What did Jesus actually say about the end of time? And what are the signs of His return? In this 4-part series, Dr. Michael Youssef addresses your questions about the end times—examining Jesus’ stirring words in Matthew 24.
In these last days, as our society rapidly deteriorates, you may be driven to feelings of fear and despair. But no matter what happens next, you can live with joyful confidence. Christ’s return is certain. His coming is sure. Therefore, may we all be busy working, serving, and witnessing to others until Christ returns.
when the romans came, they destroyed Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. And those in the judean reasons were in danger, immediate danger. Our Lord jesus christ told them, they need to run, go up to the mountain. He was warning the disciples about these two events, the disciples said, when is that gonna happen? And what are the signs of your return up next on leading the way In the last message I shared with you from the word of God, what Jesus explained to the disciples when they asked the question, what are the signs of your return? And he talks about the labor pains of a pregnant woman and we saw six signs of labor pains. Let me remind you that we have seen throughout history, these six signs have always been around. The only difference is that when they come nearer to the time of return of christ that these labor pains and gonna be increasing in rapidity. The only difference is we come closer to the return of christ are going to increase in severity until the child is born. Then here in this passage, our Lord jesus christ speaking about two distinct events, I’m going to explain them to you two distinct events. He talks about what’s going to happen. 40 years from the time where he’s speaking, sitting on the mount of olive talking to them, that’s what’s called the Olivet discourse, 40 years from that time on 70 a. D. When Jerusalem was totally destroyed. Then secondly, he talks about another event and that is the time immediately before his return, he said, Michael, how do you know that? Well in the 70 80 time the events, he talks about those days that took many, many, many, many days for Jerusalem to fall and for the temple to be destroyed. But then he switches and says on that day, talking about the day of his return is gonna be fast, it’s gonna be quick. It’s because it’s not gonna take long time. His those who will be living in the time of the return of christ, they’re gonna not take even hours or it’s gonna be seconds in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Now what is this abomination of desolation that the prophet Daniel spoke about. Now let me tell you all theologians of all stripes reform. Dispensation is all theologians agree on one thing That this abomination was committed by anti cost the 4th He is a Greek name, but he was a Syrian king who ruled over Palestine, which is modern Israel between 175 and 165 BC. He called himself the magnificent god. Now of course his enemies played on the greek name, his name and called him the madman or the insane one and he really was. I mean his slaughtered countless thousands of jewish men and he sold the women and Children into slavery. He desecrated the temple by offering a pig on the altar and then he forced jewish priest to eat its flesh. And and and then he set up on the temple, the idol, Zeus the pagan god. But I’m sure so many of you, bright people are gonna ask me, Michael if he desecrated the temple back then Before Jesus, maybe 200 years before Jesus was speaking here on the man of olives. How come Jesus is talking about this as a future event? Great question. I’m glad you thought it now. You can take this one of two ways. You can take this as some people do that. When the Antichrist comes, he is going to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and there he’s going to desecrate it after he builds it. Or you take the reformed position, reformed theologians, position who believe that we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. That we are going to experience this desecration of the Antichrist, that we will experience the pain of the blasphemy of watching the abomination of the Antichrist, that we, the Temple of the Holy Spirit will go through the agony of watching that evil creature exalting himself above everything that’s called God and become an object of worship. That we the Temple of the Holy Spirit would go through this unspeakable grief of watching people, some of them are loved ones who will bow down and worship that evil wicked emissary of satan known as the Antichrist again, it’s your choice. The words of our Lord here saying, let the reader understand is his way of saying that this is a warning to the generation who’s going to be living immediately before the return of christ, are you with me, those who be living in the last days, let that be a warning. Let that generation who will be living at the end times understand the truth of the scripture and discerned the trials that they will be enduring. Verses 16 to 28 The Lord is saying that his Second Coming should be a motivation both