Opening Questions and Prayer
When have you ignored a warning sign?
Whether it is health related, a traffic sign, or a warning flag at the beach, why do people ignore warning signs?
Pray that the Lord would guide you and open your eyes to the signs around you as you study the Bible.
Read Matthew 24:1-3
As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. 2 But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”
Why were the disciples so interested in the Temple buildings?
What did Jesus do to redirect their thoughts to what is important?
How did the disciples respond?
What are some things of the world that people get enamored with and distracted by?
What has been distracting you from the things of the Lord lately?
What is something you can do to redirect your attention onto the things of the Lord?
Read Matthew 24:4-8
4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
What does Jesus say will be indicators that He will return and the world is about to end?
How are some of those things happening today?
Why will there be warning signs that the end is about to happen?
Read Matthew 24:9-14
9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
How are some of these signs happening today?
Why will Jesus’ followers be hated?
What are some ways you can guard your heart and mind against the way the world is going?
Why will people’s love grow cold?
What are some ways you find yourself becoming indifferent to sin around you?
What is one thing you can do this week to not be deceived by false prophets and teaching, but continue to preach the Good News?
Read Matthew 24:15-22
15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.
Why does Matthew make a point to tell the reader to pay attention?
How could followers of Jesus gloss over or miss completely these warning signs about the end times?
Why will followers of Jesus need to get away and escape?
How should you be preparing for that event?
Read Matthew 24:23-31
23 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 25 See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.
26 “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! 27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. 28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.
29 “Immediately after the anguish of those days,
the sun will be darkened,
the moon will give no light,
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
How does Jesus say people will be deceived during the end times?
Why is it important to know these things?
What are some ways you or someone you know got deceived by false teaching?
How did it get corrected?
What can you do this week to know God’s Word better so you aren’t led astray?
Read Matthew 24:32-35
32 “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
What does this parable mean?
How does the world around us point to the end times?
What is significant about Jesus’ words never disappearing?
What else in our life will never disappear?
How can we make sure we are following the Truth of Jesus instead of what the world says we should follow?
Read Luke 21:29-36
29 Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. 30 When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. 31 In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. 32 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”
What is similar about Luke’s account of Jesus’ speech on the end times?
What is different?
What are some things Jesus warns the disciples about?
What are some ways your heart can become dull?
How can you keep alert at all times?
What will you do differently in your life if you live like we are in the end times?
Who needs to hear the Good News of Jesus before He returns?
How can you tell them this week about it?
Luke 21:31 In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Closing thoughts and prayer
Often we don’t like to think about the end times. Sure, we know it’s important, but often people treat it like it is far away. Jesus said the time was near. There should be a sense of urgency in our life to make sure everyone we are around knows the Good News of Jesus Christ. However, we often become dulled to the world around us and get caught up in sin or our own worries. Let us live each day remembering that the King is coming!
Today pray what the scripture says we should be praying for in these matters: Matthew 24:20 & Luke 21:36.
End your time praying for someone who needs to hear the Good News of Jesus.