When you See, You will Know!
When Jesus had finished telling His disciples about the things that would occur before His return, He said,
"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Matthew 24:32-34).
Christ wanted his followers to learn something very important, so He instructed them as He had so many times before, using an analogy from nature. In Luke's version Jesus said,
"Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Luke 21:29-32).
Christ meant that, in the same way we can know when summer is near we can also know when the Kingdom is near. In Matthew Jesus referred the Kingdom of God as "it." From Luke "it" is clearly identified as "the Kingdom of God."
First, sometime in the future Christ's followers will see all these things happening.
Second, then they will know that the Kingdom of God is near, right at the door.
What are the things that Jesus was talking about?
- The “beginning of birth pains” - Matt. 24:7
a) Ethnic fighting
b) Kingdom fighting
- The “abomination that causes desolation” – Matt 24:15
- Great Tribulation - death for the elect – Matt. 24:21
- False Christs and False Prophets will appear- Matt. 24:24
- Great Signs and Miracles to deceive – Matt. 24:24
- Many will turn away from the faith – Matt. 24:10
- Sign in the sun, moon and stars – Matt. 24:29
a) The sun will be darkened.
b) The moon will not give its light.
c) The stars will fall from the sky.
d) The heavenly bodies will be shaken.
From our perspective, in 2007, it appears that “the beginning of birth pains” as described in Matthew 24:7, may have already started. While we know these individual signs have occurred from time to time throughout history, never have they all been occurred simultaneously, as in the past several years. Therefore, we should be prepared for the remainder of the things, Jesus warned us about, to happen in the next several years.
Now, some have said that we cannot know when the Kingdom will come. Yet, Christ only said, "no one knows about that day or hour." Just as a pregnant woman cannot know the day or hour of her delivery, the Church cannot know the day or hour of the Kingdom's birth. However, like the pregnant woman the Church will know that she is in labor and like the woman the Church will also know about how long the pregnancy will last until birth.
This brings us to the second part of this warning. Christ said,
I tell you the truth, this generation [that sees all these things] will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Matthew 24:34).
Now read - This Generation will not Pass Away, Until
Richard H Perry