Matthew 24:10
At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another,
Signs of the AdventJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 24:4-14

Religious persecution is an evil, and a serious evil, but it cannot be called an unmitigated evil. Persecutors come under Divine judgments; but persecutors, in the Divine overruling, are made to do the Lord's work. The Lord Jesus was persecuted, and we fully sympathize with him in those persecutions. And yet we only know him through them. His perfect obedience as a Son only comes to view on the background of the sufferings he endured. What is true of the Master is true of his Church. It has ever been sanctified through the persecutions it has been called to endure.


1. The conflicts of the Church have helped to formulate the doctrine of the Church. Persecutions have dealt with opinion, and have helped to make right opinion. It may even be shown that the influence on truth has not been altogether good, because the strain of persecution has tended to exaggerate particular opinions, and put them out of the Christian harmony.

2. The martyrdoms of persecuting times have vivified the leading truths of the Church. The things men have died for are all-important. They must be worth dying for; they are primary truths of the "faith."


1. The ages of persecution have been spiritual ages. Then the critical spirit is wanting. Men easily believe. The underlying meaning of God's Word is more important than its literary form. Men find they need "the sincere milk of the Word."

2. The ages of persecution have been ages of brotherhood. The common peril ensures common service. There is mutual shielding, mutual sympathy, and the records tell of heroic acts of self-sacrifice done at such times. The story of such ages acts upon us today as an inspiration to brotherhood.

III. ITS MISSION IN RELATION TO THE SPREAD OF THE CHURCH. It has been, over and over again, as it was in the first Christian age. The disciples were "scattered abroad" in consequence of the persecution that arose over the preaching of Stephen, and they "went everywhere, preaching the Word."

1. At such times there is a secret spreading of the Church. Hidden, it works like leaven. Illustrate by history of the Church in Madagascar and Uganda.

2. At such times there is the entering of new spheres, and possession of new lands in the name of Christ (see story of the pilgrim Fathers). - R.T.

And Jesus went out and departed from the temple.
In this chapter the accounts of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the "end" of the world are so interwoven, that it is not easy to distinguish between them. Many people have been puzzled because they could not draw the line of demarcation arbitrarily, and say where the division was. But the best way of looking at the passage is to regard it as not confused — as one narrative, not two. The destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world are here considered as one event. We who live in the present dispensation are they "upon whom the ends of the world are come." The narrative is of one thing in two parts; one tale told in two chapters; one drama in two acts. This is why it looks like two accounts. And it is not difficult to see this. It may be felt to be the duty of a parent, who has an unruly, incorrigible child, to administer corporal chastisement, but he would not strike more than one blow at a time. Between each stroke there is an interval, and the parent may, after having begun, suspend the punishment; and then, when the waiting time is over, and the necessity of punishment still continuing, he may finish what had already been begun. The act of punishment is one, though distributed over two periods of time. So with God's 'judgments related in this chapter. The destruction of Jerusalem was not merely a prelude to the day of judgment, nor merely a type of it, as is commonly supposed, but it was a part of it. The day of judgment, which is to come upon the whole world, began with the destruction of Jerusalem; and God having struck one blow in one place, is now waiting, with sword still uplifted, to strike again and finish His work. The corresponding account in Luke tells us that God is waiting "until the times of the Gentiles be come in." The Jew was first in grace; he is likewise first in judgment. But the turn of the Gentiles is coming on. Judgment has begun at the House of God, but it stays not there. The awful drama of the end of the world has two acts, and the time in which we are living is due to a suspension of the judgment already begun.

(F. Godet, D. D.)

I. AN INSTRUCTIVE QUESTION — "See ye not all these things?" — these goodly stones, this stately fabric, this masterpiece of architecture. The question was meant as a reproof;

1. That they so much admired it. As if He had said, "Turn your eyes from hence, and see things of a superior nature; the beauty and excellence of the renewed soul; the gospel Church; the house which is eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God.

2. That which they admired, they imagined He must admire also. But what are earthly temples to Him who meted out the heavens with a span, who Himself dwells in unapproachable light, and before whom the seraphim cover their feet and veil their faces?

