Jesus Predicted the Temple's Destruction (Matthew 24:1-35)
1. In our lesson we are studying the Lord's prediction of how the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed (Matthew 24:1-35). 2. We need to examine these verses carefully because the signs that Jesus gave are sometimes incorrectly applied to His return. Discussion: I. LET US FIRST EXAMINE THE SETTING (vs.1-3)
A. (vs.1a) Jesus left the temple. 1. Jesus had been teaching in the temple, and He showed how destruction would come upon that generation (23:32-36). 2. (23:37-38) Because the people of Jerusalem rejected Jesus, their house was being left in a "desolate" condition. B. (vs.1b) The disciples admired the buildings (Mark 13:1; Luke 21:5). C. (vs.2) Jesus informed His disciples that the temple would be destroyed. 1. Jesus said one stone would not be left upon another. 2. Some stones are reported to have been 38 ft. long x 12 ft. high x 18 ft. thick. D. (vs.3) The disciples asked Jesus several questions. 1. The disciples connected the temple's destruction with the Lord's return. 2. As Jesus answered them, He showed that these are two different events. II. THE LORD'S ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUESTION INCLUDED WARNINGS, SIGNS, AND INSTRUCTIONS
A. (vs.4) Jesus warned His followers not to be deceived by anyone. 1. (vs.5) Many imposters would come in the Lord's name, claiming to be Him. 2. (vs.11) Many false prophets would arise (see vs.23-27). B. Jesus said that a number of signs would occur before the temple's destruction. 1. (vs.6-7a) Conflict between nations would occur. 2. (vs.7b) Natural disasters would occur in various places. 3. (vs.8) As bad as these things are, they would just be "the beginning of sorrows." 4. (vs.9) The Lord's followers would be persecuted. 5. (vs.10) Offenses, betrayal, and hatred would abound. 6. (vs.12) The abundance of iniquity would affect the love of many. 7. (vs.14) The Gospel would be preached throughout the world [this was accomplished in about 30 years -- Colossians 1:5-6, 23]. 8. (vs.15) The "abomination of desolation" would occur (Luke 21:20). C. Jesus gave His followers instructions to follow. 1. (vs.13) He told them to "endure unto the end." 2. (vs.16) He told them to "flee into the mountains." a. They were to do so immediately (vs.17-18). b. They were to guard against things that would hinder their travel (vs.19-20). 3. He wanted them to obey Him because the tribulation would be great (vs.21, 28). 4. (vs.22) God would make a way for Christians to escape. III. THE SIGNS JESUS GAVE WOULD OCCUR DURING THAT GENERATION (vs.29-35)
A. (vs.29) Jesus gave some additional signs that would indicate a change of power had taken place (Isaiah 13; Ezekiel 32; Joel 2). B. (vs.30-31) Jesus said He will return at a later time. C. (vs.32-33) Jesus illustrated the importance of watching for the signs that would indicate that the temple was about to be destroyed. D. (vs.34) The events Jesus talked about would occur during that generation. E. (vs.35) Jesus' words are sure. Conclusion:
1. Jesus promised to come again, and He predicted the temple's destruction. 2. Let us understand that these are 2 different events and never confuse them.