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The Signs of Christ's Coming, Part 1 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 3, 2020 4:00 am

The Signs of Christ's Coming, Part 1 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 3, 2020 4:00 am

How would your priorities change if you knew you had only a month to live? Today on Grace to You, John MacArthur considers the imminent return of Christ, and how God’s people should live in the knowledge that “Jesus Is Coming!”

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They were tired of being under the thumb of some controlling nation. They will also see the coming of their Messiah because they know when Messiah comes, you'll make things right. You'll throw over the oppressors. He'll settle the issues need to be settled and he'll establish again the kingdom in Israel and things will be the way that God promised they would be said only had a month to live well the next half hour may have a similar priority changing effect stay here as John MacArthur continues the study began yesterday on grace to you. It's a look at history.

That's yet to unfold. Titled Jesus is coming now before we get started John here in the United States we are coming to a holiday weekend.

Tomorrow is a day with political and historical significance in the United States. It's 4 July and practically speaking, it's more typically recreational than political.

But what might occupy your time tomorrow. Well it's pretty obvious because tomorrow Saturday and Sunday's always coming so Saturday for me is almost always a quiet day at home with Patricia, which focuses on the final preparation for what I need to do on Sunday. I don't like to be distracted. I my sermons. As you know are prepared before Saturday. I don't do Saturday sermon because I want to make my mind up about vital issues in the text of the Scripture because impressed by the clock so I that the basic work is done by the time I get to Saturday.

I've got an almost finished sermon for the morning, and very often for Sunday evening and so Saturday is the day that that I would spend just conserving some energy for what's coming up on Sunday where I would often preach three times and refining that message so that 4 July, however, might invade that a little bit depending on the fact of which of our kids decides to invite us over for hotdogs and hamburgers and in the backyard kind of event.

So it is also possible to the sometimes in July we might be a way that's that's typically a month that we might take a break from our ministry.

And if that's the case then I wouldn't be necessarily preaching on a Sunday and that it might be a little bit of a recreational day, but typically for me every Sunday looks the same and so every Saturday sort of looks the same. I am aware, however, of the need to be grateful that the Lord put me in this place in this nation, which enjoys the freedoms or has enjoyed the freedoms that basically were birthed on Independence Day. Originally I'm I'm grateful for that I'm grateful for the free course that the word of God and the gospel is had, and we been able to proclaim it and we've tried to to live out the opportunities the Lord is given us faithfully through the ministry of grace to you wherever you are, whether you're in America or somewhere else in the world where grateful that the Lord is allowing us to reach as far and wide as he hasn't. We need your prayers and support to keep doing it. Yes, friend.

Please keep praying for this ministry we know it makes a difference. We also love to hear from you if John's lessons have help you grow spiritually. I'll pass on our contact information after the lesson, but right now let's get back to John study Jesus is coming.

Everybody is curious about the future. Let me that's obvious. All of us are for one reason or another we would like to see ahead. We would like to know what we don't know almost anybody would like to know how it's going to be in their life in the future, and there are people who would like to know what's going to happen in the economy so they can make the right investments.

There are many reasons for wanting to understand the future so man has always sought to understand what is not known about the future.

There's a pool to understand that the Jews of Jesus day were no different. They wanted to know the future too, and they have their reasons, I mean they were tired of being oppressed.

They were tired of being under the thumb of some controlling nation they long. Also see the coming of their Messiah because they know when Messiah comes, you'll make things right. You'll throw over the oppressors. He'll settle the issues need to be settled and he'll establish again the kingdom in Israel and things will be the way that God promised they would be and should be. So there filled with eschatological anticipation. Now what brings it into focus here is verse 38, 39 of chapter 23 we just look at that from it with you.

Jesus has entered a whole day in the temple and most of the time arguing with the religious leaders.

I shouldn't say arguing it wasn't much of an argument. They said something and he he shut them off.

He answered their questions with self condemning answers which condemn them. I should say with condemning answers and gave them condemning parables, but he has just been a confrontation with these religious leaders is ended, and it is ended with a pronunciation of judgment upon the verse 38, your house is left unto you desolate.

And then he says in verse 39 you shall not see me henceforth. So you shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. He says judgment is coming on you and then you will see me again when I come in the name of the Lord not he that comes in the name of the Lord is a messianic title that's exactly what they hailed Jesus with when he entered the city and the triumphal entry so he says to them, not enough politics. The disciples are listening to this and he is he is giving his last public sermon to the Jews, and he says what your house is left desolate and the next time you see me, I'll be coming in my glory. That's what he said. How would the disciples here that will we been to the tribulation deal I just come Messiah is here. The next event is the destruction of the opposing nations and then the renovation or purification of Jerusalem and then the gathering for the kingdom.

