Discussion Question– What summer plans or events are you most anticipating?
Every believer can respond to the reality of the second coming by recognizing four components to Jesus’s teaching about His return.
Component #1- Chaos (v.1-25, 24-25)
(24) But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
• “in those days”-
o Jesus started this teaching in response to the disciples
1. Mentioning of the temple in verses 1-3 and
2. Asking when that destruction of the temple would be.
o He uses this term in verses 17, 19 and 24 to speak about the times he is describing, sometime in the future.
o Some of the qualities he says about this time in verses 1-23
False teaching (v.5-6)
False Christ’s (v.5-6, 22)
Gospel proclamation expanded (v.10)
Abomination of Desolation spoken of in Daniel (v.14)
Unprecedented affliction (v.19)
False prophets (v.22)
(25) And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
Sun moon and stars will be darkened (v. 24-25)
• It will be a time of unprecedented chaos.
• And in the midst of this chaos the world will see hope and wrath all in one moment…
Component #2- Coming (v.26-27)
(26) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
(27) And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
• Against the backdrop of chaos, war, spiritual wickedness and confusion we see Christ coming and conquering.
• It’s the story all others stories are pointing to. The hero comes to save the day. Why does this resonate with us? Because we long for all that is wrong to be made right. We long for justice. We long for resolution, and yet we realize that we are part of the dissonance.
• And Christ who was sacrificed, dead, is risen…and here He comes again!
• From the song, “In the Night”
And I can see the Son of Man descending
And the sword he swings is brighter than the dawn
And the gates of hell will never stand against him
And in the night, in the night, in the night my hope lives on!
• Here is some good news- We come with him. V. 27 says we’ll be gathered with him in His coming- those who have been redeemed. If you know Christ as Savior you will be on the right and winning side.
• Believers will be drawn from all over the world and in heaven.
Now let’s recognize the 3rd component of the teaching on Jesus’ return…
Component #3- Confirmation (v.28-31)
(28) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
• The fig tree was the plant in that area of the world with the most visible evidence to the season of the year.
• This was an agrarian culture, and so they would have been a lot more familiar with plant life and working than we are.
• But even we understand that leaves come to full fruition, and fruit is being born out during the summer. Winter is death, Spring is new life, Summer brings growth, and fall becomes the time for harvest.
(29) So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
• When you see all that is described in verses 1-25, know that verse 26-27 are soon to come.
• How soon?
(30) Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
• How long is a generation? One lifetime? 60-70, 100 years?
• In the grand scheme of history and eternity, it’s not long.
• And then he gives this assurance…
(31) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
• Essentially, this prophecy is more long lasting and sure than the very earth that you are standing on.
• You can take my words to the bank.
This leads us to recognize the 4th component of the teaching on Jesus’ return…Our response…
Component #4- Commands (v.32-37)
(32) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
• The exact time is known only by the Father.
• Some believe that this is still true. Some believe it was true at the time that Jesus stated it.
• Now that Jesus has returned bodily to heaven does he know the exact time? Absolutely.
• The point is, for sure, we don’t know.
• There have been many who have tried to predict when Christ would come.
• Radio evangelist Harold Camping was so certain that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011 that he staked his entire reputation on it. His company, Family Radio, spent more than $5,000,000 on 5,000 billboards announcing the date and a media frenzy followed.
• A group I really enjoy wrote a song about the guy who did this… called “The 21st of May”
It’s time to bid this whole world goodbye
Oh, glory, time to fly away
We’ll meet our savior in the sky
Hallelujah, the 21st of May
Well, I’ve never been so sure
And I’ve never led no one astray
‘Cept in the fall of ’94
But Hallelujah, the 21st of May
• Unfortunately people trying to predict have made the return of Christ a mockery.
• But be sure…
(33) Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
• Just because you don’t know when He’s coming back doesn’t mean that he’s not coming back.
• Then an illustration…
• What are the 2 commands?
(34) For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
(35) Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
(36) Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
(37) And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
1. As the chaos in the world “in those days” is described by Jesus, do you see any relation to that time and our time today? Explain.
2. What kind of response does Jesus return bring to the following people?
• An unbeliever?
• An immature believer?
• A spiritually mature believer?
3. 2 Commands were explicitly stated – watch and pray. What does each of these commands look like in your life this week?
4. Prayer Requests