Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of studies about the Gospel of Matthew.
[Podcast version available at the end of this post.]
[These notes are from a study prepared 45 years ago.]
Outline of Matthew 24
I. Jesus prophesies the destruction of the Temple. 1-2
II. Jesus prophesies the End Times. 3-31
A. The disciples ask Christ about the end times. 3-4
B. Jesus warns of the coming of deceivers and false Christs. 4-5
C. Jesus foretells the beginning of sorrows for the nation of Israel. 6-8
D. Jesus prophesies the tribulation of Israel prior to His Second Coming. 9-14
E. Jesus prophesies the “abomination of desolation” and draws attention to the writings of the prophet Daniel on the matter. 15-20
F. Jesus prophesies the great tribulation of Israel known as the latter half of Daniel’s seventieth week. 21-28
G. Jesus foretells His triumphant return to earth at the close of the Tribulation. 29-31
III. Jesus prophesies the certainty of His Second Coming. 32-36
IV. Jesus exhorts the disciples to watchfulness in life and word for His Coming will be swift and unexpected. 37-51
Personal Interpretation of Matthew 24
The disciples were very interested in Christ’s teaching about things to come and they inquired further of Him. 1-3
Christ begins His discourse by warning of deceivers, false prophets, and false Christs. 5-6
Christ tells them about the general character of men of that time. They are bitter, haters, and greedy; hence, the many wars. He also tells them about the character of the earth: famine, pestilence, and earthquakes. These things are just the beginning of the sorrow of Israel. 7-8
The Lord tells the disciples of the affliction that faces the nation of Israel. It will be a time of apostasy, betrayal and hatred. Sin will increase and love will decrease. However, Christ promises that those who persevere to His Coming will be saved by triumph over the evil forces of the hour that would seek to destroy Israel. 9-13
This time will also be a great moment for Gospel preaching as the message of Christ will be heralded around the world. 14
Christ refers to Daniel’s prophecy about the end times to present His teaching about the “abomination of desolation.” This is the time when Satan in the person of the Anti-Christ will stand in the holy place of the rebuilt Temple. When this happens, the Tribulation will worsen for the Jews and Christ warns them to flee for the mountains to find safety. The Lord then warns them to give no heed to the words of man, but wait on the return of Christ from Heaven 15-28
A great shaking of the spiritual powers will occur in the second heaven and then Christ will appear in such a way that all mankind will see Him in power and great glory. He will gather the elect together in safety and deal the death blow to the enemies of God. 29-31
Christ uses a nature parable to illustrate the certainty of His return. He reminds the disciples that His Word is sure and true. Then Christ compares the times of Noah prior to the Flood Judgment with the days just prior to His return. He illustrates how quickly His return will be and admonishes them to be every watching and cautious in their living. 32-44
Next, Christ compares the rewards of the watchful servant and the evil servant. The judgment will be severe. 45-51
Merrill Unger notes that a comparison of Revelation Chapter 6 with Matthew 24:4-8 gives evidence that these verses have particular reference to the first half of the Tribulation period when Israel herself will dwell in relative safety because of the covenant made with the “prince that shall come” – Anti-Christ.
Unger’s Bible Handbook (pp 485-486)
Wycliffe’s Bible Commentary says that the “beginning of sorrows” in verse 8 is literally “of birth pains,” suggesting the travail shortly to be followed by a happier day. In verse 29 the astral phenomenon of the darkened sun and moon are foretold in Joel 3:15 and Isaiah 13:9-10.
Scholars are not agreed on “the sign of the Son of Man” in verse 30. Lange explains it as the great Shekinah glory of Christ. Whatever it is, the Jewish tribes will know what it means. The angels who gather the elect in verse 31 are the same who are described in Matthew 13:30, 41-43, as removing the tares from the wheat, that the wheat might be gathered into the barn.
Practical Usage of Matthew 24
It is most dangerous to preach from this text without placing it in context. Verses have been used out of this chapter out of context by thousands of preachers and have done much damage to many hearers. The only sermons that I would draw from this chapter would be in context of the Tribulation period and God’s dealing with the Jews. My outline on the chapter would be my sermon.
Teaching Notes eBook on Matthew’s Gospel
We invite you to download and share our eBook on Matthew’s Gospel.
We will look at Biblical Theology in the next part of our special Teaching Notes series.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]
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