|The Second Coming of Christ 10
Read Matthew 23.27-25.46
Immediately after the tribulation there appear great signs in heaven: the sun darkened; the moon not giving light; the stars fall from heaven; the powers
of the heaven shaken. These same symbols are used in Isaiah 13 and Joel 2 to describe the wane of the glory, honor, prestige, and power of Babylon and
Jerusalem. The signs immediately follow the destruction of the temple buildings; they are not removed, but are immediate. Therefore, the most
reasonable explanation is that these signs bespeak of the wane of the glory, honor, prestige, and power of the Jewish nation upon the destruction of
Jerusalem. The coming of Jesus then must be understood in the light of the same type of signs and symbols as are found in the preceding verse. In Isaiah
19:1, the Lord is spoken as coming in the clouds of heaven in judgment upon Egypt. Thus here, is continued the prophetic language of the Old
Testament in the prophets speaking not of a literal physical coming, but of a coming in judgment upon Jerusalem. The messengers of the Lord (for that is
what the word angel means) are sent to the four corners of the earth to gather together those who are called according to the gospel of the Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ. The gospel, although spread throughout the world prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, enjoyed an almost uninhibited spread with the
removal of the last bastion of its greatest opposition, Judaism. Now the gospel goes literally from one end of the earth to the other.
Everything in verses 29-31 must be understood in the light of verse 34. The qualification that Jesus, Himself, put upon the verses prior to His statement of
verse 34 cannot be ignored. Jesus said, "Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Everything that He has
said prior to verse 34 must take place during the existence of the generation htat He is then talking to.
The disciples could look at the fig tree and see that the time of summer is getting close by the buds that it put forth. Even so as they saw the signs which
Jesus gave unto them, they would know ahead of time of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jesus speaks clearly and directly. It is absolutely true that "this generation" (the generation standing before Jesus at that time, those people to whom He
spoke, the generation of the disciples) would in no way pass from this earth (or die) until ALL the things concerning the destruction of Jerusalem
(everything from verses 4 to 33) will take place. Either these things took place during the lifetime of those to whom Jesus spake, or Jesus was a liar. One
or the other! Jesus did not say some, but all. He did not say begin to happen, but be fulfilled (filled full), done and accomplished.
The surety of Jesus' words is re-emphasized. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Jesus' words are surer than the
existence of the heaven and earth.
[to be continued]