And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:5-36)
What we find here is what Christ was teaching the week before His death. The Lord gave an entire history of what would happen from his death til He comes again. He did not, however, make any mention of the churches. What we have is a history of Israel as a nation and the Jews as a people.
Matt. 24 and Mark 13 also give us an account of our Lord’s teaching on this subject, but unlike Luke they dealt more with the events leading up to the Second Coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom. Luke gives more details of events before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple at the hands of the Roman army under Titus in A.D. 70.
Herod had spent great sums of money trying to make the Temple as grand as Solomon’s Temple. So, as the disciples looked at it, they made mention of its beauty, which brought a statement from our Lord that utterly amazed them. He told them that it would be destroyed and they wanted to know when. It would appear that they may have asked this question twice, for verse 7 seems to be an immediate question, while in Matthew and Mark it seems to have been asked at a later time and in a different place. (Matt. 24:3; Mark 13:3-4) Since Luke was not an apostle, maybe the Lord gave a public account and later gave the apostles another account, in fact, it was given in answer to Peter, James, John and Andrew’s question. Perhaps they were hoping He would give them the exact time of these events.
I. EVENTS THAT HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED
- They were warned of being deceived. v. 8
- They were warned of war. vs. 9
- There has been war almost continually since the time of Christ.
- Verses ten and eleven seems to be talking about the Tribulation Period.
- They were warned of persecution. vs. 12-17
- They were warned of the destruction of Jerusalem. vs. 20-24
- Notice the difference in verse 20 to Matt. 24:15.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:15)
- Also there is no mention of the times of the Gentiles in Matthew or Mark.
- Matt. 24:21-22 not given in Luke.
II. EVENTS THAT WILL HAPPEN DURING THE TRIBULATION. vs. 25-27
- Signs in the heavens. v. 25;
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. (Isaiah 13:10)
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (Revelation 6:12-13)
- Signs in the earth. vs. 25-26
- The sign of the Son of Man. v. 27;
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
III. EVENTS ANNOUNCING HIS COMING FOR THE SAINTS. vs. 28-31
- The sign of the fig tree.
- The fig tree is a symbol of the nation of Israel.
- Israel has become a nation.
IV. A WARNING TO BE READY. vs. 34-36
- Watch with anticipation and readiness.
- That we be worthy to escape the tribulation.
- And to stand before Christ.
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.