II. A SOLEMN DECLARATION — "Verily, I say unto you," etc. By this Christ may have intended to instruct His disciples —

1. That though God may bear long, yet He will not bear always, with a sinful and provoking people.

2. That the most stately structures and the most splendid edifices, through the pride of their inhabitants, shall one day fall in ruins. Only God's spiritual temple will not be burnt up, nor any of the materials of it destroyed.

3. That the time was coming when God would no longer prefer one place of worship to another.

4. That the whole frame of the Jewish economy should shortly be dissolved. The substance being come, the shadows are fled.

(B. Beddome, A. M.)

There was no outward sign of any such disaster. The indications were all against that prediction. The sunlight which, that day, glorified the -towers of Jerusalem was of the common kind, only, it may be, brighter than ever. There was nothing unusual in the sight which met the eyes of the disciples. They beheld the tide of traffic ebbing and flowing along its noisy streets in the ordinary way. They knew that in the temple the priests stood ministering, just as they had done for years. Therefore Christ's words, His mournful prophecy, His pitying lament and tears must have seemed to them strange and uncalled for. And yet, although what He saw was so different from what met their vision, though He beheld desolation where they discerned nought save splendour, that difference was but the result of less than half a century's change. In the crowds then pressing along that city's prosperous courts, there were some who did not taste of death, till they drank the cup of a worse bitterness in the day when Christ's word was all fulfilled.

(E. E. Johnson, M. A.)

And now there rises the question: Why did not Jesus save that city? The awful peril which He saw impending in the near future was destined to involve not the guilty alone, but the innocent as well; why then did not the Son of God avert the coming tribulation He so bitterly lamented? Why did He not do it at least for the sake of those who had shown themselves friendly to Him, the humble ones who followed Him with a sort of dumb faithfulness until the hostility of the government, which frightened the apostles, filled them also with paralyzing fear? There is no doubt that Christ was able to dispel that storm rising so black and terrible. The twelve legions of angels who were ready to save Him from capture, would, at His word, have saved Jerusalem. The myriads of the army of heaven could have turned to a retreating flight the advancing eagles of the heathen conqueror The destruction of Jerusalem belongs to the workings of that natural law in which there is, after a time, no place and no use for repentance, under which God, for some inscrutable reason, permits the innocent to suffer along with the guilty, and where no regret on the part of any one can save him from the doom of reaping precisely what the community has sown. Christ offered to the Jewish nation, as a nation, deliverance from temporal evil. There is no doubt of that. He stood ready to fulfil for them all the glorious things spoken of Zion by the prophets. Both spiritual and earthly peace lay within their reach. It was bound up in the kingdom preached and offered by Him. He promised to take them out from the realm of natural government, where fixed laws work on regardless of the cry of pain and the supplication for pity, where nothing miraculous ever interposes to avert the gathered lightning of moral retribution, where the storm of judgment breaks over the community that deserves it, even though some who are comparatively righteous must endure thereby what seems temporal wrong. He offered, I say, to redeem that Jewish world from the natural law of sin and death and inflexible justice, and lift it into the higher, supernatural realm of grace and life. But that redemption depended upon their knowing and receiving Him. And their selfishness and pride prevented them from recognizing Him. Their King and Redeemer came, but they cast Him out. They chose to be a law unto themselves. Hence that former law must have its perfect work. The hand outstretched to save the nation drifting to ruin was not grasped, and therefore that nation must whirl on and on, down the rapids and over the brink. The destruction of Jerusalem became simply a question of time. Inward corruption would sooner or later have accomplished what we are wont to regard as solely the result of external force. The fig-tree had ceased to bear fruit; and that fact was of itself a sign of the death which had already begun to work. All that was left of the glorious opportunity was the bitter consciousness that it was past Under the working of this law, the drunkard comes at last to a point where repentance is too late, and where death lies both in continued indulgence and in attempted reformation. And so with nations. The day may come to even the strongest, when on the whole it is not worth saving, when, although there are many pure patriots in it, the only thing left for it to do is to die and be blotted out of the map of the world.

(E. E. Johnson, M. A.)

