What on Earth have we done with the Teachings of Jesus?
Now onto section 5 of our review into the Matthew Henry commentary regarding Matthew 24. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
Henry says – We have here the practical application of the forthcoming prediction. In general, we must expect and prepare for the events here foretold. “Now learn a parable of the fig-tree”, Matt 24:32-33. Observe and understand the signs of the times, and compare them with the predictions in the Word, to foresee what is at the door, that you may provide accordingly.” The parable of the fig-tree is no more than this, that its budding and blossoming are a warning of summer, it knows its appointed time. Thus when God begins to fulfil prophecies, He will make an end.
They long for the Kingdom
The things revealed must shortly come to pass [Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place]. They will come in their own order, in the order appointed for them. Know that it is near. He does not here say what, but it is that which is in the hearts of His disciples. They long for the kingdom of God, so it is expressed in the parallel place, [Luke 21:31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near].
When God’s people promise to Him faithfulness, it is in them that God begins His work. He first prepares their heart, and then He will go on with it. As for God, His work is perfect and He will revive it in the midst of their years.
Christ assures us of the certainty of the events here foretold [Matt 24:35]. Heaven and earth shall pass away. They continue this day indeed, but they shall not continue for ever [Ps 102:25-26, 2 Pet 3:10]. But His Words shall not pass away. The Word of Christ is more sure and lasting than heaven and earth. Has He spoken? And shall He not do it? We may build with more assurance upon the Word of Christ than we can upon the strong foundations of the earth. When they shall be made to tremble and totter, and shall be no more, the Word of Christ shall remain, and be in full force, power, and virtue. [1 Pet 1:24-25 All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the Word of the Lord endures forever].
My kindness will not pass from you
It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than the Word of Christ; so it is expressed, [Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail]. Compare [Isa. 54:10 For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the Lord, who has mercy on you].
These prophecies might seem to be delayed, and intervening events might seem to disagree with them. But the Word of Christ has not fallen to the ground, for that shall never pass away. It may not be fulfilled in the time or in the way that we have prescribed; yet, in God’s time, which is the best time, and in God’s way, which is the best way, it shall certainly be fulfilled. Every Word of Christ is very pure, and therefore very sure.
The wars, seductions, and persecutions, here foretold, and especially the ruin of the Jewish nation. “This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled, Matt. 24:34. There were those then alive, that shall see Jerusalem destroyed, and the Jewish church brought to an end. Because it might seem strange, He backs it with a solemn assertion; “Verily, I say unto you. You may take my word for it, these things are at the door.” Christ often speaks of the nearness of that desolation to quicken them to prepare for it. There may be greater trials and troubles yet before us, in our own day, than we are aware of. They that are old, know not what sons of Anak (serpent seedline) may be reserved for their last encounters.
None knows but My Father alone
But as to that day and hour knoweth no man, Matt. 24:36. Therefore take heed of confusing these two, as they did. Letters inferred that the day of Christ was at hand, 2 Thess. 2:2. No, it was not. This generation, and many another, shall pass, before that day and hour come. The judgment to come has a certain day and hour fixed for the judgment to come. It is called the Day of the Lord which is so unalterably fixed. None of God’s judgments are adjourned—without the appointment of a certain day. That day and hour are a great secret. Heaven has wisely hid from human sight.
No man knows it. Not the wisest by their wisdom, not the best by any divine discovery. We all know that there shall be such a day. But none knows when it shall be. Not the angels though their capacities for knowledge are great. So too their opportunities of knowing this advantageous (they dwell at the fountain-head of light). They are not told when it shall be even though they are employed in the solemnity of that day. None knows but my Father only. This is one of those secret things which belong to the Lord our God.
To this end we must expect these events, that we may prepare for them. Here we have a caution against security and sensuality, which will make it a dismal day indeed to us, Matt. 24:37-41. In these verses we have such an idea given us of the judgment day, as may serve to startle and awaken us, that we may not sleep as others do.
It will be a separating day
It will be a surprising day, and a separating day. A surprising day, as the deluge was to the old world, Matt. 24:37-39. He saith [John 9:39], For judgment I am come; and for judgment He will come; for all judgment is committed to Him, both that of the Word, and that of the sword.
This here is applicable to the judgments which were coming upon the nation. Though they had fair warning given them, yet it found them secure, crying, Peace and safety, [1 Thess. 5:3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape]. In the middle of their merriment at Passover, the siege was laid to Jerusalem by Titus Vespasian. Therefore the plagues come in a moment, in one day. Men’s unbelief do not make God’s threatenings of no effect.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
- 1. We must expect and prepare for the events here foretold.
- 2. know that when we promise faithfulness to God. It is God, by His Spirit, who begins the work first in our hearts and onto completion. His work is perfect.
- 3. Know that Christ’s Words will not pass away. They are more sure and lasting than heaven and earth.
- 4. Know that His kindness shall not depart from us nor His covenant peace be removed.
- 5. We are cautioned against false security and sensuality which will make these future trials far more dismal for us.
- 6. Beware when people are saying ‘now is a time of peace and safety’ for then sudden destruction will come.
The Words of Eternal Life John 6:60-71 Jesus knew from the very beginning Those who would not believe. He knew who was to betray Him That he would practice to deceive. Unless the Father makes it possible No one can come to Me. There are those who claim to be My followers But are blind, unable to see. The words of truth rang out Many it was who chose to ignore. They found they were unable To go with Him anymore. Jesus turned to the disciples The ones He loved so. “Would you also like to leave? You are free to go”. Simon Peter answering Him said Lord to whom would we go. You have the words of eternal life This we believe and know. By the late Andrew Feakin [passed away 16th March 2019]
Prayer: Father we thank You that You who began a good work in us will complete it. Thank You that the Words of Christ are eternal. Help us steer clear of all false security and all sensuality that we be ready for all that may come and set apart for You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
One will be taken the other left!
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