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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bible Study - verse by verse # 68

Matthew 24:13 Jesus predicted that His followers would be severely persecuted by those who hated what He stood for. In the midst of terrible persecutions, however, they could have hope, knowing that salvation was theirs. Times of trial serve to sift true Christians from false or fair-weather Christians. When you are pressured to give up and turn your back on Christ, don't do it. Remember the benefits of standing firm, and continue to live for Christ.

Matthew 24:14 Jesus said that before He returns, the gospel of the kingdom (the message of salvation) would be preached throughout the world. This was the disciples' mission - an it is ours today. Jesus talked about the end times and final judgment to show His followers the urgency of spreading the good news of salvation to everyone.

Matthew 24:15, 16 What was the "abomination of desolation" mentioned by both Daniel and Jesus? Rather than one specific object, event or person, it could be seen as any deliberate attempt to mock and deny the reality of God's presence. Daniel's prediction came true in 168 B C when Antichus Epiphances sacrificed a pig to Zeus on the sacred temple altar (Dan. 9:27; 11:30, 31). Jesus' words were remembered in AD 70 when Titus placed an idol on the site of the burned temple after destroying Jerusalem. In the end times the antichrist will set up an image of himself and order everyone to worship it (2 Thess. 2:4; Revelation 13:14, 15). These are all "abominations" that mock God.

Matthew 24:21, 22 Jesus, talking about the end times, telescoped near future and far future events, as did the Old Testament prophets. Many of these persecutions have already occurred; more are yet to come. But God is in control of even the length of persecutions. He will not forget His people. This is all we need to know about the future to motivate us to live rightly now.

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