The uncertainty of the day bespeaks our preparedness. When the disciples asked Christ concerning the sign of His coming, He answers them with a how, not with a when. He describes the manner, but conceals the time; such signs shall go before. He does not determine the day when the judgment shall come after. Only He cautions them, with a "Take heed, lest that day come upon you unawares: for as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the earth" (Luke 21:34, 35). The bird little thinks of the snare of the fowler, nor the beast of the hunter; this fearlessly rangeth through the woods, the other merrily cuts the air: both follow their unsuspected liberty, both are lost in unprevented ruin. Against public enemies we fortify our coasts; against private thieves we bar our doors, and shall we not against the irremediable fatality of this day prepare our souls? It is favour enough that the Lord hath given us warning; the day is sudden, the warning is not sudden. The old world had the precaution of six-score years, and that (we cannot deny) was long enough; but we have had the prediction of Christ and His apostles of above fifteen hundred years' standing; besides the daily sounds of those evangelical trumpets, that tell us of that archangelical trumpet in their pulpits. When we hear the thunder, in a dark night on our beds, we fear the lightning. Our Saviour's gospel, premonishing of this day, is like thunder; if it cannot wake us from our sins, the judgment shall come upon us like lightning, to our utter destruction. But I will thank the Lord for giving me warning. The thunder first breaks the cloud, and makes way for the lightning, yet the lightning first invades our sense. All sermons, upon this argument of the last day, are thunder-claps; yet such is the security of the world, that the sons of thunder cannot waken them, till the Father of lightning consume them. The huntsman doth not threaten the deer, or terrify him; but watches him at a stand, and shoots him. But God speaks before He shoots; takes the bow in His hand and shows it us before He puts in the arrow to wound us.

(T. Adams.)

The first reason why the declarations of Christ respecting the near approach of His coming, although they were not realized in their utmost sense, yet involve no error, is this — that it is an essential ingredient in the doctrine of the advent of Christ that it should be considered every moment possible, and that believers should deem it every moment probable. To have taught it so that it should have pointed to an indefinite distance would have robbed it of its ethical significance. The constant expectation of the return of Christ is verified, secondly, by the fact that Christ is constantly coming in His kingdom; it is relatively true that the history of the world is a judgment of the world, without superseding by the judicial activity of God, as already manifesting itself in the history of the development of mankind, the judgment as the concluding act of all developments. And it is here we find the foundation of the principle, that great events in history, wherein either the fulness of the blessing that is in Christ, or His severity against sin, is strikingly manifested, may be viewed as types of the last time — as a coming of Christ. To this category, so far as respects the fulness of blessing revealed by Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit belongs.


I. An illustration of the instability of all earthly grandeur.

II. An instance of God's punishment of sin in the present world.

III. An example of the fulfilment of Scripture prophecy.

IV. A proof of the abolition of the Mosaic economy.

V. A cause of the dispersion of the Jews.

(G. Brooks.)

Daniel, Jesus, Noah, Noe
Jerusalem, Judea, Mount of Olives
Betray, Deliver, Faith, Fall, Hate, Numbers, Offended, Stumble, Stumbled
1. Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple;
3. what and how great calamities shall be before it;
29. the signs of his coming to judgment.
36. And because that day and hour are unknown,
42. we ought to watch like good servants, expecting our Master's coming.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 24:10

     5204   age
     5798   betrayal
     8028   faith, body of beliefs
     8468   renunciation

Matthew 24:3-24

     1450   signs, kinds of

Matthew 24:3-25

     9170   signs of times

Matthew 24:5-14

     2565   Christ, second coming

Matthew 24:7-10

     8795   persecution, nature of

Matthew 24:9-10

     5875   hatred
     8751   false witness

Matthew 24:9-11

     5593   trial

Matthew 24:9-12

     9140   last days

Matthew 24:9-13

     8743   faithlessness, nature of

Matthew 24:10-11

     7774   prophets, false

Matthew 24:10-12

     8706   apostasy, warnings

Matthew 24:10-13

     8102   abiding in Christ
     8707   apostasy, personal

The Carrion and the Vultures
'Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.'--MATT. xxiv. 28. This grim parable has, of course, a strong Eastern colouring. It is best appreciated by dwellers in those lands. They tell us that no sooner is some sickly animal dead, or some piece of carrion thrown out by the way, than the vultures--for the eagle does not prey upon carrion--appear. There may not have been one visible a moment before in the hot blue sky, but, taught by scent or by sight that their banquet
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Two Forms of one Saying
'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.' --Matt. xxiv. 13, R.V. 'In your patience possess ye your souls.'--Luke xxi. 19. These two sayings, different as they sound in our Version, are probably divergent representations of one original. The reasons for so supposing are manifold and obvious on a little consideration. In the first place, the two sayings occur in the Evangelists' reports of the same prophecy and at the same point therein. In the second place, the verbal resemblance is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Watching for the King
'Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. 45. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season! 46. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