to the nonbelievers and to the believers. He said, Michael The Second Coming should be motivational to the nonbeliever. Yes, it really should. And we should not be embarrassed to talk about it with nonbelievers. You see for the non believers, when they understand that the Lord’s return is gonna be a day of dreadful judgment for them. They’ll be motivated to repent and turn to the Lord and receive him as savior and Lord for the believers, this should motivate us to lovingly share the message of salvation with anyone who would listen, verses 16 to 28. Here again, the Lord talks about these two events. One that took place in 70 a. d. when Jerusalem fell at the hands of the Romans verse 16 for example, he said those in judea. This is the region by the way, this is kind of like county around Jerusalem. That’s the judea Hills. That’s that’s judea escape to the mountain The second event, verse 21, he talks about the end times. But then if you read both jewish And Christian Historians about the events of 70 A. D. When Jesus precisely in details predicted what’s gonna happen 40 years later and how literally it took place just as our Lord said, the temple was was razed to the ground. The horrifying account of what the Romans have done. And here was a warning for those in judea flee to the mountains. He was warning them Of the severity of what’s gonna happen 40 years from that moment and he was warning the disciples why? Because the Romans were determined to destroy the temple and those in the judean reason, we’re in danger, immediate danger. I want to point to you something very, very important about this passage very, very important. Underline it. What is jesus saying here? I think there’s a bigger principle, a bigger principle that we need to learn here. Our Lord is saying that no possession, remember saying, don’t go back and get no possession would be worth. The risk of delaying your coming and following God eternally. That the horror of the judgment should create in us single mindedness for eternal salvation. And that is why Jesus said, What shall profit a man? I dare say a woman, anyone what shall profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul. Verse 21. Our Lord then switches from those days to that day, that day, immediately prior to his return, there will be a great tribulation such as never occurred before the beginning of time or since or even after that The book of revelation from Chapter 6 to Chapter 16. When you see the seals and the trumpets and the bowls of judgment, you find a graduate escalation of judgment. Graduate escalation, gradual escalation in Revelation six. When the sixth Seal of judgment is broken, there is a great earthquake and the sun and the moon are darkened. This is a reference to what our Lord jesus is saying here in in Matthew 24 thankfully he’s going to shorten the daylight to give his fleeing Children a break to protect them and the cover of darkness as it were. God will use the darkness for the sake of the elect, using it to hide them from their would be destroyer. Then comes the most important part vs 23- 28. There will be utter confusion, verse 23 then at that time or during that time, that is of the end time when anyone says to you behold here is the christ. There he is. Don’t believe them. Those who take jesus advice and flee from false teachers and false preachers. Those who dwell in the shadow of the word of God, Those who will not fall for the deception of the anti christ, those who will not bow down and worship him even though their own spirits will be vexed. When the others do and capitulate, those who will take cover in the shadow of the one true christ, Those who will turn their backs unearthly securities and accept an acceptance by the culture. Those who refuse to accept the mark of the beast. Those who hold tenaciously onto biblical truth, those who refuse to go after false miraculous workers, those who refuse to follow preachers and preaching false gospels, they are the ones who are going to be victorious. Verse 24 is a verse that truly followed this one that really made me weep. But it needs some explanation for false christ and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles and deceive. And here it comes. Here comes. If it is even possible, if it is even possible, that’s why I need explanation. I need to explain it to you. Even if it’s possible, beloved satan has never been able to deceive the true christian believers. I’m not talking about the hangers on or they look like christians. I’m talking about the true believers. Why? Because jesus said in john chapter 10, my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish and no one can snatch them out of my hand and this is what we call the eternal security of the believers. Once a person comes to christ surrendering to him. No one, including satan himself will be able to snatch him from his hand, scripture from cover to cover affirm this this not not one verse true believers will not be destroyed on the day of judgment because our lord sovereign lee protects them. But nonetheless, look at this verse nonetheless protected