Saturday, November 13, 2021

Flee Into The Mountains

Bobservations Column:
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

We left off last week at Matthew 24:14, a bit short of the expected verse 26.

This is such an important section that I wanted to go more in-depth, and make applications of events described, and put them in context of current times. But we must remember a few things.

First, the recorded text was spoken to the Jews in Jerusalem. We can see parallels today around the world, but the events this chapter speaks of are directed to the Apostles and Disciples of Jesus right there in the Holy Land. Secondly, that means that Jerusalem plays a significant role in End-Times Prophecy. And with nearly 25% of the Bible being prophecy, we find that Jerusalem and Israel herself are center-stage in the Bible. And lastly, since there is nothing new under the sun, students of the Bible gain an understanding of current events too. There is always an initial fulfillment of prophecy, and a later, fulfillment also during the last days.

Last week we learned of “the beginning of sorrows,” and that the end is not yet as we witness these events in our modern times. But today, we will learn of that “flash-point” when it is time for the Jews of Jerusalem to seek cover and protection. As with the abomination of desolations in the days of Daniel, it was Antiochus Epiphanes who sacrificed swine on the altar of the Lord, leaving the place “unclean,” defiled, and desolate of the Spirit of God.

We do not know when, or how, but we do know that a world leader, a false Christ will one day stand and declare himself to be the “Savior of the world.” A genius in social, economic, foreign and domestic policies and religions too, he will make his announcement to the world, and sit himself on the Throne of David, a place reserved for Jesus the Son of God, and not a mere man ever. This will be the day for the Jews of Israel to run to Petra, and hide themselves.

Like so many before (Acts 5:34-39), false Christs and false prophets come and go, but Jesus stands forever, patiently waiting for His final Gentile convert.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,  lest ye should be wise in Your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” - Romans 11:25

Today's Audio Message:

Matthew 24:15-31 - "Flee Into The Mountains"

Last week we closed with verse 14 of Matthew 24, as Jesus stated, "Then shall the end come." With these dramatic words, Jesus begins to answer the question of the disciples, "What will be the sign of...the close of the age?"

These studies of the end of times are the prophetic words of Jesus. There is so much more to these verses than there appears to be at first. Jesus is speaking of future events, yet many of these things have already had an initial fulfillment verifying what is a true prophecy, and also a true prophet. It is important to understand that while there is an initial fulfilment of prophecy in these passages of scripture, there is also a long distance, or future fulfillment of these prophecies as well...these are things that are yet to come.

Focusing upon the far-distant period, Jesus describes to His disciples the sign of the close of the age, Matthew 24:15-22.

His somber words speak of a time of trouble that is coming, the like of which has never been seen before in all human history. It will be a time of incredible distress and great peril to human life. A time of staggering atrocities, blood shed and horror such as mankind has never seen before.

The Jews will repossess the temple area, and a third temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. It is hear that Jesus warns them of the coming Antichrist spoken by Daniel the prophet. He will declare himself god, and defile the temple once again. For those who will be living in Judea (in and around Jerusalem), He warns that they will have to flee to the mountains, literally flee for their lives.

When you see these things fulfilled, then you will know that the end of the age has arrived.

God is not done with His people, Israel.  Israel shall be saved.

Psalm 2 reminds us that God will have the last word, that His word is true, that every word will be fulfilled and that He will reign forever!
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion."

Where is the church in all of this?  1 Thessalonians 5:9 tells us that "God has not appointed us unto wrath."  1 Thessalonians 4:16 says, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 

This event will take place before the Great Tribulation. The rapture of the church, or the catching away, will be a glorious event. An event that every true believer in Christ should be longing for.  Comfort one another with this words. 


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