March the Twentieth the Lord is at Hand!
"Ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." --MATTHEW xxiv. 42-51. Then let me always live as though my Lord were at the gate! Let me arrange my affairs on the assumption that the next to lift the latch will be the King. When I am out with my friend, walking and talking, let me assume that just round the corner I may meet the Lord. And so let me practise meeting Him! Said a mother to me one day concerning her long-absent boy: "I lay a place for him at every meal! His seat is always ready!" May
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

What Lasts, and what Passes Away.
25th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matthew xxiv., 35. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass away." INTRODUCTION.--Yes! all will pass away! This beautiful world and all that is on it. Our houses, our churches, our cities, will crumble away; the very earth with its mountains and rivers, and plains, and seas, will pass away. The stars will fall from heaven, the sun will have exhausted its fires, the moon will sink into night. But the words of Christ will last. SUBJECT.--Incessant
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

"And Watch unto Prayer. "
1 Pet. iv. 7.--"And watch unto prayer." "Watch." A Christian should watch. A Christian is a watchman by office. This duty of watchfulness is frequently commanded and commended in scripture, Matt. xxiv. 42, Mark xiii. 33, 1 Cor. xvi. 13, Eph. vi. 18, 1 Pet. v. 8, Col. iv. 2; Luke xii. 37. David did wait as they that did watch for the morning light. The ministers of the gospel are styled watchmen in scripture and every Christian should be to himself as a minister is to his flock, he should watch over
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of Meditation Upon Death
Very quickly will there be an end of thee here; take heed therefore how it will be with thee in another world. To-day man is, and to-morrow he will be seen no more. And being removed out of sight, quickly also he is out of mind. O the dulness and hardness of man's heart, which thinketh only of the present, and looketh not forward to the future. Thou oughtest in every deed and thought so to order thyself, as if thou wert to die this day. If thou hadst a good conscience thou wouldst not greatly
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

"Take heed that no man deceive you."--Matt. xxiv: 4. "Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."--Col. i: 27, 28. To give a warning is a sign of love. Who warns like a mother, and who loves like a mother? Your mother, perhaps, is gone, and your father is gone. Let me take the place of those who have departed, and lift up a warning voice. With Paul I would say: "I write not these
Dwight L. Moody—Sowing and Reaping

Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold.
^A Matt. XXIV. 1-28; ^B Mark XIII. 1-23; ^C Luke XXI. 5-24. ^a 1 And Jesus went out from the temple [leaving it to return no more], and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him ^b as he went forth ^a to show him the buildings of the temple. ^b one of his disciples saith unto him, Teacher, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings! ^c 5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said [The strength and wealth of the temple roused
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Second Coming of Christ.
^A Matt. XXIV. 29-51; ^B Mark XIII. 24-37; ^C Luke XXI. 25-36. ^b 24 But in those days, ^a immediately after the { ^b that} ^a tribulation of those days. [Since the coming of Christ did not follow close upon the destruction of Jerusalem, the word "immediately" used by Matthew is somewhat puzzling. There are, however, three ways in which it may be explained: 1. That Jesus reckons the time after his own divine, and not after our human, fashion. Viewing the word in this light, the passage at II. Pet.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Christian Conception of Life Has Already Arisen in Our Society, and Will Infallibly Put an End to the Present Organization of Our Life Based On
The Condition and Organization of our Society are Terrible, but they Rest only on Public Opinion, and can be Destroyed by it-- Already Violence is Regarded from a Different Point of View; the Number of those who are Ready to Serve the Government is Diminishing; and even the Servants of Government are Ashamed of their Position, and so often Do Not Perform their Duties--These Facts are all Signs of the Rise of a Public Opinion, which Continually Growing will Lead to No One being Willing to Enter Government
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

The Evening of the Third Day in Passion-Week - on the Mount of Olives: Discoures to the Disciples Concerning the Last Things.
THE last and most solemn denunciation of Jerusalem had been uttered, the last and most terrible prediction of judgment upon the Temple spoken, and Jesus was suiting the action to the word. It was as if He had cast the dust of His Shoes against the House' that was to be left desolate.' And so He quitted for ever the Temple and them that held office in it. They had left the Sanctuary and the City, had crossed black Kidron, and were slowly climbing the Mount of Olives. A sudden turn in the road, and
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

