Summary: Signs of the end of the age. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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(1). There will be false messiahs (verse 5-6)

(2). Their will be wars (vs 7-8a).

(3). Their will natural disasters (vs 8).

(4). Their will persecution (vs 12-18).

(5). Their will be destruction in Jerusalem (vs 14-20)



• A friend once asked Isidor I. Rabi, a Nobel prize winner in science,

• How he became a scientist.

• Rabi replied that every day after school his mother would talk to him about his school day.

• She wasn’t so much interested in what he had learned that day,

• But she always inquired,; “Did you ask a good question today?”

• Rabi said, “Asking good questions made me become a scientist.”

• In this passage before us tonight:

• The disciples in verse 3 ask two good question;


• The temple in Jerusalem was one of the wonders of the world.

• It was begun by Herod in around 20BC.

• It dominated the city;

• And its golden walls meant it could be seen for miles around.

But much more than that:

• The temple was the heart of Jewish national, cultural and religious identity.

• For them it was the presence of God on earth.

• In verse 1: the disciples draw the attention of Jesus to the wonder of the building.

• In verse 2: Jesus stuns his disciples by telling them its days were numbered!

• Don’t miss the impact of those words:

• Jesus is saying that which seems to be permanent – a fixture on the landscape;

• That which seems to be so important – place of God’s presence on earth;

• Will soon be gone! Its days are numbered!

The disciples respond to this startling announcement by asking two questions:

• Verse 4a:“When will these things happen?”

• Verse 4b: “And what will be the sign that they are about to be fulfilled?”

3 things to note:

(1). The response of Jesus in verses 5-3 is slightly confusing:

• In answering the disciples question:

• The answer of Jesus has two meanings.

• The immediate meaning relates to the fall, the destruction of Jerusalem;

• The more extensive meaning is Jesus is talking about the end of the world;

• And these dual meanings in many ways apply to both.

(2). Remember the context and culture these verses were written in mean that:

• Many of Jesus’ hearers would have assumed that the destruction of the temple;

• Would be synonymous with the end of the world.

• After all it seemed to be a permanent fixture;

• And such an important one.

• But notice in verse 2:

• Jesus is at great pains to separate the two events.

(3). One more thing to Note before we look at the passage:

• Keep in mind as we read these verses:

• That this is not an all-inclusive teaching on end times i.e. the end of the world.

• Rather it is selective

• Jesus shows us only a broad-brush mural of the end times.

• Other New Testament writers will later add more specific information;

• About the Rapture of the church, the Tribulation, and the millennial kingdom etc.

• So this is not an all-inclusive teaching on end times,

• Rather it is selective:

• It is a message to Jews by a Jew about the future of the Jewish nation.

• But don’t sit there and think; “this is not relevant to me”;

• Because it contains definite applications for us as Christians today.

Jesus WARNS the disciples.

(1). There will be false messiahs (verse 5-6)

“Jesus said to them: Watch out that no-one deceives you.

6 Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many”.


• Joke: Did you know they have taken the word gullible out of the dictionary?

• (Pause & answer): Of course not but many Christians are very gullible!

• Because Christians are eager to learn the Bible and keen to know God;

• At times they can be very gullible,

• Very susceptible for false teachers to manipulate and deceive.

• One area where some Christians have been deceived is in the area of false Messiah’s:

• So Jesus warns his followers – past & present - do not be mislead!


• Story told of an old sailing ship;

• One day the ships captain caught one of his crew drunk and a sleep on duty.

• The sailor begged the Captain not to record the incident the ships log.

• As it would reflect badly on his character.

• Despite his desperate pleadings;

• The Captain insisted that the sailor record it in the ships log.

• Reluctantly the sailor wrote in the log, ‘Seaman Smith was drunk today’.

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