“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” (Matt. 25:6)
Our salvation, our hope, our faith is based upon the fact that we believe the Redeemer of all mankind, the Savior of the world, our suffering Messiah has already come and gave His life a ransom for all.
The belief that Jesus Christ lived, died, was buried, resurrected, and ascended into heaven is the very core of our being “born again” and without which we are eternally lost.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. 10:9)
By raising Jesus from the dead, God not only confirmed that every word Jesus said about Himself is true, but that every word He spoke concerning all things is true.
If we believe that Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God came the first time, then we must believe His promise that He is coming back again.
“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
The only question that remains is which return are we anticipating? The return of a Bridegroom or that of a Conqueror?
“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.” (Matt. 24:1)
“And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matt. 24:2)
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3)
As Jesus and His disciples passed by the temple, they pointed out to Him its grandeur, but Jesus replied by saying that all the stones of the temple would be cast down.
They responded by asking Jesus three questions.
The first question was, “when shall these things be?” referring to the destruction of the temple.
Jesus went on to prophesy of events they would see happen in their generation and that there would be “wars and rumors of wars,” but “…the end is not yet.” (Matt. 24:6)
History tells us that after the Crucifixion of Jesus in circa 30 A.D., there were rebellions and wars amongst the Roman Empire until finally in circa 70 A.D. the Roman army took over Jerusalem and destroyed Herod’s Temple, even tearing apart every stone to retrieve the gold between them, thus fulfilling the prophetic answer to “when shall these things be?”
The second question was, “ what shall be the sign of thy coming?”
Jesus prophetic answer to this question was a long description of a time period filled with nations and kingdoms rising up against each other. He described famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes which He called the “beginning of sorrows.”
He told of a time of false prophets, persecutions, and betrayal. He spoke of afflictions, deceptions, and that “iniquity would abound.” He said that because of these things many believer’s love would “wax cold,” however; Jesus also said:
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:13)
He then gave the greatest sign that answers the second question the disciples asked, “what shall be the sign of thy coming?”
“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.” (Matt. 24:14)
This long description that depicts an age of wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, and persecutions aptly describes the time since the destruction of the temple until now, culminating to our time in which iniquity abounds and the “love of many” has “waxed cold.”
This day and age that we are now living in has seen the rise of unlimited internet access and satellite communications. Now like never before has the gospel through these mediums reached every corner of the earth and been “preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.”
We are seeing the fulfillment of Jesus prophetic answer to this second question, “what shall be the sign of thy coming?”
We are the generation that is in anticipation of the return of the Bridegroom.
(TO BE CONTINUED)