Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Year: Matt 24-26 for Oct 18

One common theme in these chapters is the contrary-to-expection quality of what the Messiah will do in the future, both near and far-term.

Those who say that the whole idea of the future return of Christ is invented, and did not come from Him, have a problem on their hands that comes from the structure of the passages here. It is true that the events are taught in a setting that is far removed from the A.D. 30's, and sweeps across history (24:9). However, that is just as true of Matthew 10 (10:18-23)! The tenor of what Jesus is saying is unmistakably His in both places. It is not a patchwork.

Some of this unmistable tenor is as follows: the Lord asks us in many ways in this gospel, to not worry, yet here He is saying to beware lest something occur, and warns us to do certain things in case. To punctuate just one of these sections (24:15-24), He ends it with "behold, I have told you in advance." How is it that so many dark things will be happening, and we (as a unitary group from the time He spoke these things until He returns) told to watch out for this and that, and yet it is enough to hear "behold, I have told you in advance?" It must be because He's also predicting our safe passage. Being saved means being safe. "He who endures to the end" describes not their qualities of heart, but the ticking of their heart, and God bringing them to safety.

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