Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 24:3-5

"Now 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?" And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many...Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or "There!" do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
-Matthew 24:3-5, 23-24

To whom are these commands spoken?

Spoken to the disciples

What do these commands require?

Do not be deceived by false christs and false prophets. Do not believe it when they claim that the Christ has come.

What truths do we learn here?

Many volumes have been written on this chapter and many interpretations have been offered to try and explain what is going on in Matthew 24. Let me remind you that our goal is not to exposit every aspect of the text here, but simply to try and understand Jesus' commands.

These commands serve as a warning to the disciples. There will be many that claim to be the Christ. The sad thing is that they will deceive many. Jesus warns of this. To take heed means to pay close attention to, to listen up to the words of Jesus. I think that if we could boil this down to one concise statement to answer the disciples' question regarding the coming of Christ, it would be this: "Don't believe anyone who claims to be the Christ, you will know when I return." When Christ returns, it will be a glorious, remarkable thing. Matthew 24:30 says, "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." This is an unmistakable event. 

What are the consequences for disobedience and the blessings for obedience?

Matthew 24:24 - For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Matthew 24:13 - But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Do not let anyone deceive you regarding Christ's return.

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