Summary: Following the rise of the anti-Christ, the world will experience tribulation unlike any previous encounter. Jesus offered warnings concerning the time following the abomination of desolation.
The anti-Christ and Tribulation (Part 2)
Matthew 24: 15-22
In our previous study we considered the rise of anti-Christ on the global scene. He will come to power with the promise of peace, uniting the world with his agenda. The peace accord with Israel will be brokered, and the world will enjoy a season of peace and prosperity. After three and a half years, anti-Christ will break the deal with Israel, setting himself up as the sovereign, and unleash a campaign of terror, death, and mayhem. While many will finally see him for the diabolical fraud he is, it will be too late.
Along with the brutal campaign of anti-Christ, God will begin to pour out His wrath and judgment upon the earth. This is described in Revelation as the seals are opened, and the unadulterated wrath of God is poured out upon those who have denied the Lord and rejected His grace. This will be the time often referred to in Scripture as Jacob’s Trouble. One cannot possibly imagine the horror involved in facing the brutalities of the anti-Christ and the wrath of God.
As we continue to consider the perils revealed in the text, I want to take a moment to review our last study. We discovered this will be:
I. A Time of Desolation (15)
A. The Character (Minister of Satan)
B. The Conditions
1. Social Depravity (Perilous Times)
2. Spiritual Apostasy (Great Falling Away)
C. The Charisma (Unite Nations, Economy, Peace)
D. The Corruption (Abomination of Desolation)
II. A Time of Desperation (16-20) – Jesus also revealed this will be a time of unprecedented desperation, especially in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. Notice:
A. The Directive (16) – Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. We must remember that the world will be in the midst of the Great Tribulation at this time. The anti-Christ will have his grip on power, ruling the world under the direction of Satan himself. The seals will begin to be opened in heaven, and God will unleash His wrath upon the earth. While the entire world will be forced to deal with the devastation of the Tribulation, Jesus speaks directly to those who are dwelling in Judea. He speaks directly to the nation of Israel. Although the anti-Christ will not discriminate with his plan of devastation and suffering, he will direct much of his anger and destruction toward the nation of Israel. Jesus warns those who dwell in Israel at that time to flee into the mountains in an effort to escape the suffering brought about by anti-Christ.
Through this specific warning, we discover that much of the hatred and animosity of anti-Christ, and ultimately Satan himself, will be directed at Israel. Really this should come as no surprise. Satan tried down through the ages of time to eliminate Israel in an effort to destroy the bloodline of the Messiah. These are God’s Covenant people. They will face an intense and especially hateful attack during the Tribulation. Israel has always been forced to deal with the assault of the enemy. Throughout her history, she has faced many attacks. This continues today, with most of the Arab nations, and much of the world opposed to her existence as a nation.
B. The Dispersion (17-18) – Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. Jesus revealed the urgency this moment will require for those in Judea at that time. There will be no time to make any last minute preparations. They will need to immediately flee into the mountains in an effort to escape the devastation anti-Christ will bring. Those on the housetop will not have time to go into the house and gather any additional provisions. Those who are caught out in the fields will not have time to return home to gather clothes for the journey. When the moment of desperation strikes, they will need to flee immediately into the mountains, seeking safety and shelter.
All of this will be set in motion by the anti-Christ desecrating the Temple and setting himself up as God. Following that event, he will unleash his campaign of terror against Israel. When they hear of the abomination of desolation in the Temple, they will need to immediately flee into the mountains.
C. The Difficulty (19) – And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! Jesus offers a specific warning to the women who are pregnant or nursing children when that dreadful time comes. He knew this would be a very difficult journey to make, emotionally and logistically, much less with the added stress that accompanies pregnant and nursing mothers. They will not only have to care for themselves, but also for their unborn or infant children.