A Study of Matthew 24 (Part 3) – The Gospel

Apr 23, 2011 No Comments by

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Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Verse 14 is a well known, end times Scripture and it sounds so final. Even Rabbi’s in Jerusalem told me, they are thankful Christianity has taken the Bible all over the world. Because Christianity embraces the Old Testament, they appreciate that the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) has been delivered worldwide by the passion and fervour of Christians.

Matthew 24:15 speaks about ‘The Abomination of Desolation.’ The Fourfold Gospel commentary says: The Roman armies (in the occupation of Jerusalem) were fittingly called the abomination of desolation, because, being heathen armies, they were an abomination to the Jews, because they brought desolation upon the Holy Land. (Baal is the “abomination” or “sacrilege” described Daniel 9:27; 11:31 &12:11)

David Stern in the Jewish New Testament wrote: “When Antiochus IV (“Epiphanes”) conquered Jerusalem in 167 B.C.E. he erected an altar to Zeus in the Temple. – This was an abomination.

1 Maccabees 1:54 and 6:7 refer to this as a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, but Yeshua is pointing to an additional, future fulfillment.”

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica saying:
“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thess 2: 3-4)

This ‘son of destruction’ is described in Rev 13 as the dragon – the beast, whose number is 666.

Difficult Day

Matthew 24:21-22 “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Jesus wept over the terror to come on Jerusalem and on the Jewish people. They were raped, murdered, starved and subjected to fire and sword.

Josephus, in describing events, uses almost the very same words as the Saviour. All the calamities, says Josephus, which had befallen any nation from the beginning of the world, were but small in comparison with those of the Jews.” (Jewish Wars, book i., preface, § 4.)

He adds, that in the siege of Jerusalem, not fewer than eleven hundred thousand perished (Jewish Wars, book vi., chap. 9, § 3)

In the adjacent provinces no fewer than two hundred and fifty thousand are reckoned to have been slain; making in all whose deaths were ascertained, the almost incredible number of one million three hundred and fifty thousand, who were put to death.

If it be asked how it was possible for so many people to be slain in a single city, it is answered, that the siege of Jerusalem commenced during the time of the Passover, it is estimated that more than three millions were usually assembled. (See Josephus, Jewish Wars, book vi., chap. ix., § 3, 4.)

Josephus informs us the captives taken during the whole war amounted to ninety-seven thousand (Jewish Wars, book vi., chap. 9,. §2,3)

There have been greater numbers of deaths—six million in the Nazi death camps, mostly Jews, and an estimated twenty million under Stalin—but never so high a percentage of a great city’s population so thoroughly and painfully exterminated and enslaved as during the Fall of Jerusalem.

(Coming soon – Matthew 24 Part 4 – The Tribulation)

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About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong. He ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. He reported news from Jerusalem for five years and is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.
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