Today’s reading: Gen 31:1–55, Matt 23:37–24:28, Eccles 7:13–21
Today’s theme: Finish the Mission
Today an important lesson is concerning the second coming of Jesus. Jesus tells us that wars and hard times are not signs of his return rather the sign will be that the gospel will be preached to all nations (people groups) before the end comes. So let’s finish the mission.
God, sovereign over the enemy
yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. Genesis 31:7 (ESV)
Jacob’s faith was in God, who is sovereign over our lives. He is always in control and will not give us more than we can bear. He controls how far our enemies are able to go.
The prophecy of Jesus
But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:2 (ESV)
Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled 40 years later in 70 AD.
Hard times are not a sign
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. Matthew 24:6 (ESV)
Jesus warns us that we will see persecution and war but encourages us that we should not be shocked or alarmed by this. This is not a sign of the end (possibly to correct any misunderstanding that difficult times indicate the end).
Finish the mission
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14 (ESV)
This is the great sign (rather than wars, persecution, or bad weather) of the end. Jesus will return to rule and reign from Jerusalem. The Gospel will be proclaimed to every people group. There are currently 7,287 unreached people groups consisting of 2.91 billion people, we must finish the mission.
And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Matthew 24:22 (ESV)
God takes special care of those He has elected. This should fill us with praise, hope and faith.
Secure in Christ
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24 (ESV)
As God’s elect children we can not ultimately be led astray because we are in the Father’s hand. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and the Holy Spirit is our guide. We are secure in Christ.
The second coming
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. Matthew 24:27–28 (ESV)
This is a good point for cults like Jehovah Witnesses and Rastafarians who say Jesus has already come back. Jesus declares that when He comes back it will not be in some hidden or secret or exclusive way but the whole world will know beyond any doubt!
We all need salvation
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20 (ESV)
Every person is in need of salvation. Paul makes a great case for this in the opening chapters of Romans.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014