Matthew 24:15-22 ESV
“So, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
What is this “holy place”? It is not in physical Jerusalem, which is of Hagar, the slave woman (see Gal. 4). It is the bride of Christ, his followers, his body, the temple of God, the Holy City, the Jerusalem from above, not of this earth. We need to understand that to interpret this correctly.
And, what is an abomination? It is a disgrace, outrage, atrocity, and/or revulsion. And, what disgrace, atrocity and/or revulsion now exists within the church? For one, it is that the church unequally yoked together with the ungodly in an unholy union, at least here in America, to market the church to the world just like any other worldly business.
Secondly, it is that the church – the holy place – altered and distorted the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more palatable to the world and to the flesh of humans. Thus, they removed the offense of the cross to not offend the flesh of man. That is an abomination to the Lord!
And, why is the abomination of desolation? Because God must judge his adulterous, idolatrous, and wicked church to bring her to revival and back into a faithful and holy union with him as her only God (Rev 2-3). And, with that judgment will come desolation (misery, isolation, & destruction). Sounds like what is happening today, doesn’t it?
And, what does it mean to flee this abomination? I believe it means for us, the bride of Christ, to have no part in this abomination, to not partner with it, which is to not partner with the institutional church which is in this unholy union with the world, and which is marketing the church and the gospel to the flesh of man (2 Co. 6:14-18; Rom. 12:1-2; Jn. 15:19; Rev. 18:1-5).
For the Elect
And, notice with me next what is stated about this time of tribulation to come upon the earth. It is for the sake of the elect that the days will be cut short. And, who are the elect? They are those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, who have died and are dying with him daily to sin and to self, and who are living to him and to his righteousness in the power of God.
The Scriptures give every indication that the saints of God, who are Jesus followers, will still be here during the time of tribulation on this earth. For, if you read the Scriptures regarding the last days in context of the Messianic age, then you must realize that only those who believe in Jesus Christ are Israel. So, we are Israel in these last days, not unbelieving Jews who are antichrist and who don’t believe in the God of their ancestors.
(Rom. 9:6-8; Gal. 3:10, 16, 26-29; Gal. 4:22-31; Eph. 2:14-18; 1 Jn. 2:22)
And, during this time of tribulation, which is near us, I believe, we are going to be persecuted severely for our walks of faith with Jesus Christ and for our testimonies for him and for his gospel.
And, I believe this persecution of Christians is close to happening here in America. All the signs are there that all this stuff that is going on now is headed toward the persecution of Jesus’ followers – his witnesses, servants and messengers who are sharing the true gospel of our salvation.
For, they are trying to prove that our nation is broken, that our government is broken, and that our nation is full of hate, anarchy, rebellion, and division, and that we need help. And, so, they will have a “savior” planned for us who will bring us a message of peace and solidarity, which will mean compromise of our faith to be one with the world.
But we must see this for what it is, and we must flee from it, and not be taken captive by it. But we must stand strong on the truth of God’s word, and keep sharing the gospel of our salvation, no matter what persecution comes at us. And, we must never compromise with the world to bring a false peace to the world, which is really no peace at all but tyranny and oppression and forced unity, and compromise, and rejection of truth.
Matthew 24:29-31 ESV
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
And, we must hold fast to our hope in Jesus Christ, in his salvation, in his gospel of deliverance from slavery to sin, and in his promise that what awaits us will be worth it all. For, one glorious day our Lord Jesus is going to return for us, and he is going to take us home to be with him forever. And evil, pain, sorrow and crying will be no more, but only rejoicing!
Join in Exultation
Lyrics by: James Rowe (1914),
Music by: Samuel W. Beazley (1914)
People join in exultation, voices raise;
Let ev’ry people, tribe, and nation sing God’s praise.
Make all the hills and vales today with music ring;
Let voices soar with joy, more and more, extol the eternal King
He has brought us full salvation, sing, friends, sing;
Fill earth and sky with jubilation, praise the King.
Oh, worthy of our praise is he forevermore;
His love proclaim, give praise to his name, ‘till all shall our God adore.
We shall reach the home supernal by his grace,
And, gathered round the throne eternal, see his face;
Then let us give our hearts’ best praise— adoring, sing;
With heart and voice proclaim him our choice, our great and eternal King.
Sing, tribes and nations, wake the vales and the hills with song:
Extol the Saviour, unto whom praises glad belong,
‘Till earth and heaven shall with glad hallelujahs ring;
Let voices soar with joy, more and more, extol our eternal King.
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