Signs of Jesus’ Return
Matthew 24 (all of it)
2 Thess 2:1-10
Some notes of introduction:
1. The purpose of prophecy is not to entertain the curious, but to encourage the consecrated.
2. Some of what Jesus has to say has direct application to the difficult days ahead for the people of Jerusalem regarding the coming Romans siege of the city from AD 66-70 and the subsequent difficulties. The abomination of desolation described by Jesus from Daniel’s prophecy is fulfilled, in my opinion, by the Roman desecration of the temple with Roman standards and their tearing down of the temple, thus fulfilling Jesus words.
Some of what is said here and in Revelation is also future oriented. Remember, we are taking the idealist approach.
3. When Matthew mentions that Jesus left the temple, and went on to the Mount of Olives opposite (3), he may have in mind not only Jesus’s withdrawal from Jewish public life but also Ezekiel’s vision of the glory of God abandoning the doomed temple and resting on the Mount of Olives (Ezk. 10:18–19; 11:22–23).
4. It’s vital that we not let Jesus’ words by hi-jacked by false prophets not be ashamed of the words of Jesus just because they have been abused by false prophets who make Jesus and us look bad.
There are six signs giving in Scripture that point to the coming of Jesus:
1. The preaching of the Gospel to all nations Matthew 24:14
2. The great tribulation Matthew 24:15-22
In Revelation there are 4 series of 7’s.
7 Letters to the churches
7 Seals on a scroll
7 Bowls of wrath
The 7th seal leads to the 7 trumpet calls for judgment that leads to 7 bowls full of God’s wrath to be poured out. This period is what is referred to as “great tribulation”.
If my eschatological schematic works out then this period will come at the end of the church age and precede the catching away of the church and immediate return of Jesus. He will then set up his millennial Kingdom. At the end of that period Satan and his henchmen will be thrown into the lake of fire, the dead not in Christ will be raised to judgment and thrown into the lake of fire with Satan, and there Jesus will rule over all of his Kingdoms forever. The eternal kingdom will be established on a new heaven and a new earth, and we will reign forever with the King.
3. False prophets working signs and wonders Matthew 24:23-24
A. Perhaps anyone having exceptional command of “spiritual gifts” drawing crowds
B. Perhaps anyone having the exceptional ability to draw large sums of money spent
on their own desires
C. Perhaps anyone claiming to be able to heal, but charging and limiting who can
come (I’ve always wondered why not just go to the hospitals and heal).
D. Perhaps anyone claiming to predict the day when Jesus will return
E. Perhaps anyone claiming unity of purpose among multiple religions
F. Perhaps anyone claiming unity of religion among multiple religions
4. Signs in the heavens Matthew 24:29-30
The words of vs. 29–31 are almost entirely woven together from OT prophetic texts. Verse 29 is drawn from Is. 13:10 and 34:4, where the language of cosmic upheaval symbolized the political fall of pagan nations. The language about the Son of Man coming on the clouds is drawn from Dn. 7:13–14….. (on 10:23; 16:28; 19:28) points to the vindication and enthronement of Jesus (rather than to his parousia). Verse 31 is based on passages that refer to the promised return of Israelites from exile.
In this context, therefore, this poetic language appropriately refers to the great changes that were about to take place in the world, when Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed. It speaks of the Son of Man entering into his kingship, and his angels gathering in his new people from all the earth. The fall of the temple is thus presented, in highly allusive language, as the end of the old order, to be replaced by the new régime of Jesus, the Son of Man, and the international growth of his church, the new people of God. (which will include a great salvation from among Jews)
A. There will be a new order of how life works and that new order is the order of God’s
Kingdom (see the sermon on the mount)
B. There will be continual and great global upheaval among kingdoms and nations as
Jesus builds his church among all kingdoms and nations
5. The coming of the man of sin and rebellion 2 Thess 2:1-12
A. There will be false spiritual claims v. 1-3
B. There will be an intentional attempt to deceive v. 3
C. There will be a man of lawlessness who will claim to be God and set himself up to be
Worshiped in in the “temple” v. 4-7
1. The man of lawlessness is from the work of Satan v. 9
2. The man of lawlessness performs signs and wonders v. 9
3. Watch out if you are hard-hearted toward the Gospel and take pleasure in
Unrighteousness v. 12
a. God had the divine right to withdraw grace at his timing (Prov 29:1)
D. The man of lawlessness is restrained currently by God v. 7
E. Jesus will kill the man of lawlessness when he comes v. 8
6. The salvation of Israel Romans 11:25-29 (Isaiah 59:20; Isaiah 27:9)
A. Israel has been partially hardened until a full number of Gentiles has been saved
B. Jesus will banish ungodliness and take away their sin because of his elective purposes
 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996), Mt 24:23.
 D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Mt 24:1–2.
 D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Mt 24:29–35.