November 19, 2019

Ready or Not . . . Here I Come

Matthew 24:15–31

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The Abomination of Desolation

15 So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 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. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 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. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Ready or Not . . . Here I Come

Key Verse | Matthew 24:30

"Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

Bio | Ann Holford

Hi! Just 36 days till Christmas! Does that fill you with excitement or stress you out? 

I look forward to Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Fridays—any excuse to get together with family and friends. For me, it's not so much where I am but whom I'm with. I look forward to Thursday nights, where I serve in Women's Bible Study with amazing women. More than those things, I look forward to spending eternity with Jesus Christ, who has made all the difference in my life!

Central Truth

Jesus is coming back, just as He promised!

Devotional | Matthew 24:15–31

All year I look forward to Christmas! Starting in October, the signs that Christmas is coming start to appear: wreaths, ornaments, ribbons. In November, Christmas trees and lights appear. As December...

All year I look forward to Christmas! Starting in October, the signs that Christmas is coming start to appear: wreaths, ornaments, ribbons. In November, Christmas trees and lights appear. As December unfolds, you hear Christmas music and experience the smells of Christmas. The weather gets cold, then school lets out, and you know Christmas is almost here!

In yesterday's passage, Jesus gave several signs that will precede His return. Like the signs that precede Christmas in the fall, today's three will mean it's very near:

1. The abomination of desolation will come to the temple—many describe this as an image the antichrist erects in the holy place of the temple because he'll demand that the world worship him instead of Christ (see Daniel 9:27 (NIV); 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13:14-15).

Warning: When you see him do this, get out of there.

2. Tribulation: There will be a great tribulation—a time of evil like no other the world has ever seen. Pile up all the evil, persecutions, genocides, and holocausts, and it's worse than that.

Warning: If at any point before the end of that time someone tells you Jesus has returned, don't believe it. You haven't missed Him.

3. Cosmic upheaval will mark the end of this tribulation. Basically, it all goes black.

Then . . . Jesus will come on the clouds with power and great glory! We won't need the sun, moon, or stars in order to see Him! EVERYONE will see Him. No one will say, "Did I miss it?" You can't miss it. Jesus is coming again. Physically. As victorious King and Judge. The ultimate promise kept.

  • The same Jesus Who was born in Bethlehem is coming again.
  • The same Jesus Who turned water into wine and walked on water is coming again.
  • The same Jesus Who was ridiculed and unfairly accused is coming again.
  • The same Jesus Who died for your sins and rose from the dead is coming again.
  • The same Jesus Who ascended in the clouds into heaven is coming again.

He's coming. Are you ready? 

If you don't know Christ, let today be the day. Don't put off considering Jesus' offer of grace one more day. If you do know Christ, His return is our hope! He's coming—who needs to know?

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Discussion Questions

1. What is your reaction when you hear Jesus is returning: excitement or stress? Why?

2. Are you spending more time preparing to celebrate Jesus' first coming than you are preparing for His second coming? How did this passage change your perspective?

3. How can you keep from being deceived about Jesus' second coming?

4. If you don't know Christ, let today be the day you consider Jesus' offer of grace. For a clear explanation of the gospel, click HERE.

5. If you knew Christ's second coming were 36 days from today, who would you tell about Jesus' offer of grace? How does the fact that it will be too late to turn to Christ after His return give you a sense of urgency?

7 Comments available

Patricia Simmons over 1 year ago

I second what Lynette said…thanks for pointing us to what really matters!! Come quickly Lord Jesus, our returning King and Righteous Judge.

Sue Bohlin over 1 year ago

Sweet Ann! OF COURSE you’d write a fantastic devo! Thank you so, so much!

Your emphasis on Christmas makes me love the contrast between the King’s first coming–Bethlehem, no room, stable, shepherds, angels, but incredible humility–and the second coming portrayed in v. 30: “[T]hey will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” When the whole world sees “the sign of the Son of Man” (a cross?) in the skies, I can only begin to imagine the stark terror to strike the hearts of those who have not trusted Christ.

I CAN begin to imagine the heart-bursting joy at The Return of the King for us kingdom people!

Michael Scaman over 1 year ago

The sun and moon go dark - and then in the darkness - the Son of Man shines ! (Jesus uses the title Son of Man throughout here)

No ordinary man though as he has an angel army “his angels” and “his elect.”

Greg Jones over 1 year ago

If I just read Matthew24:15-31, like I was reading it for the first time, this all sounds very negative.

V22 sounds past, present&future tense.

Without reading anything else Zechariah2:10-13 sounds like what should be looked forward to for some elect.

Zechariah3:1-10 Is the description of Joshua, the High Priest in heaven and his associates, who are symbolic of things to come, written some time ago.

Reading Hebrews4:1-16&Hebrews5:1-10 helps me with some insights.

Lynnette Morton over 1 year ago

Ann, thank you again for pointing us to what really matters. Thank you for always pointing us to Jesus! Love you.

Michael Scaman over 1 year ago

The phrase “abomination of desolation” suggests wrong worship has dire consequences.

But what does right worship have? 2 Thessalonians 2 says Jesus will come “to be marveled at by all who believe.”

Hugh Stephenson over 1 year ago

GM Ann. Excellent devo. Your questions #2 and #5 are convicting.

Confession: I hope this all happens after I am dead. I struggle with hassle and inconvenience, (since its all about me). Can I skip the 7 year Tribulation and go right to the 1000 year reign of Christ?

End Times have always fascinated me. Pre-salvation it was through fear. Now its incredible reassurance of God’s sovereignty, judgement, mercy and grace.

Q#2 - This is a really great question. I have spent too much time inside the “Christmas Machine” and almost no time in conscious celebration of His return. I am convicted to spend this Advent with equal focus on the final Advent.

Q#4 - 36 days to go. What will I do differently? I’ll seek to engage others by responding to “Merry Christmas” with “Merry Christmas to you as well. He’s coming back soon”.

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