Matthew 24 addresses the Second Coming of Jesus. It contains much of the same information we studied from other writers. Matthew focuses a lot on the deceivers. “Many will come in my name saying ‘I am the Christ’ and they will lead many astray”. We are entering a time of deception and false teaching along God’s timeline toward eternity. Deceivers are not blatantly wrong in what they say. They mix a part of truth with their deception. There are enough things we know to be so, that it becomes difficult to know what they are teaching that is a lie. It has been happening since the beginning of time as Satan is the great deceiver. But more and more we will see it in our patch – in churches and other places we trust – and we have to know how to identify it. People who are experts in counterfeit detection learn that skill one way – by studying the original and true things before they begin to try and identify those that are knockoffs or human attempts to recreate it. The only way we will ever know when deception comes our way is to know God’s truth so we can compare the things that are said with that. We have to know the Bible and what God has told us. That is the only way to know when deceivers are at work. Does it matter – or can we just go along with the crowd and take in all that deception without any impact. Jesus says it this way: “many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another… many false prophets will arise and lead many astray….love of many will grow cold”. Identifying deception will be key to our ability to stay connected with God and not miss eternity with Him.
As Jesus continues He tells us that “the one who endures to the end will be saved”. It comes down to our knowing Jesus and staying true to Him and our faith in His blood shed on the Cross. We are taking the coming of our Lord pretty much in stride. We live our lives like tomorrow will come and be just like today. It won’t be that way when the appointed day comes. We will “see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. He is coming again. And here is the reality of how we live, just as scripture tells us: “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man”. We are just going on with our lives like nothing will change or happen. It is all about us. We need to heed Jesus advice to “stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming”. All we know for sure is that He is coming back. He will come and bring His followers to eternal life in heaven. Jesus is the real deal and will come to claim those that are His. We stay awake by spending some of our 168 hours in prayer and God’s Word and fellowship with others. We are enduring when we walk in obedience to His direction for our lives every moment of every day. We will be sorely disappointed if we think we can just wait until the last minute and get everything in order. We need to get ready and stay on task and stay awake and endure. Jesus is coming again. Are you ready?