Summary: God Talks about the Timing: 1. The timing of the season should be studied (vs. 32-35). 2. Our knowledge of the day has been delayed (vs. 36-39). 3. The need to prepare is paramount (vs. 37-44).
The Second Coming of Christ
Part 4: God Talks about the Timing
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 8, 2015
*It was two days before the cross. Jesus had just finished condemning the Jewish religious leaders for stubbornly rejecting Him as the Messiah. The Lord also condemned them for their arrogance, their lack of mercy, hypocrisy and more.
*Then in Matthew 24, Jesus told His disciples that every stone of the Temple they admired would be thrown down. That's why in Matthew 24:3, "As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'"
*When will these things be? -- Tonight we will talk about the timing. But there are some questions about the timing, so let's start by focusing on some sure things in tonight's Scripture.
 First: The return of our Redeemer is sure.
*The return of our Redeemer is very sure. Verses 29-31 make this truth clear, because here Jesus said:
29. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
*In these few verses, the Lord tells us 9 things that will surely happen. We can look forward with a sure hope that it will be just as He said. Our Redeemer will surely return!
*Dr. George Sweeting once estimated that more than one fourth of the whole Bible is future prophecy. Over 1,800 references to Christ's return appear in the Old Testament. And in the 260 chapters of the New Testament there are more than 300 references to the Lord's return. Twenty-three of the 27 books in the New Testament refer to this great event!
*Dr. Sweeting reported that for every single prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are 8 prophecies for the Lord's second coming. What a comfort this is for us as Christians. Jesus is coming again! (1)
*The return of our redeemer is sure.
 Another sure thing in tonight's Scripture is the Word of God, and I say that because the truth of God's Word is timeless.
*Down in vs. 35, Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." The Bible has been ridiculed and rejected, but it never has and it never will pass away! I
*Author Chuck Colson gave this testimony about the Word of God: "The Bible: -- banned, burned, beloved. More widely read; more frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age have outlawed it, and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons. And fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed ruthless killers into gentle saints." (2)
*Wise men and women down through the ages have looked to the Word of God for strength and renewal in life. And if you want something you can hang on to, something that will last forever, this is it! No matter what kind of madness is going on in the world, and no matter what kind of problems you are facing in your personal life, hang on to the Word of God, because the truth of God's Word is timeless.
1. But in tonight's Scripture, the Lord talks about the timing of His return, and the timing of the season should be studied.
*Jesus talked about the season of His return in vs. 32-34, where He said:
32. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
33. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors.
34. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.
*Bible scholars see a picture of Israel in this parable because the fig tree was one of the symbols of Israel. In Hosea 9:10, for example, the Lord God said, "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, and separated themselves to that shame; They became an abomination like the thing they loved."