February 7: Set Your Eyes on Christ and Finish Well (Matthew 24:1-14)
This Sunday Daniel Harman will continue the series Living as a Church at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament book of Exodus).
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
As he sat 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?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Last week we finished the last part of Matthew 23, where Jesus pronounced a final judgment on the rulers of Israel. Though God has sent his eternal Son, the King of kings, to redeem them, they have rejected him, and he has passed judgment on them. The passage ended last week with this dramatic moment of Jesus crying out to the city of Jerusalem. Chapter 24 begins with Jesus leaving the temple. The disciples marveling at the beauty of the temple point out to Jesus the buildings of the temple, but the Lord answered them that not one stone will be left upon another. The disciples then asked when the end would come, assuming the temple would stand till the end of the world. But he answered them – not so much about specific dates and times, but about events that would take place and how they must remain calm and faithful.
Review and Apply
1. What is distracting you from Christ Jesus?
2. Do you find that you don’t have time to read Scriptures, but do have time for other things?
3. Do you get alarmed and nervous when you hear about wars or rumors of wars?
4. Do you struggle to trust God, knowing that He is in control and He is good?
5. Have you endured any type of religious persecution?
6. Are you proclaiming with boldness your faith in Christ? Or do you hide it?