O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me
Is Matt. 24 Only For The Jews?
Jesus said, “Watch out that no one deceives you.” (Matt. 24:4)
Many Christians believe that Jesus is going to return twice. They say that the first time is in 1 Thess. 4-5 when He comes secretly to take all Christians to heaven before the Great Tribulation and the second time is in Matt. 24:30, after the Tribulation. Because they believe that they won't be on the earth during the Tribulation period which is spoken about in Matt. 24, they say that Matt. 24 is not relevant to Christians but only relevant to Jews. However, when we examine 1 Thess. 4-5 and Matt. 24 we find that they are parallel passages, that is, they are both talking about the same thing - the one and only return of Jesus.
The following list shows ten similarities between the two passages:
1) Both passages speak about Jesus coming from heaven - 1 Thess. 4:16 & Matt. 24:30.
2) Both say that there are angels present - 1 Th. 4:16, 3:13 & Matt. 24:31.
3) Both speak about a trumpet call - 1 Thess. 4:16 & Matt. 24:31.
4) Both say believers will be gathered to Jesus - 1 Thess. 4:17 & Matt. 24:31, 40-41.
5) Both mention clouds - 1 Thess. 4:17 & Matt. 24:30.
6) Both say that the time is unknown - 1 Thess. 5:1-2 & Matt. 24:36.
7) Both say that Jesus will come like a thief - 1 Thess. 5:2, 4 & Matt. 24:43.
8) Both say unbelievers will be caught unaware - 1 Thess. 5:3 & Matt. 24:37-39.
9) Both say that believers are to watch - 1 Thess. 5:6 & Matt. 24:42, 25.
10) Both warn against drunkenness - 1 Thess. 5:7 & Matt. 24:49.
These ten similarities are more than enough to show that Matt. 24 and 1 Thess. 4-5 are parallel passages. In 1 Thess. 4-5, Paul described, in his own words, the same events that Jesus spoke about in Matt. 24. There are not two returns of Jesus; there is no secret rapture; just one glorious, earth-shaking return when He gathers (raptures) all Christians to safety before God's wrath is poured out on sinners (Matt. 24:27-31).
There is also a clear, sequential parallel between Matt. 24 and Rev. 6-8 as the following shows:
1) First, both passages talk about wars and famines - Matt. 24:6-7 & Rev. 6:3-6.
2) Next, they mention the Great Tribulation - Matt. 24:9, 21-22 & Rev. 6:7-11.
3) Next, they talk about a cosmic sign in the heavens - Matt. 24:29 & Rev. 6:12-17.
4) Next, Christians are being saved out of the Tribulation - Matt. 24:22, 31 & Rev. 7:9-14.
5) Next, the wrath of God comes - Matt. 24:30, 37-39 & Rev. 8:1-7.
This sequence of similarities shows that Matt. 24 and Rev. 6-8 are also parallel passages. This of course means that all three passages, Matt. 24, Rev. 6-8 and 1 Thess. 4-5, are describing the same events which include the one and only return of Jesus. His return will not be a secret event by any means, but quite the opposite and relevant to both Jews and Christians.
When Jesus returns, and sends His angels to gather Christians out of the Tribulation, it will be announced with a trumpet call, a shout, and with the voice of the archangel and He will appear in the sky like lightning, with power and great glory. All the world will know about it. Rev 1:7 says, “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.” The nations will mourn and wail because they know that the Day Of The Lord has arrived and that God's wrath is about to come down on them.
So, “Watch out that no one deceives you” (Matt. 24:4). The church is not “gunna be outta here” but is going to suffer terrible persecution by the satanically empowered Antichrist until Jesus returns to gather His people. In Matt. 24:10-13, Jesus warns us that many Christians will fall away and be lost during that time and only those who overcome to the end will be saved. So, if the Great Tribulation occurs during our time then, more than ever, we must make sure that Jesus is our Lord to strengthen us so that we don't fall away and be left behind to face God's wrath. Amen.
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