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In verse 2 of this chapter Jesus had foretold the destruction of the Temple and this prompted His disciples to ask, in verse 3, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age” (NASB)? These men were Jews and they were concerned about the fate of their people and their nation. In the verses that follow Jesus answered the last two of these questions by giving them the signs that would herald His coming and bring in the end of the Jewish age. “His coming” and “the end of the age” refer to the time spoken of by the Old Testament prophets when the Messiah would come to establish His kingdom and to restore Israel to its place as the head of the nations. Here is a breakdown of the signs given:

Verses 4-5, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.” Verse 11 adds, “And many false prophets shall rise, and deceive many.” FALSE MESSIAHS and FALSE PROPHETS shall appear. Today we have “false cults” with religious leaders with a “god-like” complex, but at that time there will be men claiming to be Israel’s MESSIAH and PROPHET.

Verses 6-8, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” The world has always witnessed WARS, FAMINES, INFECTIOUS DISEASES, and EARTHQUAKES, but not on the grand scale that will be seen at this time. The “beginning of sorrows” refers to the “beginning of the tribulation,” the tribulation being a period of seven years that will culminate with the coming of Christ in power and glory to set up His kingdom.

Verses 9-10, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” Verse 12 says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” A time of unrivaled PERSECUTION OF BELIEVERS will occur, with many being betrayed by their own family members as natural affections are replaced by hatred.

Verse 13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”  SOME BELIEVERS WILL SURVIVE the tribulation period and when the true Messiah appears He will deliver them from their enemies. We see this blessed truth in Romans 11:26, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

Verse 14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” During this present church age the “gospel of the grace of God” has been going out world-wide, but during the tribulation period the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, the truth that “Christ is returning soon to establish His kingdom,” WILL REACH ALL NATIONS, and then, and not until then, shall the “end of the Jewish age” come. Israel’s Messiah will come and all of the promises made to Israel will be fulfilled! What a day that will be!!  (154.3)  (DO)