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Does Matthew 24 teach that all those terrible things will have to happen before the Lord comes to rapture the Christians from the earth?

There is much taught from this chapter which is not right. Many teach that the gospel must be preached to all the world before the Lord comes for His people, because of this verse: "And this gospel OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all the nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14. The background of this chapter is Jewish, as is the entire Gospel of Matthew. It is presenting Christ as King of the Jews, and all the world. Matthew 2:2. In Matthew 2:23, He denounces Israel's leaders with eight "woes" which are judgments. In Matthew 24, He is answering three questions relative to Israel about their temple, His coming, and the end of this present age. The church is not in view anywhere in this chapter, it is only mentioned twice in the book of Matthew. He is speaking to the disciples who represent a believing remnant in a future day of great tribulation that is to come on the earth, Matthew 24:21. The gospel will be proclaimed at that time and will be the message of a kingdom that is at hand. This is not the message that is to be preached at this time. The kingdom could not come now. The church age is not completed and will not be until the rapture of the born-again believers. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

The Christian is not to look for signs. These have to do with Israel and the kingdom. This is what we have in Matthew 24, the signs of the coming of Christ to earth and Israel to set up a promised kingdom. The Christian is to WAIT for His Son from heaven. 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

Are you ready if He should come today? Have you trusted Him as Saviour from your sins?

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen