Friends,

Sunday we began a new series where we discuss passages of scripture that trouble us or that we ¬†question. Our first discussion was about the Olivet discourse — Matthew 24:1-44.

The disciples ask Jesus two questions: When will the temple be destroyed (which they assume means the end of the world) and what will be the sign of Jesus second coming?

Tom notes that the disciples thought they were asking two versions of the same question. They assume that when the temple is destroyed Jesus will come again and establish His Kingdom. It is the same question they ask the risen Christ in Acts 1:6.

We now know that the destruction of the temple by Titus in A. D. 70 led not to the second coming but the beginning of the church age. This age will conclude, I believe, with the rapture of the church. “Two men will be in the field, one will be taken and one will be left behind.”

Therefore, there is a long period of time between the destruction of the temple and Jesus 2nd coming. Much of the Olivet Discourse deals with the events described in the books of Daniel and Revelation.

There are many views of when the rapture occurs. Before the tribulations, in the middle of the tribulations or at the end of the tribulations. Indeed some in the church teach that the events described in these books have already occurred.

Jack noted that no one knows the date and the hour of Jesus return. However, we can recognize the signs that end is near. The signs are not new they will simply occur with greater frequency. Many of you know that I believe the end is near. The one thing I know for sure is that we are closer to the end today than we were yesterday.

Robyn said that for the unbeliever the end of time is frightening but for the believer it is a time for rejoicing. We all agreed that in the last days we shouldn’t hesitate to share the gospel.

Sunday we will continue our discussion of the end times. Our text will be Daniel 9:24-27.

See you Sunday.

John

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