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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameorn, J.D.

LESSON 11 - SIGNS OF THE COMING KINGDOM (MATTHEW 24 & 25)

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK WE STUDY MATT. 24&25.  THE PREDOMINANT THEME
OF THESE TWO CHAPTERS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE: SPECIFICALLY
THE FALL OF JERUSALEM AND THE END OF THE WORLD.  LETS GET INTO IT

I. THE WARNING
      A. WANT YOU TO IMAGINE. IMAGINE THAT I TOLD YOU THAT NOT ONE BRICK
OF THE CAPITOL WOULD BE LEFT ON ANOTHER. WHAT WOULD THAT MEAN TO
YOU? WHAT IS THE IMPLICATION OF THAT FOR YOUR LIFE AS YOU KNOW IT NOW?
      B. WHAT IF I ADD, THAT THE GENERAL CONFERENCE BUILDING WILL BE
COMPLETELY DESTROYED?  WHAT IS THE IMPLICATION OF THAT?
      C. READ MATT. 24:1-2.
      D. BY PUTTING THOSE TWO THOUGHTS TOGETHER, YOU BEGIN TO HAVE A
PICTURE OF WHAT THE DISCIPLES WERE THINKING WHEN THEY HEARD THE TEXT
I JUST READ.  THE TEMPLE WAS BOTH THE POLITICAL AND SPIRITUAL CENTER OF
THEIR LIFE.
      E. WHY DID JESUS TELL THEM THIS? (IT WOULD BE A DEVASTATING BLOW
OTHERWISE)
      F. IN CHPT 24 JESUS NOT ONLY TELLS OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM,
HE TALKS ABOUT HIS SECOND COMING. 
            1. DO YOU SEE THE TIME OF THE SECOND COMING TO BE ONE OF JOY,
OR A TIME OF FACING DIFFICULTIES THAT ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE FACED BY THE
JEWS? (YES. THAT IS WHY TOLD ABOUT THE SECOND COMING TOO. BARCLAY SAYS
THAT DURING THE ROMAN SEIGE OF JERUSALM IN AD 70, THAT THE JEWS WERE
REDUCED TO CANNABALISM. THAT THE CITY HAD TO BE LITERALLY TAKEN STONE
BY STONE. THAT OVER ONE MILLION PERISHED IN THE SEIGE AND THAT 97,000
WERE CARRIED AWAY INTO CAPTIVITY.  A FEARFUL TIME.)

      G. THE DISCIPLES HAVE A QUESTION: V.3(b). (WHEN?)
      H. DOES JESUS TELL THEM WHEN? (SORT OF. WHAT HE GIVES THEM ARE
SIGNS, NOT DATES. CHPT. 24 IS FILLED WITH SIGNS)
      I. WHY DIDN'T JESUS GIVE THEM (AND US) EXACT DATES? WHY JUST SIGNS? 
WOULDN'T IT MAKE IT A LOT EASIER? (ONE REASON IS THAT JESUS SAYS HE
DOESN'T KNOW. 24:36. I THINK THAT THE REAL REASON HAS TO DO WITH THE
STORIES THAT HE TELLS:

II. HOUSEHOLDER
      A. READ 24:48-50. WHAT PROBLEM WITH STATING A SPECIFIC TIME DOES THIS
STORY REVEAL?
      B. I DON'T THINK BEATING OUR FELLOW CHRUCH MEMBERS IS REALLY A
PROBLEM TODAY. HOW WOULD YOU PUT THIS STORY IN TODAY'S TERMS? (THE
FELLOW LORDS IT OVER THE OTHERS BECAUSE THE LORD IS NOT COMING, HE
CONFUSES WHO IS REALLY IN CHARGE AND THINKS THAT HE IS. OTHERWISE HE
WOULD THINK EVERYDAY THE REAL BOSS WOULD SHOW UP, AND HE WOULD NOT
DO UNJUST THINGS.) 
      C. IS THIS PRIMARILY DIRECTED TO CHURCH LEADERS? (I THINK SO)

III. THE 10 VIRGINS.
      A. MATT. 25:1-13 HAS A WELL KNOWN PARABLE.  ANYONE WANT TO HIT THE
HIGHLIGHTS?
      B. DID THE VIRGINS THINK THAT THE LORD WAS COMING SOONER THAN HE
DID OR LATER THAN HE DID?
            1.NOTE THE CONTRAST WITH THE HOUSEHOLDER. BOTH ERRED IN THE
TIME. SOONER/LATER.
      C. WERE THESE LEADERS, OR JUST PART OF THE CROWD? (SOME DEBATE ON
THIS, BUT CHOOSE CROWD BECAUSE IF OFFICIAL BRIDESMAIDS THEN THE BRIDES
FAMILY WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING SURE THAT THEY HAD ALL THEY
NEEDED, AND THEY WOULD HAVE HAD AN OFFICIAL INVITE.)
      D. IF THE BRIDEGROOM HAD COME SOONER, WOULD THEY HAVE ALL MADE
IT? (YES)
            1.ISN'T THAT UNFAIR? THAT YOU ARE SAVED BASED ON TIMING?
      E. WHAT, IN TODAY'S TERMS IS THE PROBLEM? (YOU DON'T GET ANY CREDIT
FOR SAYING THAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. I DON'T EVEN
KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.) (THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE FIVE FOOLISH WERE NOT
SETTLED IN THE TRUTH FOR THE LONG HAUL. THEY WERE EXCITED ABOUT A
QUICK COMING, BUT WHEN HE DIDN'T COME AS EXPECTED, THEY WERE NOT
READY FOR THE DELAY. WHAT PREPARES US IS BIBLE STUDY, THE INFLUENCE OF
THE H.S.)

CONCLUSION ON TIME: IN 24:13 SAYS THAT THOSE WHO "STAND FIRM TO THE END
WILL BE SAVED." AND IN 24:44 HE SAYS THAT THE "SON OF MAN WILL COME AT AN
HOUR WHEN YOU DO NOT EXPECT HIM."
            1. SO JESUS TELLS US THAT WE HAVE TO BE A SPECIAL KIND OF
PEOPLE: WE MUST BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES AND EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. 
            2. THEN HE PROCEEDS TO TELL TWO STORIES THAT EXPLAIN THE
QUALITY OR THE NATURE OF THE PREPARATION.

IV. NATURE OF THE PREPARATION
      A. MATT. 25:14-30 CONTAINS THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS.  ANYONE WANT
TO GIVE ME THE HIGHLIGHTS?
      B. ALL THREE WERE GIVEN A DIFFERENT AMOUNT OF TALENTS.  DID THIS
MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE TO THE MASTER? (NO. IT SEEMS THAT WHAT WAS GIVEN
AT THE BEGINNING IS ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT.  SO IF THAT BOTHERS YOU NOW,
FORGET IT.)
      C. WHAT WAS RELEVANT? (THE ATTITUDE TOWARD THE MASTER.  NO
MATTER HOW LONG HE WAS GONE (V.19) THE FIRST TWO WANTED TO DO
SOMETHING FOR THE MASTER.)

V.SHEEP AND GOATS
      A. THE SHEEP AND GOATS ARE DIVIDED BY THE SHEPHERD. READ MATT.
25:34-40.
      B. WHAT IS THE WINNING ATTITUDE HERE?
      C. I FIND IT AMAZING THAT NEITHER THE LOST NOR THE SAVED WERE
FOCUSSING ON THE IMPORTANT THINGS. BUT WHAT SAVED THE SHEEP, WAS THE
ATTITUDE OF HELPING OTHERS.

VI. NEXT WEEK:MATT.26