Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
We must keep in mind that in the verses we have today, Jesus has not moved to a new place, nor has He changed the subject of what He is talking about. He is still giving answer to the disciples’ question earlier in this chapter. He is answering the third question of the disciples now. That question dealt with the sign of His coming.
Jesus did not want them to be confused. They were going to be establishing churches after Jesus Christ ascended back to heaven. Some of them would also be chosen to write the final books of the Bible. They needed to know the truth. They needed to have confidence in God. The Jews beyond the disciples’ time would also need to know the truth. Gentiles would also need to know the truth.
We know that people were confused at the time of WWII. People assumed that Hitler might be the antichrist and that the end of the world was at hand. Hitler was an antichrist for sure, but he was not the antichrist. The world did not come to the end at that time, nor was the world in the time of the Tribulation at that time. We are certainly not living in the Millennium now.
Today, there are those who are warning of WWIII. There are many religious people who have taught and believe things that are not Biblically correct. Many “Bible Scholars” do not pay attention to “context” and many others are not taught nor believe the importance of context. Many people use the Bible as a tool for proof-texting what they want to believe. The Bible has been manipulated for centuries.
In the Old Testament there were false prophets who had the ear of the kings. They liked what the false prophets said and they hated the true prophets. Micaiah was hated by king Ahab. Jeremiah was hated by the false prophets of his time and because of Zedekiah’s unbelief, he did not know who he should believe. Daniel was hated by the Babylonian governors and the other counsellors to the king. Those who truly know the Lord and who seek to honour Him in their lives are often despised by those who hate the Lord. False teachers hate God and they love to take parts of the Bible to support their lies and gullible people love to follow them because they tell them what they want to hear.
As we mentioned before, Jesus was answering the question of what signs would indicate His coming. There are no signs regarding the first part of Jesus’ second coming. There are no signs to warn of the Rapture. That is an imminent event that will catch many people by surprise. Those that are saved are commanded to be watching. We need to be busy serving the Lord and looking for that blessed hope.
The events Jesus is speaking of here refer to the second part of His second coming. There will be signs prior to that time. Those who will be saved during that time will be able to identify the signs. In the verses in our text, Jesus gave a further sign that they would recognize.
The parable that Jesus used here was in reference to the nation of Israel. We know that because Jesus has already used the fig tree before. The fig tree was a picture of the nation of Israel. They were not productive for God even though He did so much for them. They were judged of Jesus Christ in Matthew 21. Now Jesus used that same tree to talk about future events.
Again, the context is within the time of the Tribulation time. Israel will enter that time hardened against God and accepting of the antichrist. By the end of the Tribulation, Israel will be in a state of repentance and will trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Those who are alive at that time will be able to see how God works in the heart of that nation to bring them to see their need to turn to Him and be saved.
In verse 33, Jesus related this to the time of the end of the Tribulation. The changes will be real and they will be identifiable. Within that context, verse 34 tells us that the generation that is alive at that time will see those things come to pass. They will witness the transformation of a nation.
In verse 35 Jesus reminded the disciples and all who read this passage, that His Word is trustworthy. This world is not forever. This earth is going to be destroyed one day. Heaven, the firmament above us, will also be destroyed. The place of God’s throne will never be destroyed. There is no sin there. There is no corruption there. Those things that have been corrupted by sin will be purged with fire and will be cleansed.
Jesus’ Words are always true. All of God’s Word is true. Some people look to the red letters used in some New Testaments to identify the actual words of Jesus and they assume that those words are more important than the rest of Scripture. The phrase “Thus saith the LORD is found 415 times in the Bible. There are other phrases used as well to remind us that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. God directed all 40 writers to write exactly what He wanted to be written. We can have confidence in all of the Bible. Those who reject the fact of divine preservation of the Scriptures will have a problem. The perversions cannot be trusted. They are the tool of the devil. People can pick which perversion they like better. Fallible man is not capable of using his own mind to determine truth. We need God to direct us into the truth. He does not do that on the basis of what we like. He does that on the basis of His truth through the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a true believer.
When we humbly accept God’s Word as truth, we do not need a pry bar to make the Bible fit together. We do not need any white-out to remove passages we do not like or that do not fit with our chosen view. When we take God at His Word, it all fits together. We may not like certain parts. We may not agree with certain parts. Our duty is to humble ourselves and let God be God. We have noted before:
Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Those who are truly saved will accept God’s Word and will submit to It and will be blessed in following what God says.
Job 38:36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
Psalm 32:9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
These are just a few verses that deal with the importance of understanding. God gives understanding to those who humble themselves before Him. Others will look at the same verses, but will not understand. We need to know the Lord and let Him be exalted in our lives and He will give us understanding. He wants us to walk with confidence and be blessed of Him and also be a blessing to others.
Today is another opportunity to go to a true, local, Bible-believing church to learn of the true God through His Word. We trust you will be in one today.