Summary: The world will be made right when Jesus returns
When Christ Arrives
February 8, 2009
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers – Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM 1943
Who wants to hear actors talk? H.M. Warner 1927
Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try to find oil? You’re crazy. Drillers response to Edwin Drake in 1859
640 Kilobytes ought to be enough for anybody – Bill Gates 1981
One area of interest for many people is the understanding of prophecy. The Bible is filled with a variety of prophetic passages. The Old Testament often refers to the birth of Christ. There are also a variety of prophecies about the second coming or the Day of the Lord. One scholar made a study of the various passages and gave a numeric breakdown.
The Old Testament has 1,845 references to the second coming and the theme is prominent in 17 different Old Testament books. The New Testament contains 27 different books and 23 of them give reference to the second coming. The New Testament also contains 260 chapters and there are 318 separate references to the second coming. One out of every thirty verses of the New Testament is dedicated to the second coming. For every reference to the birth of Christ, there are eight references to the second coming.
We are continuing to move through Matthew chapter 24. Here are is a basic breakdown of basic divisions and events in the chapter.
Nine major signs of the last days 1-14
War and World Violence
False Leaders that Offer False Hope
A Great Falling Away
Faith that Endures
The final sign: abomination of desolation 15-28
The beginnings of the birth pains (24:8)
The Abomination that Causes desolation (24:15)
The Great Tribulation (24:21)
The sight of the Son of Man (24:29-30)
The gathering of the saints (24:31)
29 "Immediately after the distress of those days " `the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Matthew 24:29-31
The coming of Christ will not take place until after the tribulation. The Great tribulation will last approximately 3 and a half years. The return of Christ will occur approximately 3 and a half years after the abomination that causes desolation.
Another way to see this is that the coming of Christ ends the great tribulation and human history. Christ comes to bring an end to the reign of the Antichrist. Christ returns to fulfill His divine promise. Christ comes to put an end to the suffering and hardships of the church. All of the previous events and signs lead to the end of history and the beginning of the 1000 year reign of Christ. Through all of the suffering, trials and hardships the promise of Christ never changes, He will return.
Verse 29 gives the visible effects of the coming of Christ on the world.
• The sun will refuse to shine
• The moon will be unable to shine
• The stars will fall from the skies
• The heavens will be shaken
There will be no mistaking this sign because of the incredible nature of what happens. The sign will create a massive darkness across the whole earth like never before. Everyone will see the power of Christ displayed across the skies and there will be no denial of the event. The lost will flee in terror and the believers will have great hope.
The significance of the sun
The sun is the greatest source of light in our solar system. The sun does not only provide light to the earth but it also enables life to exist on earth. Without the sun, there would be no warmth and the earth would be a frozen wasteland. Without sunlight, vegetation would not be able to exist. Without the sun, life would not be able to exist on earth.
Imagine for a moment what life would be like without the sun. There is some significant debate over what actually happens in this verse. How will the sun be darkened before Christ comes? There seem to be several options
1.) Supernova: A supernova takes place when the sun actually explodes and completely burns out. The problem with a supernova is that the entire solar system would be destroyed in the process