as they are. Some under satan’s verbal assault will get shaken up under the severe, terrible turmoil, will have their confidence shaken up, some under the duress of false messiahs and false preachers and false teachers, they will be battered and they’re going to lose the equilibrium. For some, when they see those horrific signs in the heavens with the world falling apart stars falling from heaven, Sun and moon lights being radically reduced, millions of dying from diseases and starvation, thousands of their contemporaries and dire straits, they will become emotionally drained and utterly vulnerable to the subterfuge of false christ. Take heat take it. I say that to myself be forewarned ah if it wasn’t for God’s protecting hand. If it’s not for God’s protecting hand. Look at verse 25 with me. See, I have told you this ahead of time. Isn’t just like our Lord, he always gives us a warning in other words, be ready, be prepared. Don’t let those days take you by surprise, protect yourself and your family ahead of time. So you’re not surprised how verse 27 for just as the lightning comes from the east and visible even from the west. So will be the coming of the son of man. You know what I’m gonna say a whole lot more about this in the next couple of messages and I can’t wait, I just hope, I don’t levitate, Suffice it to tell you just a few things, very few things, very few things very quickly. What does that mean? Lightning in the east and the west? He is saying the coming returning of christ is not going to be stretched over a long period of time, his coming is not gonna take days or even hours, his coming is going to be quick and sudden his coming is gonna be loud and public, everyone in the world, everyone in the universe is gonna see it, they’re gonna see the glorious, glorious event. It doesn’t matter where in Australia, in the Middle East or in America north, north America, south America and asia, every eye shall see him. Remember the Book of Acts chapter one verse 11 when the disciples had been with jesus three years and one third of a year and see him after they seen him resurrected, lived with him after the resurrection for 40 days and then their jaws were dropping to the ground as they saw him going up and they just didn’t literally were speechless and the angel said to them, why are you so surprised this same, jesus whom you see, being taken up from you is going to come back in like manner in revelation 17, john’s vision said behold he is coming with the clouds, what is this clouds? Just the cloud that brings rain. No clouds in the bible means people, clouds means people. Those who have gone before us are gonna be with him and they’re going to come with him. These are the clouds the bible talks about in hebrews for example, we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. That’s what the bible talks about. Cloud not the cloud that brings rain. We’re talking about the beloved ones who have gone to heaven. They’re gonna come with him and they’re gonna come. The clouds are going to be with him and we’re gonna meet him in the air because the air is the domain of satan because he is the prince of the Air and we’re gonna defeat him. When we meet jesus in the air, every eye will see him and it’s gonna be quick. It’s gonna be fast. It’ll be like lightning. Here we see it in the east. You see it in the west, everybody’s gonna see it. And beloved friends. The Book of Revelation says in 6 15 or 16, the kings of the earth and the celebrities, the princess, the famous ones, the commanders and the rich and the mighty, the slaves and the free. They will hide in caves among the rocks and the mountains. They will be calling on. The mountains and the rocks fall on us hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne from the wrath of the lamb. It will be seen from every corner of the globe. Don’t ask me how he will make it Possible, verse 28, whenever you see there is a caucus, there’s a vulture, vultures will gather. It’s a common proverb at that time. It’s even today we still talk about it and we see vultures, we say there must be a dead bird somewhere. What it means at the end of the great tribulation, the world is gonna be laid waste. Christ is going to appear and is going to clean house and then the new Jerusalem is gonna come and christ with rain and rule in righteousness and in truth and I can’t wait. Now, here’s a conclusion I always anticipate because if I’m not thinking, what do you think? I mean? I really try to put myself in all of my preparation. I always put myself in your place and I said, what you’re thinking and what otherwise I’m not relevant to you. And I said, if I’m sitting where you are, I would want to ask me, Michael, how should we react? How would you react after that word from the word of God. I would do two things. First of all, I’ll keep my eyes and the eyes of my family, on the science of the birth pains. No, I’m not going to put on white robes and head for the mountains. No, no, no. Just keep my eyes on that, not get distracted from serving and giving and doing. Keep my eyes on it. And the second thing I