So when they hear him say I'm going to renovate your house and then I want to come they really think she's on schedule and they anticipate happening in there. Of course the destruction of the nations it will fight against the remember he pronounces final judgment on the nation Israel, but he triggered in the thinking of the disciples.

All these thoughts about is this then gets is this it, and the question pops up in verse three. Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the age is either thrust right into that mold in their thinking it's here guys wins going to be you implied in the word. When is there tomorrow or is this could be next Tuesday. Maybe, and I what is the trigger. What's the sign. We watched the first indicator that shows that this is we come to the end of the age. So you see, that's where they are in their thinking as we come to chapter 24 and let's read the first two verses, Jesus went out and departed from the temple and his disciples came to him, showing buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, see you not all the sinks, verily, I say, neither shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. Other walking on the temple right is just said your house desolate, not my house used to call it that. Not my father's house used to call that, not your house is God left Ichabod's right. Ichabod read Ezekiel chapter 9 verse three. Chapter 10 verse four chapter 11 verse 23 to see how God's glory departs and Ichabod guides out there. It's not the father's house is not my house it's your house, the word desolate era months abandoned to ruin is what it means abandoned to ruin this places in abandonment.

God has left its cursed devoted over to ruination and you won't see me again so I come in full messianic glory all men.

They see it, but as they leave, they have a real hard question bothering see their simple country guys and they look at this massive temple and its more than one building.

It's it surrounded by a wall on the it's on the top of a mountain with you. If you have been there.

You need to understand the temple was on top of the mount and sitting right on that is a big massive flat area and on that mount was a great wall surrounding it and enclosing that wall were various buildings were part of the temple area and it was all sort of supported by a retaining wall, particularly to the south and and West that retaining wall went down and sort of held that mountain in place. There was a natural slope on the west part in a flat on the north part so that part was supported so they put these massive retaining walls on the south and on the west and held up the temple mount which had walls going up, then from there so that if you are at the very top of the wall and only down to the bottom where the temple mount was included in the bottom of the retaining wall on the outside it was a tremendous distance on the South Park that may be where Satan took Jesus and told him to jump off because it was such a tremendous drop so this was a massive thing.

It was it was more like a fort than anything else.

And so is the disciples were walking out of the place with Jesus in the twilight of the day. No doubt there in all of this thing we never used the lakes and the rolling hills.

A little tiny houses and they can't even fathom how this thing could be built. Perhaps, even though they had seen it on many occasions. It's so massive it's so inconceivable it's it's impossible to think that it could be put out, let alone that it could be torn down and see your house is left desolate ruined and there sort of stuck with that try to figure out just exactly how that's gonna work.

You know, and so Jesus understands what's in their minds. Mark 13 to comparative passage says they mentioned great buildings. Luke says in chapter 21 verse five. The buildings were were adorned with offerings so the people had brought these wealthy treasures and they were placed all around so it was filled with treasure. Tacitus said it was a place of immense wealth. The collected in the community treasures of all the Jews who brought them there and it was an excellent fortress Tacitus as the Babylonian Talmud says he that never saw the temple of Herod never saw fine building and Luke says it was built with beautiful stones. In fact, if you study a little bit about it.

It's incredible. Josephus tells us that Herod built the place.

Herod, by the way, was not a Jew and that sort of stuck in the minds of the Jews that their temple was built by and if you me and and they would like to think that the final one would be built by someone other than one is not a Jew but nonetheless Herod had built a pretty formidable place.

For example, some of the stones were 40' x 12 x 12 as a single cut stone quarry and carried and how they ever elevated a stone like that which would wake up to 100 times is hard to understand, and they had them going in some places didn't actually as far as possibly 2 to 300 feet just piled high from the bottom of the retaining wall of the top of the wall around the temple was a massive undertaking some of the stones were as long as 85 feet in length. A single stone cut and quarried the disciples were walking out looking at this thing say houses whole place going to come there and how is such a busy place. The center of all life going to be desolate and abandoned to ruin. How can it ever be. How can it ever happen. So there leaving the temple sort of scratching their heads about how it's going to become desolate, but their eschatology tells them it is and is going to be a temple described by Ezekiel chapter 40 to 48. There probably thinking about that. They just don't know how it can happen. So in verse two, he says take a look at all those things. Take a look at all his books he reads are minds knows exactly what they're thinking they come up to Mesilla and all those things. Look at the malls buildings almost stones and that they didn't even get to the question is is you take a look at and then listen to this. Truly I say to you, shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown in to see their jaws drop me understand how they got them up, let alone how they could get a better mass. I mean I've stood there at the footings of the Western Wall which are stones of the Herodian temple. I've stood at the southeast corner, southwest corner where you have those great cornerstones of the Herodian temple and they have been there since the time of Christ, and they don't look like there could be anything to remove them. They civil does not contradict this. Not at all because those are stones that hold up the retaining wall. Those are not the stones of the temple or its wall around. They are the retaining wall stones and hold the mountain there and if they were removed and on the mountain would come down but simply to say Jesus said here that the stones, and a pleasure to come down will be one left on another. And that's exactly what happened and you read Josephus again and he says the thing was level to the degree where you would never know if you visited there that anybody ever inhabited the place for the whole thing down the road instead because they knew if they're going to conquer the Israelites effectively had to totally devastate the entire religious orientation and that's exactly what they did.

