Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for April 24

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Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for April 24

Stand strong to the end

Matthew 24:1–14

It is normal to wonder about the end times. (1–3)

Since the middle of Chapter 21, Jesus has been teaching in the temple courts. As the disciples prepared to leave, some of the them were marveling at the temple structures. Though this was not their first visit to the temple, many of them were from smaller villages and were probably awestruck at the architecture every time they visited.

Don’t miss the irony of the scene. The disciples were in the presence of the long-awaited Messiah, the God for whom the temple was built, yet their focus was on the buildings. They had forgotten Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:6 when He said, “I tell you that something greater than the temple is here,” referring to Himself.

Jesus reminded them that, unlike Him, these structures were temporary. Rather than letting that bring their focus back to Jesus, it led to further questions about the future. While Jesus didn’t rebuke them for their focus, He did warn them against being distracted and deceived by questions about the end times.

The takeaway here is that it is OK to wonder about the end times, just like it is OK for most people to eat cake. Just don’t make a steady diet of either one. 

Don’t let the traumatic events of the world deceive you. (4–8)

The disciples asked two questions. When will the temple be destroyed, and how can we know when the end of the age will happen? Jesus responds to both questions in Chapter 24, but He doesn’t tie them together. Verses 4–14 relate to the end of the age. While there may be application to the destruction of the temple, they are two separate events. 

Jesus tells His followers difficult times are ahead, including wars, persecution, famines and natural disasters. In 2022, the world is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Eastern Europe, famine in parts of Africa and the Middle East and continued persecution of Christians around the world.

Though many believers wonder if the end times are near, Jesus cautioned His followers that “the end is not yet.” These are things which His followers will face over the entire length of time between His first coming as Savior and His Second Coming as King.

Don’t let persecution keep you from sharing the gospel of Christ. (9–14)

Jesus moves the discussion from things that will happen around His followers to things that will happen to and within His followers. Until Jesus returns, His followers will face persecution, hatred, betrayal, deceit and lawlessness. More importantly, many of His followers will lose their zeal and their love for Jesus, and His Kingdom will diminish. This is the real danger of the end times.

Signs of a coming “end of the age” must not be a source of fear or discouragement to Christ’s followers. Instead, they serve as a reminder there will come a time when the good news of the Kingdom can no longer be shared.

Just as the disciples focused on the temple rather than on Jesus, Christians today must not focus on the signs of the end times. Instead, they must keep their eyes on Jesus and the proclamation of His coming Kingdom. The goal is not to reach the end times, but to share the good news with the whole world. When that is accomplished, “then the end will come.” 

More information   

Food insecurity soaring across 20 hunger hotspots, click

The top 50 countries where its most difficult to follow Jesus, click

By Daryl Watts
Watts is a church consultant in Fresno, California.

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