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The All-Important Parenthesis Part 3 (2)

Understanding the Olivet Discourse  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus at the end of Matthew 24, closes out this prophetic chapter by describing the signs of His return, but...:

Remember

We’re not talking about signs referring to...
The church or,
The rapture

Instead

Jesus is referring to the signs which will accompany His return
Those involved will be those who have lived until the end of the tribulation period
The purpose of these final illustrations is to encourage those going through this dark time to be prepared.
Let’s look together at the final exhortation:

Be Prepared: The Faithful Servant

Just as those in the church age do not know the timing of the rapture, those in the tribulation will not know the exact timing of His return
When refer to the “return of Christ” we have in mind His physical return to the earth to set up His kingdom
Christ now gives the example of the characteristics of a faithful servant
On a side note, we will also look at the characteristics of an unfaithful servant, and what awaits him upon Christs’ return

The Character of the Faithful Servant

Consider the illustration:
A master places a servant in charge of his household
Other servants, money, goods, etc.
The master (Christ) is not present to supervise the servant
This is a test to see if the servant will do what is expected in the master’s absence
When the master returns, he finds the servant being faithful
He is rewarded by the master (entrance into the kingdom)

The Character of the Unfaithful Servant

We turn now from the figurative to the literal so there is no doubt as to what Jesus is meaning
At the time of His return, the first thing Jesus will do is separate those professing salvation from those who possess it.
Look at verses 40-42 again...
Two men working in the field and two women grinding in the mill
One of each of these are taken, the other left behind
This will occur when Jesus returns, he will separate the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats
The one taken, is taken in judgment, the one left is to go into the kingdom

Chapter 24 in a “Nutshell”

This chapter begins with a question and ends with an answer
Our Lord is coming soon to call the church home to be with Him
When the church is gone the events in this chapter will begin to unfold just as described
This seven-year period, known as the tribulation period, is intended to fulfill Daniel’s 70th week
This means two important truths for us today:
This time is intended solely for the judgment of Israel
The church will not be involved in the tribulation!
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