Two Questions; Two Comings (Part One) – Matthew 24:1-35

Let us not be confused. When Jesus said certain events would happen before the generation alive at that time had passed and that they were not signs of his second coming (his physical return, bringing the consummation of his Kingdom), we must take him at his Word. Because Christ Jesus prophesied truly, Christians must confidently take him at his Word.

 


[1] Sam Storms, Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative (Fearn, Scotland: Mentor, 2013), 229–230.

[2] Cf. Robert Hillegonds, The Early Date of Revelation and the End Times (Fountain Inn, SC: Victorious Hope Publishing, 2016), 111ff.

[3] Storms, 231.

[4] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Olivet Discourse Made Easy (Draper, VA: ApologeticsGroup Media, 2010), 46.

[5] John Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke, vol. 3 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 117. Cf. Philo of Alexandria, The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 541; i.e. Special Laws, 1:XIV [76], who writes, “But the temple has for its revenues not only portions of land, but also other possessions of much greater extent and importance, which will never be destroyed or diminished; for as long as the race of mankind shall last, the revenues likewise of the temple will always be preserved, being coeval in their duration with the universal world.” Cf. also Gentry, 42, and Storms, 236–237.

[6] Storms, 233.

[7] Ibid., 236.

[8] Gentry, 54.

[9] C Michael Patton, “What Happened to the Twelve Apostles? How Do Their Deaths Prove Easter?” Credo House, pub. 10 April 2009, https://credohouse.org/blog/what-happened-to-the-twelve-apostles-how-do-their-deaths-prove-easter.

[10] cf. Murray Robertson, The Future of Humanity: Preaching from Revelation 4 to 22 (Cumbria, UK: Langham Preaching Resources, 2015), 17; James M. Hamilton Jr., Preaching the Word: Revelation—The Spirit Speaks to the Churches, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 178; and Alan F. Johnson, “Revelation,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews through Revelation, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 12 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 473.

[11] Cf. Hillegonds, 113-116.

[12] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 907.

[13] One suggestion is Titus and the Roman armies as being the Abomination of Desolation, particularly with them carrying the Roman ensigns into the temple when Jerusalem fell, which were their eagle standards, and to which they offered sacrifices in the temple. Certainly this was an abomination in the desolation. But, by that time, with Jerusalem fallen, it seems too late to be the sign for the Christians to look to in order to abandon Jerusalem in order to escape the horror. Cf. Storms, 246; also Josephus, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), 743 (i.e. The Wars of the Jews, 6.6.1 [316]). Some see the abomination as encompassing cumulative events, thus Storms, 247, quoting Gentry (The Great Tribulation, 50), “Thus, although the Abomination of Desolation ‘involves the destruction of Jerusalem (beginning with its several encirclings by Cestius, Vespasian, Simon, and Titus), it culminates in this final abominable act within the temple itself.’”

[14] Another suggestion is that the Christians were alerted when Cestius’ armies surrounded Jerusalem in AD 66, to then retreat for inexplicable reasons. Josephus (The Wars of the Jews, 2.20.1) mentions that after that incident many Jews “swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink.” Cestius’ armies at the walls of the city may have been the correct signal, and it would give all Judea plus Jerusalem plenty of time to escape. However, it seems a bit too early to merit the urgency that Jesus emphasizes along with too early of a timing for “seeing” the abomination of desolation.

[15] Gentry, 93.

[16] Cf. Gentry, 97.

[17] Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History, vol. 1, The Loeb Classical Library (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1926–1932), 201; i.e. Ecclesiastical History, 3.5.3.

[18] Flavius Josephus, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), 749; i.e. The Wars of the Jews, 6:9:3 [420].

[19] Gentry, 96.

[20] France, 346.

[21] France, 346. Gentry, 102-105, suggests the translation for ἀετοί should be “eagles” rather than “vultures (cf. KJV, NKJV), referring to the gathered Roman soldiers, whose standard was an eagle, and their cruel ravaging of the people, and the destruction that they inflict, finally gutting the city of everything, leaving it utterly destroyed. This is possible. As he says on page 105, “Thus, as Jerusalem collapses to her “death” the marauding armies of Rome pour into the city and into the temple to devour the corpse.”