Summary: The unfolding of the Lord’s teaching in Matthew 24
"THE WRATH OF GOD-WHEN IS IT?"
In the last message we left off discussing the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation which will result in the Antichrist persecuting and martyring God’s children with increasing intensity after he is revealed at the mid-point of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. However, it is the opening of the Sixth Seal and it’s results that underscore where we are in God’s prophetic timetable, for the opening of this seal brings about the sign/pre-cursor of the Day of the Lord.
This seal as described in Revelation 6:12-17 is the most significant of all that precede for it binds together all of the passages that mention these great wonders in the heavens, the darkening of the sun, the moon becoming as blood, and the stars falling unto the earth. Being preceded by a great earthquake (v.12) these events are without a doubt the planet-shaking acts of the Creator God of heaven as He signals the advent of His wrath, the impending Day of the Lord judgment!
And, if the wrath of God is about to come (Revelation 6:16,17) we know and have been promised that before it begins we, the born-again believers, will be raptured, taken out, removed to safety by the Lord Jesus just as He promised! "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."(John 14:3) "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation (deliverance) by our Lord Jesus Christ."
These have got to be some of the most important promises the believer is given! This marvelous, miraculous removal of the saints will indeed take place just before the wrath of God is poured out on an unbelieving world! Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ will come in the clouds just as He promised in His chronological teaching of the end times (Matthew 24:29-31).
God’s pattern of delivering His own and immediately judging the wicked has been His way in the past and, praise His holy name, it will continue to be His way in the future. ’And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given n marriage, until the day the Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they solk, they planted, the builded, But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.’ (Luke 17:26-30)
These accounts of Noah and Lot’s family’s deliverance from God’s judgment are compared to Jesus’ Coming to rapture and deliver the saints from the devastating persecution of the Antichrist and the future impending wrath of God. He will deliver the saints the same day God’s wrath/The Day of the Lord begins, right after the wonders in heaven which occur at the opening of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12,13).
This is exactly what God did in the case of Noah and Lot. When they were removed to safety He began His destructive judgment upon the wicked. These heavenly wonders are the signaling event to the persecuted believers of that day that Jesus is coming soon, for God’s wrath/Day of the Lord is about to begin!
This event (The opening of the Sixth Seal and the ensuing heavenly wonders) will take place during Daniel’s Seventieth Week some time after the beginning of the Great Tribulation which begins at the mid-point of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.
The Lord Jesus, in response to the disciples questions: "when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3) gave very specific, chronological and detailed answers to His disciples.
Throughout Matthew 24 He used the words: "then...v.9; then...v.10; then...v.14; when...v.15; Then...v.16; For then...v.21; Then...v.23; Immediately after...v.29; then...then...v.30; When...v.33" which clearly show His purpose of unfolding an accurate timetable for "end of the world"(v.3) events.
This significant chapter of the Bible must not be chopped up into bite size sections pulling out a few verses here or there and applying them to different people and different times! No, the Lord gave a precise understandable timetable for the end times that any born-again believer can understand whether a newly saved babe in Christ from the far reaches of an isolated mission field, or a seasoned Bible prophecy professor of a university, this passage rings with the simplicity that is typical of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In this most vital chapter Jesus begins His conclusion in (v.29) with these words: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days..." referring to the days of the "great tribulation" (v.21). It would seem that we are now at the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week because it is now "after" the great tribulation which traditionally has been defined as 3-1/2 years in length.