The Second Coming of Christ - Part 1: Sure Truths From the Savior's Prophecy

The Gospel of Matthew  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Sure truths we can know from the Savior's prophecy: 1. The cross of Jesus Christ is the hinge of History (vs. 1-2). 2. We must stand on the truth of God's Word (vs. 3-5). 3. We have the sure blessings of salvation (vs. 6-13). 4. God wants us to help share His gospel (vs. 14).

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The Second Coming of Christ - Part 1

The Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 24:1-14

Sermon by Rick Crandall

(Prepared February 21, 2023)


*Please open your Bibles to Matthew 24. For the last 12 sermons we have been focused on a single day in the life of Jesus Christ. One of my Bibles tells us that it was the Tuesday before Jesus died on the cross for our sins. And the events of this day are reported in Matthew's Gospel all the way from Matthew 21:18 to Matthew 26:16.

*Up to this point, Jesus has spent most of the day in the temple. There in one of the large courtyards, Jesus preached to a crowd of people gathered for Passover. Jesus also overcame a series of hostile confrontations from the local rulers. They were trying to trap Jesus into speaking against the Roman Caesar and against God's Word. Of course, Jesus easily defeated every effort of His enemies to trick Him. Those evil Herodians, chief priests, elders, scribes, and Pharisees didn't stand a chance against the Lord God Almighty!

*Then in Matthew 23, Jesus sounded out the strongest words of condemnation He ever spoke during His earthly ministry. Eight times Jesus called those scribes and Pharisees "hypocrites." A. T. Robertson explained that those men deserved the Lord's "verbal thunderbolts of wrath, because of their hateful rejection of Christ, their corrupt distortions of God's Law, and their abuse of the people who suffered under their rule." (1)

*Now in Matthew 24:1, "Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple." And it's understandable that the disciples were impressed by the temple, because Herod's temple in Jerusalem was a sight to behold. Work began before Jesus was born, and had been going on for 46 years when Jesus first cleansed the temple in John 2. Ten thousand skilled workmen were employed for the task.

*Remember that the actual temple building itself could have fit inside a baseball infield, and that was pretty surprising to me. But the large structures all around the temple, like the storerooms, porticos and courts built by King Herod filled an area that could hold 25 football fields! This temple was built of white marble and covered with heavy plates of gold in front. Rising high above its marble-covered courts, the temple looked like a snow-covered mountain. (2)

*No wonder the Lord's disciples were impressed. But in vs. 2, "Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.''' The disciples were probably in shock at what the Lord had prophesied about the temple. And vs. 3 tells us that "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?'''

*Today we will begin to study the Lord's answers, and we will focus on some of the sure things we can know from the Savior's prophecy. Please think about this as we read Matthew 24:1-14.


*Here in Matthew 24, the Lord looked into the future, and He spoke about His second coming. Some of the things Jesus said are mysterious, and honest people have different views about these matters. For example: Will the rapture of the church be before the great tribulation, during the tribulation, or after that terrible time? Bible-believing Christians have different views on this question.

*But Jesus Christ is coming again! And there is no doubt about that. The timing may not be sure, but the signs are definitely sure. And everything that Jesus said would happen will happen. So today we will start by looking at some sure truths from the Savior's prophecy.


*The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the greatest pivotal events in history. And Jesus highlighted one of the coming changes in vs. 1-2. Here God's Word says:

1. Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple.

2. And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.''

*This prophecy was fulfilled about 40 short years after Jesus spoke these words. It happened in 70 AD, when the Roman army under Titus conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. In July or August of every year, the destruction of the temple is still mourned by a day-long Jewish fast called Tisha B'Av. (3)

[PIC 1] This is the famous Arch of Titus that shows the plunder of Jerusalem and the temple. It was constructed in 82 AD, and still stands in Rome.

[PIC 2] This picture is part of the sculpture on the inner arch, and it shows the "Spoils of Jerusalem."

*That's the historical dimension of this prophecy from the Lord Jesus. But from a spiritual point of view, God was making the monumental shift from the Old Testament to the New.

*In the Old Testament, God focused primarily on the Jews, and when He spoke, He spoke in Hebrew, the language of the Jews. In New Testament times, God reaches out to all the nations of the world. And when He spoke the New Testament portion of His Word, God spoke in Greek, the world-wide language of business in that day.

*Under the Old Testament, the Tabernacle and then the temples had been the absolute center point of Biblical worship for about 1,500 years. God was almost unapproachable. His glory rested on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies in the temple. But the temple area was divided by walls. The first wall held back people of other races and nations: the Gentiles. They could only to the go the outer court of the gentiles The second wall held back the women and children. The third wall held back Jewish men. Only priests could go farther. Last was the veil in front of the Holy of Holies. Only the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies, only once a year, and only by the sprinkling of blood to protect him from death.

