Matthew 24 is known as “The Olivet Discourse.” This chapter deals with the signs of Jesus’ returning for the church and the end of the world. Jesus began first by telling the disciples in verse 4 to “take heed that no man deceive you.” What does that mean?
Throughout history it has been Satan’s goal to deceive mankind by any trick and scheme that he can use. One of his tricks is to find any way that he can to get into the church and use preachers to do his bidding by preaching and teaching false doctrine. Many Christians have fallen for this trick, instead of listening to what Jesus said by way of the Holy Spirit and reading the Bible. We have also been deceived by so-called ministries that go on TV and radio and preach and teach how to feel good, and then asking for money to further their goal of riches.
They also believe that by sowing seed money, God can be bought off. God cannot be bought. Don’t fall for this. Run out the door of any church and turn off the TV and radio when they depart from the truth of the Word of God. This also applies to the printed area of so-called authors who print garbage. Learn to discern what is true and correct. How you may ask? Read the Bible and trust what God is saying. If anything you read or hear doesn’t line up with the Word of God, chances are it is false. Jesus said in verse 5: “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many.” Once again Jesus warns us of deception.
Jesus continues by saying that we shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. All we need do is look around the world, and we see wars. The Middle East is a prime example of war. The United States has been at war there for over seventeen years with no sign of it ending any time soon. Russia, North Korea, and Iran are saber rattling as well.
Jesus continued by saying, “Be not troubled: for these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (vss. 6–7). All we need to do is look at our world. Neighboring countries are fighting. People in Africa and other third world nations are starving because of drought and dictators depriving their people of food. Pestilence and sickness are running rampart because of lack of medical care.Earthquakes are on the rise throughout the world.
Jesus continued in verse 8 by saying, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Imagine that this is just the beginning. There is more to come.
Jesus also told us in the latter days that there will be a falling away in the church. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 we once again are warned about being deceived. There will be a falling away, or apostasy, during the end times. What does that mean? People in the church will believe the lies that Satan has planted. People will reject God’s Word and fulfill what Jesus was talking about.
Christians will be delivered up for persecution. This is already taking place throughout the world. Jesus said in verses 9–10: “Ye shall be hated of all nations for my names sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” Do you see this happening now? Yes, it is happening now. One church hates another; we are fighting among ourselves, falling into the trap that Satan has set. He wants us to fight among ourselves because he knows that a house divided against itself cannot stand. We should be fighting against Satan and all that he stands for.
In verse 11 Jesus continues by saying that there will be false prophets. They shall rise and shall deceive many. Once again, Jesus is warning against deception.
Verse 12 states: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Simply stated, there will be an increase in immorality, shamelessness, rebellion against God, and a casting out of moral standards. There will be an increase of all types of sexual perversion, pornography, drugs, ungodly music, television shows, and dirty movies. Look around: homosexual activity is on the rise, the United States leads the world in nasty movies, books, and television shows. The drug problem is on the rise; more and more states are legalizing marijuana. Same-sex marriages are now the norm; more homosexuals are on TV and in the movies; changing sex from one to another is on the rise; and crime is on the rise. All types of filth are polluting our world.
Just what Jesus said would happen is happening. We have lost our way because we have accepted that what once was wrong is now right, and what was right is now wrong. Preachers have stopped preaching against sin and have begun to preach messages that make us feel good. Ministries have gotten away from preaching and teaching about Bible prophecy. Money along with how big I can make my church seems to be the message of today.
There are a few that still preach and teach the Bible, but it is getting harder to find a church that does. So, I ask, why is it such a surprise to any Christian that these things are happening in the world and the church today?
We must live every day in expectation that Jesus could come back for the true church in the Rapture. By the signs that Jesus has told us about in Matthew 24, He could return at any time. Are you ready for His return? Are your family, friends, and your church ready? He told us in verse 36: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Verse 42 and 44 says: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. … Therefore, be ye ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Jesus has warned us to be ready.”
If you are not a Christian, I urge you to ask Jesus to come into your life and accept Him as the Lord of your life. Simply ask Him to forgive you of our sins, and then live your life for Him. Today is the day to accept Him because tomorrow may be too late. He is coming back for us; don’t let His return be a surprise.