him, too. If we spend our time in the debate of eschatology, we will ignore His more vital calls, such as evangelism, discipleship, and our own growth in Him!





Are you captivated by End Times Theories?

3 12 2008

Are you a committed Christian or a surrendered Christian?

Are you waiting for the Rapture? Are you concerned about the tribulation, when it will happen, and if you have to go through it or not? Does one theory of end times have you captivated while others make you mad? Is this what fuels your faith? Is this where your time is spent? If so, take a hard look in prayer and at the Scriptures. What is God really calling your focus to be? Look at Galatians chapter five, the Book of James, or any book of the Bible. Read it through, ask inductive questions to the text, and watch your faith grow and your life be transformed by the real indwelling of His Word and Spirit. If you are just fueled by emotional drama and sensationalism, your faith is weak and on a thin bed of ice on a hot day. There is nothing to hold or shape you, nothing to transform you and build faith, character, and spiritual and emotional maturity. Yes, excitement is fun and we do need it from time to time, but real faith is fueled in the crucible of our walk in Him and His work in us. It is not about what the trends are; it is what Jesus Christ is doing in you and your church. Do not be distracted from what true faith and real Christian living is all about!

The main point of Biblical, Exegetical Eschatology is to tell us not to be discouraged, but remain faithful and vigilant. We are to live our lives as if Christ were coming tomorrow, or preparing and planning as if He were coming a thousand years from now. We are not to be preoccupied with the details and trivialities. That is why Jesus did not give them to us. Rather, our faith development and steadfastness are far more impacting and real for ourselves and others around us!

We need to read the Bible so it is more impacting to us and so we can draw out more information for personal edification and teaching. We also have to be careful that our interpretation of Scripture is accurate in word and meaning before we make an application to it! We are never to ignore His words, and absolutely never to replace them with ours! It is not about what we think or wish for; it is about His will and His timing! Jesus can come at any time; He is not bound by the limits of our understanding of Eschatology. He is God, and His timing and control are sovereign!

Revelation and Exegetical Eschatology are about our genuine discipleship and growth in Christ and how He impacts us so we can impact others. In His time, it will be clear without dispute (Acts 1:7). Revelation continues to add to our spiritual growth and faithfulness and encourage the Church through persecutions and the daily stresses of life. What we have to know is plainly what we need to know. We do not need to know what He has not yet revealed, as our duty is to our spiritual formation and the expansion of the Kingdom, not idle speculations and argumentations. The purpose for our lives here is to learn and grow in Him over any theological agenda. What we learn in our preparations is far more valuable than what will come about. To live in a sin-infused world is difficult and we need the Savior and Lord to guide us through it. Our lives, circumstances, and experiences will bring us trials and testing before we learn the lessons we are taught. What we learn from Him will help us be vigorous, victorious, and able to overcome anything life or Satan can throw at us.

Do not be distracted from that to which Christ has called you! Do not waste your time in the particulars of eschatology; it really is not important. Christ commands us to know Him and make Him known, to grow in Him and help others grow, to worship Him and help others worship Him, too. If we spend our time in the debate of eschatology, we will ignore His more vital calls, such as evangelism, discipleship, and our own growth in Him!






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