Summary: This is the 7th sermon in the "When Does It End?" Series. This series is from Jesus' Olivet Discourse.
Series: When Does It End? [#7]
How can we be sure all this will happen? I am sure that many have asked this question. If you have, you are not the 1st person to do so. Even Jesus anticipated some honest doubt; because at this point, He begins to give 3 powerful guarantees that all He has said will actually happen.
Matthew 24:32-33 (NIV)
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
1. Guarantee #1- The fig tree.
It is another pattern from nature which illustrates the point Jesus wants to make. Everyone knows that when the trees begin to put on their leaves, it is an indication that Summer is near. Jesus says that as history unfolds and it becomes apparent that the world is heading toward the conditions Jesus describes, then we can be sure that His coming is near. The trend of World events is the guarantee that he has been telling the truth about the future. History will confirm His predictions as it unfolds.
Matthew 24:34 (NIV)
34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
2. Guarantee #2- The indestructible generation.
Many have wondered exactly what Jesus meant by these words. Did He refer to the generation to which He was speaking, (the disciples)? Or, did He mean the generation which would be alive when the events He predicted will begin to be fulfilled? If that is what He meant, He would have been saying that when these events begin, they would be completed before the generation would pass. Each of these meanings has been suggested as a possible explanation of His words.
If He meant the Disciples' generation, then His words have long ago been proven false; and the 2nd explanation involves a very forced timetable. The only other alternative is that the word "generation" means the Jewish people. “This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” It is almost certain that this is what the Lord meant, for he used the word "generation" in this very sense in the previous chapter.
Matthew 23:33-36 (NIV)
33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.
Jesus did not mean that the Pharisees would bear the blame for all the injustice of the ages. He meant that Israel was the Nation chosen to be the instrument of God to teach the whole world what He is like. Despite the long centuries of hardship and cruelty they have proved to be an indestructible people. That fact constitutes proof that what Jesus predicts will surely come to pass.
Matthew 24:35 (NIV)
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
3. Guarantee #3- The infallible Word.
How much value do you give to what Jesus says? This is the One who came to open blind eyes and He did. He said that He would give His life as a ransom for many; and He did. He said He would rise again from the dead; and He did. Now, He says He will come again; and He will.