Category Archives: Olivet Discourse

SIGN OF THE END

Jesus declared, definitively, that the “end” will not come until “this gospel of the kingdom of God is proclaimed to all nations.”

When we discuss the future coming of Jesus, quite naturally we ask what “signs” will precede it. Wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, and the like? Spectacular cosmic events in the heavens? The rise of unprecedented evil and chaos? Fortunately, Jesus provided us with a most definitive answer – The completion of the church’s mission.

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BUDDING FIG TREE

The parable of the budding fig tree pointed to the imminent destruction of the Temple that Jesus had predicted Mark 13:28-29.

The parable of the “budding fig tree” provides a graphic illustration of Christ’s answer to the question – “When will these things come to pass?” The image of a fig tree sprouting foliage is the clue for the “when” of the events predicted by him. Its foliage signals the arrival of “summer,” the time when “all these things” will be fulfilled.

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COMING ON THE CLOUDS

The whole earth will observe the “Son of Man” arriving on the clouds to gather his “elect” to himselfMark 13:21-27.

The ‘Olivet Discourse’ now takes us beyond the destruction of the Temple to the return of the “Son of Man” to gather his saints. How much time will pass between the demise of the Temple and Christ’s arrival in glory is not provided, but during the interim, the church must beware of deceivers that disseminate false information about his coming.

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KNOW TIMES AND SEASONS?

SYNOPSIS – Jesus did not command his disciples to know and calculate the “times and seasons” of his return in glory – Acts 1:6-8

Are followers of Jesus tasked with knowing and calculating the “times and seasons” of the end? Did he or the apostles command disciples to “know the times and the seasons”? Or are believers even able to decipher key “signs” and, thereby, to perceive the nearness of his return and related events so they may prepare for any eventuality?

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THIS GENERATION

The generation contemporary with Jesus witnessed the events that he predicted that culminated in the destruction of the TempleMark 13:28-31.

Next, Jesus provided the chronological key – the disciples would know the time of the Temple’s demise when they saw all “these things” coming to pass, and before “this generation” reached its inevitable end. That was his definitive answer to the question, “when will these things come to pass?” – within one generation.

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WARS AND RUMORS

The Discourse opens with warnings about coming deceivers who propagate false expectations about the end Mark 13:5-13.

Jesus began his Olivet Discourse with an ominous warning about coming deceivers, men who will claim his authority and spread rumors about calamities, thereby “deceiving many.” This warning is repeated at pivotal points in the discourse. For example, prior to the coming of the Son of Man, “many false prophets will arise and deceive many,” including the employment of signs and wonders.

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