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The Importance Of Knowing Christ


Matthew 24:1-36

This chapter is one of the most discussed, and I believe one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible.

I believe that these words spoken by Jesus were intended for His disciples in the first century and were intended to prepare them for an event that will take place in their lifetime.

Now, what I am going to do is cover the first 36 verses of this chapter and then this evening I am going to show a video that shows the historical fulfillment of what Jesus is talking about in this chapter; and that video will help us understand why Jesus says some of the things He says here.

Now, as we go into this keep in mind that Jesus has already touched on the idea that the Jewish nation and religious system was heading for impending doom.

 Matt 24:1-2  And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.

 Mark says that “One of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!

Now we don’t know for sure what prompted one of Jesus’ disciples to make this statement about the temple.

But at any rate, one of His disciples says, “Jesus, isn’t this an impressive place. Look at how huge and grandiose these stones and buildings are.”

 Now, look at Jesus’ answer; vs. 2. And He answered and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

Now that is amazing and probably a better term would be “shocking!”

And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

So, look at what Jesus says…and as we go through this, I want you to notice that what Jesus says here is more exhortation than it is future telling.

Let’s read 4-14. Now, keep in mind, the disciples have asked about “when the temple is going to be destroyed…and what the signs of that destruction will be.

Matt 24:4-14  And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 “And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. 9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. 10 “And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. 11 “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. 12 “And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. 14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come. 

Now in this text there are three calls for these disciples. Number one is a call for Perception.

Second, there is a call of Persecution.

And that brings us to the third call to the disciples and that is a call for Perseverance.

 So here in these verses Jesus tells these disciples that prior to the time that the temple is destroyed they are going to see all these false prophets…there is going to be a time of persecution…

Now we come to a warning that I think was specially intended for the saints in Jerusalem. Look at verse 15-25.

“Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; 17 let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; 18 and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. 19 “But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! 20 “But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath; 21 for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. 22 “And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 “Behold, I have told you in advance.

Now it is amazing what people can find in these verses.

But before we start answering that question, look at the three words that come before: “When you see.

Now what does He mean by the “abomination of desolation”?

20  “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.

And look at what they are supposed to do: 21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

When they saw Jerusalem surrounded by “armies” then they would know that the temple was soon to be destroyed.

Now go back to Matthew 24 and look at verse 15 again.

And in verse 21 Jesus says that the “tribulation” that is about to fall on the city of Jerusalem that nothing before or since has ever been like it in terms of suffering.

Eusebius, a church historian, says that the Christians did exactly what Jesus said here.

But that is not what most of the people did.

Now let’s read on.

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,  30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. 

32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

People try to make these verses say all kinds of things.

Look at verse 34. He says, ““Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

You say, what about this cosmic imagery in verse 29, the sun and the moon and the stars and all of that?”

It is the same with verses 30, where He says, “The Son of man coming on the clouds.”

In this passage Jesus is describing the destruction of Jerusalem.

For centuries God’s presence was in the temple.

These are hard things to understand. Even so, there are many lessons found in this chapter. Let me quickly share two with you.

  1. First of all, this passage stresses once again how important it is to know Christ and trust in His word and the advantage that comes with knowing His word.

And it is the same for us.

This passage once again reminds us of the importance and benefits of knowing Christ and His word…and believing what His word tells us.


  1. The second lesson is: “Don’t delay.”

Well, today the slightest delay could cost you your soul.