A Key to the Knowledge of Church History
A KEY TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHURCH HISTORY [Ancient] Edited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT, M.A. Editor of "The Dictionary of Theology," "The Annotated Book of Common Prayer;" Author of "Household Theology," Etc. Etc. "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations."--St. Matt. xxiv. 14 Rivingtons Waterloo Place, London Oxford, and Cambridge MDCCCLXXVII [New Edition]
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History

Our Lord's Olivet Discourse Shows that There is no Universal Triumph of the Gospel Before his Second Advent.
The Olivet Discourse of our Lord is recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. We cannot now attempt a detailed exposition of these highly interesting and important chapters, but would simply single our from them a few things which throw light upon our present inquiry. At the beginning of Matt. 24 we find that three of His disciples asked our Lord, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?" (vs. 3). What then was the answer which
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return

Third Sunday Before Lent
Text: First Corinthians 9, 24-27; 10, 1-5. 24 Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25 And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The vineyard and Its Keepers
'Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34. And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Watching the Horizon
"Thy Kingdom Come." "Thou art coming! We are waiting With a hope that cannot fail; Asking not the day or hour, Resting on Thy word of power, Anchored safe within the veil. Time appointed may be long, But the vision must be sure: Certainty shall make us strong, Joyful patience must endure. "O the joy to see Thee reigning, Thee, my own beloved Lord! Every tongue Thy name confessing, Worship, honour, glory, blessing, Brought to Thee with glad accord! Thee, my Master and my Friend, Vindicated and enthroned!
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

Another Shorter Evening Prayer.
O eternal God and heavenly Father, if I were not taught and assured by the promises of thy gospel, and the examples of Peter, Mary Magdalene, the publican, the prodigal child, and many other penitent sinners, that thou art so full of compassion, and so ready to forgive the greatest sinners, who are heaviest laden with sin, at what time soever they return unto thee with penitent hearts, lamenting their sins, and imploring thy grace, I should despair for mine own sins, and be utterly discouraged from
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

There is a Blessedness in Reversion
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3 Having done with the occasion, I come now to the sermon itself. Blessed are the poor in spirit'. Christ does not begin his Sermon on the Mount as the Law was delivered on the mount, with commands and threatenings, the trumpet sounding, the fire flaming, the earth quaking, and the hearts of the Israelites too for fear; but our Saviour (whose lips dropped as the honeycomb') begins with promises and blessings. So sweet and ravishing was the doctrine of this
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

An Analysis of Augustin's Writings against the Donatists.
The object of this chapter is to present a rudimentary outline and summary of all that Augustin penned or spoke against those traditional North African Christians whom he was pleased to regard as schismatics. It will be arranged, so far as may be, in chronological order, following the dates suggested by the Benedictine edition. The necessary brevity precludes anything but a very meagre treatment of so considerable a theme. The writer takes no responsibility for the ecclesiological tenets of the
St. Augustine—writings in connection with the donatist controversy.

The Completion of Our Saviour's Prophecies Confirmed Pagans in their Belief of the Gospel.
I. The completion of our Saviour's Prophecies confirmed Pagans in their belief of the gospel. II. Origen's observation on our Saviour's disciples being brought before kings and governors; III. On their being persecuted for their religion; IV. On their preaching the gospel to all nations. V. On the destruction of Jerusalem, and ruin of the Jewish oeconomy. VI. These arguments strengthened by what has happened since Origen's time. I. THE second of these extraordinary means, of great use to the learned
Joseph Addison—The Evidences of the Christian Religion, with Additional Discourses

I. (i) Against Eunomius. The work under this title comprises five books, the first three generally accepted as genuine, the last two sometimes regarded as doubtful. Gregory of Nazianzus, [303] Jerome, [304] and Theodoret [305] all testify to Basil's having written against Eunomius, but do not specify the number of books. Books IV. and V. are accepted by Bellarmine, Du Pin, Tillemont, and Ceillier, mainly on the authority of the edict of Justinian against the Three Chapters (Mansi ix., 552),
Basil—Basil: Letters and Select Works

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