The Sign of His Appearing and the End of the Age

Matt 24:3-14

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying,"Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. NKJV

The disciples were like many of us. They wanted to know. And they wanted to know the things that no one else knew. They wanted to know when Jesus would return. what shall be the sign of thy coming? (Gr. parousia, technical term for the coming of the King); (1)

Jesus had just told them that the great temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. They are amazed and want to know more. When will that happen? When you set up your kingdom? When will the age end?

Remember that the disciples had not yet realized that Jesus was not going to set up His kingdom during their life times. They were convinced that He was the Messiah and that He would soon do some great miracle and establish His kingdom.

Jesus had other plans. He knew that it would be a long time before he returned and that there would be generations come and go before He came as King in power. So He wanted the disciples to know that they needed be consumed by the thought of His return but to faithful to their calling.

  1. What do they ask?
    1. When shall these things be?
      1. In verse 2 Jesus had told them that not one stone of the temple would be left upon another.
      2. Luke answers this question.
      3. Luke 21:20-24 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. NKJV
    2. What will be the sign of your coming, (as king)?
      1. This question is partially answered in all three synoptic gospels.
    3. What will be the signs of the end of the age?
      1. This question is also answered but before the second question.
  2. Jesus did not want them to be deceived.
    1. He tells them it is not their concern to know the answers to those questions.
      1. Acts 1:6-8 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." NKJV
    2. He told them to not be overly concerned with the impostors who will come in Jesus name.
    3. He told them to not be overly concerned with the wars & rumor os wars.
      1. Luke 21:9 do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately." NKJV
    4. He told them to not to think that famines, pestilences, earthquakes were a sign of His soon return.
      1. For these are only the beginning of sorrows.
      2. The AMP version says these are the early pains of the birth bangs.
      3. 1918 March-Nov., nationwide: outbreak of Spanish influenza killed over 500,000 people in the worst single U.S. epidemic
      4. 1556 Jan. 23, Shaanxi (Shensi) province, China: most deadly earthquake in history; 830,000 killed.
      5. 1931 July-Aug., China: flood along Yangtze River left 3.7 million people dead from disease, starvation, or drowning.
      6. 1981-Dec. 2002: total estimated U.S. AIDS cases: 886,575; total estimated AIDS deaths: 501,669 (Centers for Disease Control); 2003 total world AIDS cases: 38 million; total world AIDS deaths: 20 million
  3. He also told them that there were a number of other things that would happen.
    1. Persecutions of the Christians will come because the world hates them because of their attachment with Jesus.
    2. False prophets will arise and deceive many. V-11
    3. Lawlessness will abound.
    4. The love of many will grow gold.
  4. But then He moves to the end.
    1. This gospel will preached in all the world as a witness and then the end will come.
    2. The abomination that makes desolate.
      1. Spoken of by Daniel the prophet
      2. Partially fulfilled in Antiochus in 168 b.c.
      3. Almost fullfilled by Cladius
      4. Partially fulfilled in Titus 70 A.D.
      5. Will be finally fulfilled by antichrist
        1. 2 Thess 2:2-4 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. NKJV
    3. Then will be great tribulation such as never has been or will be again.
      1. So terrible will be this time that unless God interviened there would no one be saved alive.
      2. False Christs and false prophets will come during this time.
        1. They will perform great wonders to deceive the many people on the earth.
        2. John, in Revelation speaks of the final false christ, the antichrist and the final false prophet.
  5. The nature of Jesus' appearing.
    1. It will be immediate like lightning.
    2. It will be evident and undeniable like the vultures gathering above a carcass.
    3. It will be proceeded by three great signs after the great tribulation..
      1. The sun will be darkened
      2. The moon will not give its light
      3. The stars of the heaven will disappear
      4. The powers of the heavens will be shaken.
    4. Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man.
      1. A Trumpet will sound
      2. The elect will be gathered together.
  6. What should we be doing?
    1. Matt 24:45-51
      1. "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. NKJV

        This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at  


1. King James Version Study Bible