So Jesus says they'll be torn down a very strong statement. There shall not be left here not left. Here's a double negative, not even one upon another will be so deserted and so destroyed and so devastated. That's exactly what this all this is going to do all their sins. This is really getting siding.

Jerusalem is going to be renovated since it tribulation. We had that part forerunners been here the size here made his triumphal entry identified himself. Now we can see the purification renovation of the Temple and of course with the city implied all that's in their minds and men as they leave that place. Their heads are just swimming in these thoughts and they're so filled with hope and they go down the backside of the temple mount across the Little Kidron Valley where the brick runs in the spring and they go up the Mount of olives and that is an up and when you climb to the top you want to rest and so they climb all over the top and there forming the question as they go and Mark tells us it's James, Peter, John and Andrew, the intimate four of the 12th that are forming the question for the rest. By the time to get to the top. They sit down and you can imagine them sitting there as the sun is setting in the West them. It's a spectacular site where the most spectacular in the whole world to sit on the Mount of olives and see the sunset over the white wings of Jerusalem built today on the same line so they were built out of the in those days, and with in many cases much the same architecture only in those days instead of the dome of the rock in the Mosque of Omar glistening in the final setting sun, there would've been the temple, with the goal on the top of it and they would've sat on the mountain looked down at that massive structure and they would be thinking this is it guys. It's all coming to a wrap right here it's all going to come to a great climax. We are living in this moment of glory in the history of Israel and so out of that questioning in their hearts.

Peter, James, John Andrew approached the Lord. Mark says and they asked him a question. Verse three and as he sat on the Mount of olives, the disciples came I told you which ones privately.

No more public ministry.

They come alone and they said and of course it probably means it.

Peter spoke because Peter always spoke whenever there was anything to be said. He was the spokesman and on behalf of all of them, and particularly the four who were there tell us, when shall these things be they say what what things will the things you just been talking about what is he just been talking about the tearing down of the temple. What else the desolation of Jerusalem verse 38 what else the coming in the name of the Lord. Verse 39 they sought all is one event. The temple is torn down.

The city becomes desolate.

The Messiah comes in his glory.

When shall these things in in in that they see the judgment that is going to have upon the nations of pride against them. They see the regathering of the people of Israel from around the world the end of the present age and the establishing of his kingdom so they say, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the 8C that connect these things with thy coming and the end of the CNE space destruction of Jerusalem is a part of the whole thing so there just this is the most excited. They been. I think in the whole ministry of Christ. I mean how would you feel if you thought you were living in the impotency of the of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Anytime and he was sitting there telling you that he was going to destroy the temple leave the city. Desolate the next time he saw me being glory coming in the name of the Lord while they were excited and so they pose the question and the question is when and what what's the sign me up. How do we know it could have give us the indicator sums going to happen. First, what is darkness, a brilliant light. What is it an angel trumpet.

What is it and when is it they were really excited and anxious and you know this carried on Fino. Believe it or not, even after the resurrection.

Acts one.

Lately after the resurrection.

They said when they asked the gathered with Jesus. They should, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel. This is the time is that mean you're still asking that in the resurrection didn't and that it just tightened me when he died they got despondent were they despondent when he died.

Why, because of the hope they had. See when he was nailed to the cross that just smashed everything and they wanted instant despair when he came out of the grave, where the lights went back on. This is just the time. Is this the time is now is now because they live incessantly in the anticipation that it was a time in the kingdom was coming in Luke 19. Even before this event. Verse 11 as they heard these things, he added, and spoke a parable because he was near Jerusalem and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear, there you go. Luke 1911 they thought the kingdom of God should immediately appear that was just coming out of Jericho on his way to Jerusalem.

