Summary: In the midst of all these tumultuous end times events Jesus specifically warns the believer about three very real dangers concerning the end times.
A Study of the Book of Luke
Sermon # 59
“A Three-fold Warning!”
Jesus has made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, cleansed the temple and entered into several debates with the religious leadership that he repeatedly won. Then he praised the poor widow and her offering and passed judgment on the religious leaders. Now Jesus left the temple never to return.
According to the parallel accounts of Matthew 24:1 and Mark 13:1, Jesus along with his small band of disciples has left the temple and were in the process of walking away from the magnificent building complex that the remarks made here in Luke 21:5 are made. “Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, (6) "These things which you see--the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down."
They admired the temple for is architectural grandeur, and its expensive decorations. The temple was impressive not only for its beauty but for it size. The foundation stones were almost the size of box cars (67 ft. long, 18 ft. wide, 12 ft. high).
The temple was indeed, both great and glorious, especially to the disciples of Jesus. The disciples were not from Jerusalem, but were from Galilee. We would say that they were “country bumpkins.” They would have seldom been to Jerusalem and thus would have seen the grandeur of the temple as tourists.
The temple was indeed impressive, covering about one-sixth of the land area of the ancient city of Jerusalem. The building complex was nearly five hundred yards long and four hundred yards wide.
Jesus’ remarks are especially devastating, since the temple was the heart and soul of Israel’s worship.
In verse seven they voice their concerns,
“So they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?"
It is clear that the disciple’s interpretation of what Jesus had said about the destruction of the temple were viewed as synonymous of with the end of the world. They were of course mistaken for a lengthy period of time would intervene between Jerusalem’s fall and the Second Coming. But there was a connection between the judgment executed upon the nation and the temple on one hand, and the final judgment at the end of the age.
The disciple’s question had two parts. They wanted to know (1) When will all this take place? (referring to the destruction of the temple) and (2) Will there be any sign ahead of time? The Lord’s reply comprises what is known as the “Olivet Discourse,” which is the greatest sermon on prophecy ever preached.
The disciples like many of us today, were concerned about the wrong things. They wanted to know information that would be of no real value to them, other than to satisfy their own curiosity. Jesus was more interested in affecting their conduct rather than satisfying their curiosity. Jesus, however, knew that if the disciples looked for signs they would be susceptible to deception. He virtually avoided their question and instead of telling them what they wanted to know he told them what they needed to know, that is how to conduct themselves in the light of the destruction of Jerusalem and the second coming.
In the midst of all these tumultuous end times events Jesus specifically warns the believer about three very real dangers.
First he warns, DON’T BE DECEIVED v. 8
As we move into the first decade of the 21st century, even the most casual observer would have to be alarmed at the spiritual direction of our nation and of especially of God’s people with this nation. Toward the end of the age, Jesus has warned us that there will be an increase in deception and a tremendous potential for people to be deceived. In verse eight Jesus says, “And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, "I am He,’ and, "The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not follow them.”
This deception thing is not new, it is as old as the story of mankind. In Genesis 3 we are told about how Satan initially deceived mankind. It is interesting to note how very little has changed.
Dr David Jeremiah notes the three steps he used. [David Jeremiah. Until He Comes. (Nashville:Word, 1999) pp. 33-36]
First, Dispute God’s Word. The first thing that Satan did in tempting Eve was to dispute the Word of God. Satan appeared to Eve and said (Genesis 3:1) “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden.” He suggested to Eve that somehow she had misunderstood what God meant. “One of the ways that happens today goes something like this; You have a clear plain Word of God in front of you, and it tells you that you shouldn’t do something you’d really like to do. Next thing you know someone sidles up alongside you and tries to to give you an ‘alternative interpretation’ of the text that will allow you to do what you know God doesn’t want you to do. And you end up saying, ‘I’ll not sure I know what this Scripture means.” [Jeremiah. p. 34]