What Did Jesus Know?
(Addressing false hopes and claims)
Week 4: Matthew 24:23-28 ~ 6/21/2020
Dr. Scott T. Arnold ~ First Baptist Church of Los Angeles, CA
~ Happy Father’s Day ~
Proverbs for discernment from fathers: Proverbs 1: 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. “Know a man’s motive and you’ll know their heart” “A fool and his money are soon parted”. … 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
I. Jesus knew that Fakes would come to deceive (v.23)
- In the time of Jerusalem’s fall there were false Messiahs (23a) 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’
- Do not believe those who deceive with false hope (23b) or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
II. The deceptions of false messiahs and false prophets (v.24-25)
- Appearances can be deceiving (24a) 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear
- The signs can mislead you (24b) and perform great signs
- Wonders are not always wonderful (24c) and wonders to deceive
- The “Elect” can be deceived (belief misplaced) (24d) if possible, even the elect.
- Jesus calls for discernment (be skeptical) (25) 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
III. Jesus warns believers that they can be misdirected (26)
- Escapism as a cult of deception (26a) 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out;
- Teaching and meditation as a cult of deception (26b) or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
IV. Jesus explains that His Second Coming will be distinctive (27-28)
- Example of lightning (Power and Visibility) (27). 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
- Example of gathering vultures (28) 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
V. Thoughts – Why was it important that Jesus warned people? – Wisdom and discernment, awareness, and preparation.
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. – Matthew 24:23-28
Questions for Discussion:
- What are some examples of modern-day “false messiahs” or “false teachers”? What is it that they are telling people to believe or trust in?
- What are some specific warning signs, or examples of deception, that Jesus teaches His disciples? Are these signs relevant for people today? In what ways?
- How are you discovering the peace of God and the presence of Jesus to help you “stand” and be a faithful, loving and truthful witness and servant of the Gospel?
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