They lived in that anticipation Alta in these kind of words by our Lord only increased. So now you understand we go to chapter 24 were they thinking right now is the kingdom right now is the second coming right now is the judgment right now is the establishing of the eternal kingdom of the glory of Messiah right now. It's going to happen. The whole point of this sermon is to tell them this guys. It's not right now. The whole point. Now you understand Matthew 24 joint is not right now. You're wrong. That is the purpose look back in verse three just a couple of things, to draw together. I want to draw to your attention the word coming. What are they asking when they say you want to be the sign of the coming you say whether that their talk about the second coming, another not be sedated and believe in a second coming. As such, they didn't see any distinction in CNE first coming then long. Second coming. They saw full but all happens. Why because that's the way the Old Testament outlined when that's it's the way by the Old Testament prophet view the Old Testament prophet looked ahead and compressed all the time.

Factors and just saw Messiah coming, setting up his kingdom all that didn't see the big gap.

As I said that's why it's called a mystery so they see it all at once, so they're not talking here about a second coming when the tongue that we look at the word coming. It's the word Peru Zia comes from two Greek words par on the verb to be means to be around to be around to be present. The best way to translate it might be and what shall be the sign of thy full presence of thy being here isn't so much the idea that it conveys coming as much as it conveys a permanent presence word Peru Zia is used four times in this chapter verse three verse 27, 37, 39, and then having been used by Jesus. It becomes a keyword used by the New Testament writers achieved by James accused by Peter is used by John it becomes a technical term for the arrival of Jesus Christ to establish his kingdom. The second coming is coming in glory but they're simply saying when you want to arrive in full presence wanting to be here in your full messianic revelation when he got a be here to be all that we anticipate you're going to be your coming.

In other words, the point being isn't that he has to go away and come back because the issue of the word isn't the actual coming, it's the presence so they're saying when you go enter into the fullness of your messianic presence. That's the and they say, what shall be the sign of this and of the end of the agent want a closer look at that phrase. What a phrase the end of the age. That is a very, very clear phrase soon tell IR to Iona us. It is used five times in Matthew, that same phrase the end of the age, the end of the age, the end of the once here in this verse the end of the age and the word soon tell IR means the complete and the fall in the final end tell IR means in soon tell a compound tele reads the full finally. So what is the full and final end of man's age of man's day.

It is used. Also, not only in this verse but in Matthew 28, 20 where Jesus promises that we have authority and we go out to make disciples that he says low. I am with you what the end of the age to the end of the age to live full and final and I'll be with you, but three other times I want you to note the Matthew 13 look closely at them very important. Matthew 13 verse 39, the parable of the wheat and the tares middle of the verse it says the harvest is the end of the age, the end of the age then is the time of God's harvest, Jesus says, and the reapers are the Angels.

The tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the agent use again twice, and that parable is the time when God goes out gathers the wheat and the tares separates them out sends the tares to hell to be burned in the fire says in verse 42, cast them into the furnace of fire, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth takes the wheat, the righteous, and they are shining forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father. So the end of the age then to Matthew is an eschatological term that means the very end of everything, when God comes in ultimate final complete judgment and takes the unbelieving incense of the hill and the believers go into his presence down the same chapter verse 49 that same phrase is used again.

So shall it be at the end of the age. Verse 49, the angels shall come forth separate the wicked from among the righteous, cast them into the furnace of fire wailing and gnashing of teeth. Again its use of the end of the age when the Lord separates their big net is thrown out. Catch fish and as a fisherman close Internet with all kinds of fish and sorts out the ones Deaton wants to throw away. So God catches everybody and Annette pulls a man sorts out the righteous under glory.

The unrighteous on the damnation that happens again in the end of the age so the disciples question is about the end of the age.

It is an ultimate kind of question. Now you can go back to Matthew 24 for one moment they're asking him then questions about final things ultimate things when is the Messiah coming in full presence in glory. When will final fall complete and total judgment take place when the ungodly are dammed and sent to hell in the righteous are sent into the glory of the King. When will this be and what is the sign we look for to indicate it's going to happen that circles in all events up to this point indicate their thinking that brought about this question, that's John MacArthur with the biblical preview of Christ's return. The title John study here on grace to you is Jesus is coming, not before we go quick reminder that we really want in effect we need to hear from you. It's the best way for us to gauge the effectiveness of our ministry. If John's teaching is help you deal with trials or defeat a habitual sin or even led to your salvation.

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GT Y.L for John MacArthur in the entire grace to you. Staff I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378 that's in our BTV or check your local listings for channel and times and then here next week when John continues his series, Jesus is coming with another half hour unleashing God's truth one verse at a time wasting

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