*Church: The veil in front of the Holy of Holies was no ordinary curtain. It was 4 inches thick. But the cross of Jesus Christ changed everything. And Matthew 27:51 tells us that the curtain covering the Holy of Holies was torn in two from top to bottom. God was opening the way for all of the nations of the world to be saved.

*I love the story of the pastor who was telling the children how this curtain was miraculously split open. And a little boy asked, "How big was the hole?" The preacher replied, "Big enough for anyone to get through." Big enough that is for anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ. So now through the cross of Jesus Christ, we can have instant access into the throne room of Heaven, and the constant presence of God's Holy Spirit living on our hearts. (4)

*Now, under the New Testament, Christians, we are the temple of God. That's why in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul asks Christians, "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

*God no longer manifests His presence in that one sacred spot of the temple. Now God lives in the hearts of everyone who believes in Jesus. This is a small summary of the giant changes that came through the Lord's cross. And the cross of Jesus Christ is the hinge of history.


*Verses 3-5 show us why:

3. Now as He (Jesus) 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?''

4. And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.

5. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many."

*The disciples must have been shocked by the Lord's prophecy that the temple would be destroyed. It was one of the last things they expected. They were confused, but they did exactly the right thing: THEY WENT TO THE LORD FOR THE ANSWERS THEY NEEDED.

*The disciples asked 3 separate questions:

-When will these things be?

-What will be the sign of Your coming?

-And what will be the sign of the end of the age?'

*Later on we will look at these questions in more depth. Today they remind us to go to Jesus for the answers we need. Jesus warns us in vs. 4-5 that when it comes to spiritual matters, many people will try to deceive us. But Jesus never will! Jesus will always give us the truth, because He is the Truth. So when you have a spiritual question, go to God's Word for the answers you need, because He will give us the right answers at the right time. And we can always stand on the Word of God!

*Mitchell Gonzalez gave this great testimony: "I saw my two-year-old daughter Natalie carry my Bible by the case's handle. She dragged it in front of a tall table we have. And as I was about to take it away from her, she took the Bible, and laid it on the floor. Then she stood on it, and reached up to take something from the tall table."

*In that moment, Mitchell said it was as if the Lord spoke to him and said: "If you would take My word, bring it where you need, and stand on it. You'll reach things you couldn't reach before." (5)

*Christians: The same thing is true for us! And we can always stand on the truth of God's Word! That's for sure.


*When we trust in Jesus Christ, we receive countless blessings of salvation. And there are 3 to notice as we look at the Lord's prophecy in vs. 6-13.


*In vs. 6-9, Jesus spoke about terrible storms that would touch all people, both those who are saved and those who are not:

6. "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

8. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake."

*Great storms, great troubles, but in vs. 6, Jesus told His followers, "See that you are not troubled." That word "troubled" means scared out of your wits, terrified, so scared that you scream and cry out loud. That's how bad it can be.

*When we invite people to life in Jesus Christ. We are inviting them to real life, abundant, everlasting life. Christianity is the best life anyone can possibly have. But it is not a trouble-free life. In fact, giving your life to Jesus can certainly add to your troubles. In vs. 9, some Christians will be sent to torture and death, and we will be hated by all nations for His name's sake.

*There is a cost to following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and part of the cost is that some people are going to hate us. Jesus made this truth clear in John 15:18-21, where He said:

18. "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

19. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

20. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

21. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me."

*On January 15, 2020, Christianity Today reported that "somewhere in the world, 8 Christians are killed every day because of their faith. Eighty-two churches or Christian buildings are attacked every week. And every month, 309 Christians are imprisoned unjustly."

*The 2020 World Watch List shows the 50 countries where Christians are persecuted the worst. In those nations 260 million Christians suffer high to severe levels of persecution. One of every 8 Christians worldwide is facing persecution. (6)

*I saw one tragic example of cruel hatred in a September 2017 prayer request from the "Voice of the Martyrs" website: "Pray for the Family of Sharoon Masih. Sharoon was a Christian teenager in Pakistan. And he was recently beaten to death by Muslim classmates after being accused of drinking from the same glass as a Muslim.

*Sharoon had started classes at the exclusive boy's government school just three days before his murder. He had been admitted based on high grades, and was the only Christian in his class. A teacher in the room at the time of the attack said he didn’t notice the incident because he was reading a newspaper." (7)

*In John 15:21 Jesus said, "All these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me." Thank God for the freedom we still have in the United States! But there are many Jesus-hating people in our country too, and we might also have to suffer for the kingdom of God. But in that and every storm of life, we can have the peace of God that passes all understanding.