do is pray for revival, pray for revival, pray for revival. I’m going to say more about this later in the series. Now beloved we live between two worlds, scripture makes that very clear. We’re in the here and now we’re to serve now faithfully do all we can in every waking moment. So we live between the here and now and yet to come and they had to come, they had to come is the glorious return of christ and the next message, I’ll show you how it’s gonna be sudden but it’s gonna be loud. I don’t believe in a secret rapture, I don’t believe, I think it’s gonna be so loud. Everybody will see it, everybody will see it. But for those praying and watching those who are serving and preparing, they’re not going to be surprised. They’re gonna be pleasantly surprised, but they’re not gonna be surprised because they’re waiting, they’re preparing, they’re praying, they prayed up and they’re waiting up. So we’re not gonna be surprised. We’re gonna be delighted. We’re gonna be thrilled for a number of years. The Lord gave us the 2025 vision seven Year seven Initiative one of those initiatives was to get on the road and to preach evangelistic campaigns as we prayed God brought chad Hammond who had many, many, many decades of experience an evangelistic campaign has three basic building blocks. First of all it’s mobilization. The second is the proclamation event. This is where dr Yousef will come and proclaim the gospel Third element is gonna be the follow up. So we’re gonna come into a city and we’re gonna start mobilizing the city by doing two outreaches. First is a ministry called Come and See. We’re gonna ask christians to go get their unsaved friends, neighbors, coworkers and have them come and see and bring them to a proclamation event where dr Yousef will preach the Gospel. I’m about building the churches, I am privileged to be a pastor and therefore I love the church of jesus, I love to build the church. Our commitment to the church is in the local community is that we will not leave until 90% of the people who come to christ at the proclamation event have been assimilated into the local church. I am a servant of the local pastors, I am here to serve the local pastors. So when I come into a town, I’m not coming to take people from the church. I want to add people to the church. We don’t come to cities and say we’re coming. So we can put 10,000 or 20,000 people in an arena. We come to your city and the Holy spirit touches your city. The venue will be full an event is only effective if it’s tied into a bigger process, what happens before and what happens after At the heart of our evangelistic campaigns, whatever they may be, they’re gonna be designed for the building up of the church of Jesus Christ. So wherever we go, we’re gonna leave behind disciples. One of the towns here says we’ve been playing this for 10 years that God would do something and this is the answer to prayer. Most of the in time books where they take a verse from daniel and a verse from revelation and then they build up a case or a system. I personally believe that we must let the word of God speak for itself. I decided to write a book when I looked around us all the books on the, in times that they leave out what Jesus said about the end Times, who knows more than our Lord, jesus christ about what the end times are and what signs to look for and how to prepare and how to live when you see these signs, every christian generation must look to the coming of christ. Our generation is no exception. And so I explained all of that in what Jesus himself said about the end Times, I am all about jesus and what Jesus said is what really matters to me and I know it matters to you. And so I’m clarifying and going straight into the heart of jesus and what he said about it for centuries, people have theorized when the end times will come upon us For decades. Books have been sold off the shelves predicting when the end will come in. His newest book is the end near what Jesus told us about the last days, Dr. Michael Yousef unpacks the words of the Lord Jesus himself in Matthew 24 and 25 rest in knowing that he holds all things in the palm of his hand. Don’t let fear of the future shake your faith, know what Jesus said, get the truth about the end times. You can purchase your copy of Dr Yousef’s newest book exclusively from select retailers, visit is the end near book dot com. That is the end near book dot com today. To find a convenient retailer near you traveling the globe to share the life giving truth of jesus to a world in desperation. Dr Michael Yousef is accelerating his mission to reach vision 2025 this fall, it’s leading the way live in London and leading the way live in Sydney. Dr Yousef will speak at London’s methodist Central Hall on october 8th and then the following month, Dr Yousef shares in person at the International Convention Center in Sydney Australia For details, visit L T W dot org forward slash events, passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth. Leading the way with Dr Michael Yousef, thanks you for your faithful support through your continued prayers and gifts