Matthew 24:36-44 The Two Returns Of Jesus

by | Dec 19, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. An Apparent Contradiction Regarding Jesus’ Return

A. The Desolation Of Abomination: A Time To Count The Days

1. Matthew 24:15 Jesus spoke of an event spoken about by the prophet Daniel
2. Jesus said that the Jews in Judea who see this event need to escape for their lives
3. The Antichrist will enter the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, and claim to be God.
4. He will first sign a peace treaty with Israel that will be for 7 years.
5. In the middle of that treaty, he will show his true colors, and claim to be God
6. Daniel 9:24; Daniel 12:11-12; Revelation 12:13, 14
7. The time of Antichrist’s reign of terror is clearly limited to 42 months.
8. If Jesus were to return only once, then any believer alive at the time of the abomination could count the days until Jesus’ return.
9. Believers on the earth at the time should count the days, but there will be a group of believers that will already be gone because of the “rapture of the church”.
10. Pre-church believers (O.T.), church age believers, & post-church believers.

B. No One Knows The Day

1. In contrast to counting days, Jesus also spoke of “not knowing the day”.

a. Matthew 24:36-44 clearly speaks of the surprise of Jesus’ return
b. Matthew 24:45-51 speaks of servants that stop looking for Jesus’ return.
c. Matthew 25:1-13 the wise & foolish virgins; some were ready, some not.

2. There seems to be an apparent contradiction re. Jesus’ return, unless we realize that there are two returns of Jesus.
3. Jesus coming for His church; and Jesus coming with His church.
4. Jesus comes for His church to deliver them from wrath poured out on humanity
5. Jesus comes with His church when he judges nations & establishes His kingdom

II. Progression Leading To Antichrist’s Rule

A. “Good” In The World

1. Though there is much evil in the world, there is “good”. A lot of good happens.
2. Could be a lot worse. It will be a lot worse.
3. Man is born w/a sin nature, & has a natural tendency to sin. (Ephesians 2:1-4)
4. There is a psychological argument/debate called “nature vs. nurture”.

a. Some say people do certain things because it is in their nature.
b. Others say it is because of how we are raised, how we are nurtured.
c. Bible declares it starts because of our nature, & nurture can add to it.

5. The Bible declares man is created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26)

a. We have the ability to discern right & wrong, etc. We can choose.

6. Bible declares man is born w/a conscience that speaks to him. (Romans 2:14, 15)
7. The conscience of man, though degrading culturally, still has a restraining affect.
8. Mankind also positively affected (nurtured) by the good the church brings
9. Turn to Matthew 5:13-16 The church is salt & light; preserving & exposing
10. Every Christian can attest to this. When you arrive, conversations change, etc.

B. When The Good Is Removed (The Rapture Of The Church)

1. The absence of the church on Earth would create an absence of salt.
2. Opposition to sin, as we know it, wouldn’t exist. Boldness to sin would increase
3. Paul taught the Thessalonians re. the Rapture of the church. (Removal of good)

a. Turn to 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 4:13-18; 5:1-10.
b. Paul taught them to be looking for the Rapture
c. Paul taught them they would be spared from wrath, & removed

C. What Happens When The Church Is Removed

1. Like unsalted meat, when the church is removed, moral decay will be unchecked
2. When the spiritual restraining force is removed, evil will increase
3. Turn to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

a. They were concerned, thinking they were in the great Tribulation.
b. Paul taught them they would be absent from this time of wrath/judgment
c. They rightly expected that they would first be gathered to Jesus, and then the Day of the Lord (judgment/Great Tribulation) would follow.
d. Some had wrongly taught that they were already experiencing the G.T.
e. That would mean they would have missed the Rapture, and being gathered together to Jesus, which is apparently what Paul had taught.
f. Paul says….1) you haven’t yet seen the great apostasy, 2) the Antichrist hasn’t been revealed yet, so…3) why think you have missed the Rapture?
g. They knew what was restraining the A.C. The Holy Spirit & the church.
h. When He & they are taken out of the way, evil is unrestrained.
i. H.S. “taken out of the way” doesn’t mean He’s gone, just “out of the way”
j. Some believe the H.S.’s ministry will revert back to the O.T. methods.
k. Verse 8- Day of the Lord, judgment of the A.C.

4. All of this leads to the Abomination of Desolation & the Great Tribulation.

III. Aspects Of The Rapture (Jesus’ Return For His Church)

A. No Way To Predict It V. 36
B. Life Will Be Going On As Usual Vs. 37-41

1. With Noah, they were warned, but didn’t believe until it was too late
2. They were concerned with daily living, working side by side, ignoring God.
3. Luke 17:34 “I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.” (The Rapture will happen in daylight hours for some, and on the other side of the world, people will be sleeping)
4. 1 Corinthians 15:50-53
5. Titus 2:11-14 Rapture of the church is not to be feared, but a comfort & a hope