*As Jesus said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.'' Countless Christians have found the amazing peace that comes with our salvation.


*Starting in vs. 10, Jesus warned:

10. "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

11. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

12. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

*But Christians, we have a love that cannot fail! It is the love of God both for us and in us. In Romans 5:5 Paul tells believers that "hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

*Then in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul described Godly love with these words:

4. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

5. does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

6. does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8. Love never fails. . .

*This is the love we have, because of our relationship with Jesus Christ: It's a love that lasts forever.


*This is the strength of the saved that Jesus talked about in vs. 13, where He said: "He who endures to the end shall be saved." Where does the strength to endure come from? It comes from God Himself! We know this is true, because in Ephesians 3:16, Paul gives us this prayer for Christians: That God "would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man."

*Then in Philippians 4:13, Paul gave this great testimony: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Christians, our strength comes from the power of Almighty God who is always present in our lives.

*In "The Christian Herald," Beatrice Plum told about a little girl who came home from Sunday School. Her grandmother asked her how many had been in her class that day, and her granddaughter replied, "Counting Jesus, there were 15 of us." (8)

*Praise God, she was right! Jesus is here today to give us the strength we need. There are great blessings in salvation, and that's for sure.


*Jesus Christ is certainly coming again! -- But what is He waiting for? Verse 14 helps us see. There the Lord said, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

*Jesus is waiting for the whole world to hear the good news. Jesus is waiting for everyone who will be saved to be saved. So the Lord is waiting for us to get in on the mission of reaching our world for Him. Every Christian, every one of us needs to take on more of this responsibility in our lives.

*GOD WANTS MORE PEOPLE TO BE SAVED! Luke 19:10 tells us that Jesus came "to seek and to save that which was lost." In 1 Timothy 2:3-4 the Bible tells us that God our Savior, "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." And 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that the Lord is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

*God wants more people to be saved, so He wants us to do everything we can to help share the Gospel, Good News of Jesus Christ. And there are many ways to do it:

-Pray for the lost.

-Invite people to church.

-Support missionaries.

-Explain the good news to someone else.

-Tell people how you got saved.

-Tell them about the other great things God has done in your life.

*I love to hear testimonies about how people got saved. My Uncle Bo called me in February 2018 to let me know that my Aunt Helen had passed away. It was God's mercy, because she had been very sick for years. And her daughter Susan must have been one of the first people to greet Aunt Helen when she got to Heaven.

*Helen was saved at a Billy Graham Crusade. But years earlier, my uncle had also been saved through the preaching of Dr. Graham. It happened in 1949, when Bo about 20, and he was working at the Goodyear Store in Augusta, Georgia.

*One day Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea walked into the store. They were there for a revival, and they needed tires for their car. As they waited, Billy started talking with my uncle. He told Bo about the revival, and Billy said, "I'd love for you to come down and be with us."

*My uncle Bo did go to that revival, and he told me, "The second night, I had to go down (during the invitation), and that's when I got saved."

*I love the way the Lord works. Yes, He used Billy Graham to help my uncle receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. But God also used a worn out set of tires! Now, He can use us!


*Let me ask you, Christian: How did you get saved? Who helped you trust in Jesus? You have a story to tell, and your testimony can help other people get saved too.

*My uncle has now gone to Heaven, and Billy Graham has gone there too. But we're still here! And God wants us to do everything we can to help more people get saved. It's urgent because time is short, and many people are lost. These things are sure.

*But the surest truth of all is this: Jesus Christ is coming again! And right now, Jesus will save anyone who will put their trust in Him. As the Apostle Paul said in Romans 10:13: "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." You can do that right now, as we go back to God in prayer.

(1) Sources:

-"Harmony of the Gospels" - THE OPEN BIBLE - "The Old Time Gospel Hour Edition" - Copyright 1975 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville TN - "Harmony of the Gospels", p. 868

-Adapted from WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by Archibald Thomas (A. T.) Robertson - Published in 1930-1933 - Matthew 23:13 - Downloaded to e-Sword by Rick Meyers - Copyright 2021

(2) Sources:

-INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA - "IV. The Temple of Herod" - James Orr, M.A., D.D., General Editor - Published in 1915, 1939; public domain.

-Got Questions: What was Herod's temple? -


(4) "Preparing for Easter Sunday" - "Dynamic Preaching" email 03132002

(5) SermonCentral illustration contributed by Mitchell Gonzalez

(6) Adapted from Christianity Today - The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian by Jayson Casper- January 15, 2020

(7) Prayer Request: Sep. 21, 2017 - Pakistan: Pray for the Family of Sharoon Masih, Murdered by Classmates

(8) Adapted from "Counting Jesus" by Beatrice Plum in "Christian Herald" - Source:

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