Olivet Discourse – Matthew 24:13-14 – Hold Fast

Sunrise over the Mount of Olives

Matthew 24:13 (KJV) “But he who endures to the end shall be saved”

There is a subtle time-shift hidden right here in these ten words – a mystery.
Remember, Jesus is addressing His disciples, Jews.  They had just come for the Temple and are discussing Jewish things.  Christianity, as we would know it, is still somewhere off in their future. It will begin to bloom at Antioch (Acts 11:26).   The disciples are not Christians of the Church Age or the dispensation of Grace as we understand it today.  Had Israel accepted Jesus as the Christ, their long awaited Messiah and King, there would never have been the need for a “Church Age.”  Jesus still would have gone to the cross and pay the heavy cost for all our transgressions.  He would have been crucified, died, buried, and resurrected on the third day.  The “Kingdom Age” would have begun then and there…at His resurrection.  Instead of being the “Lamb of God” He would have returned as the “Lion of Judah” and taken His rightful seat on David’s throne—(not to worry. He will soon be coming to a neighborhood near you).  The “Church Age” is an anomaly caused by Israel’s infidelity and rejection of Christ.  Thankfully, our Amazing God will heal her as He promised from the very beginning (Leviticus – Deuteronomy).  Here, in this verse, Jesus encourages His followers to hold on, endure.

As an evangelical-dispensationalist (if you are not, you should be – contact me with your email address) – ask yourself, “Who will be the Christians living on earth at the end of this age?”  They will not be the raptured saints of the Church-Age, for it must end before the Tribulation of Daniel’s 70th week.  As always, CONTEXT is everything.

Saints of every age are to endure (holdfast) – either to the end of our lives, the rapture, or to the end of the age.  As the light of Christ (the Church) fades into the darkness of an evil world, and God’s restraining Spirit abates, the wickedness of man increasingly engulfs the whole earth.  Man’s love of self and cold heart toward others is birthing a time of increasing intolerance, ridicule, disapproval.  A time of trials and tribulations.  In such trying times, “hold fast” to your faith and “endure!”  Jesus affirms that His Saints shall be saved.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God Ephesians 2:8 (KJV).

“…[be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5-6 (KJV)

Without the influence of God’s Holy Spirit in the world…expressed through a Godfearing Church…the natural state of mankind abounds in wickedness.  Our strength is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We can take comfort in that we “are” sealed by the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13, and thus have become the “Temple of God,” 1 Corinthians 3:16.  Otherwise, we too would be swept away in this world’s debauchery.  For in the latter days, as in earlier times, men:

“Even as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God (will give) them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; [they are] gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them Romans 1:28-32 (NASB).

Paul warns, See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15-16 (KJV).

Israel is the Kingdom – the Kingdom Gospel is preached exclusively by Israel

Matthew 24:14 (KJV) “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

Verse 14 takes the “Giant Step” verse 13 hinted at.  A step across time, past the rapture of the Church into the “end of the age.”  This answers the question the disciples asked as they sat on the Mount looking at Jesus, “…and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

“this gospel of the kingdom,” is what the angel Gabriel…who stands in the presence of God…was referring to when he announced to Mary:

“…Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end Luke 1:30-33 (KJV).

Verse 14 emphasizes that the Gospel of the Kingdom* will be preached in all the world. 

*The preaching of the “Kingdom Gospel” and not the “Grace Gospel” is conformation that the Saints of the Church Age have departed in the rapture sometime before the commencement of this preaching. 

The “Kingdom Gospel” is simple:  

Christ is King.  He is coming to take the scepter and sit on David’s throne as the rightful ruler of the nation of Israel and the world.  From Jerusalem, He will rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27; 19:15).  This is the Gospel that will be preached after the “Age of Grace” has ended.  It is the same Gospel that was preached before the “Church Age” by John the Baptist:

 “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand Matthew 3:2 (KJV).

And the same Gospel Jesus preached:
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at handMatthew 4:17 (KJV).

 This is the Gospel preached when Jesus sent out the 12 in Matthew 10:7-8
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

It is also the Gospel Taught by Peter and the Apostles after the Crucifixion, Acts 2:22-30 (KJV).

 “…Therefore being a prophet (David),* and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne Acts 2:22-30 (KJV).

*The title of his “Psalms” in the Syriac version runs; the “Book of the Psalms of David, King and Prophet,” and in the Arabic version, “the First Book of the Psalms of David the Prophet, King of the Children of Israel.”

Matthew 24:14 continued, “shall be preached in all the world”

Finally, during this time of Judgment the eyes of the Jews will be opened, and they will recognize that Jesus is the Christ, their King and Messiah.  Zechariah gives an account of Israel’s repentance as this reality dawns on them: 

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” Zechariah 12:10 – 13:1 (KJV).

During this time of Judgments upon earth dwellers…the Great Tribulation…we infer from Scripture that the Kingdom Gospel will be taught by the 144,000 of Revelation chapters 7 and 14, and by the two witnesses of Revelation 11.  The fence-sitters of the Church Age who heard salvation preached and whose hearts did not turn to trust in Christ then, will be struck with the horrifying reality of being left behind.  This is the 70th week of Daniel 9 during which the Kingdom message and the righteousness of God are preached to all the world.

Matthew 24:14 continued, “as a witness to all the nations,”

The final warning of the world’s impending judgment, the very last call to repentance before the wrath to come from the Throne of God.

Matthew 24:14 continued, “and then the end will come.”

First the warning and then the purging of the world before the reign of Christ begins:
“In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.  9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” Zechariah 12:8-9 (KJV).

Then comes the Bowl Judgments culminating at Armageddon:
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.  17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.  18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great” Revelation 16:16-18 (KJV).

“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.  2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?” Isaiah 63:1-2 (KJV).

“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs” Revelation 14:19-20 (KJV).

 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” Jude 14-15 (KJV).

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness  and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God” Revelation 19:11-17 (KJV).

Exploring Scripture~because it matters-it really does!

END NOTE:
Those of the Church Age who missed the rapture have left themselves in a terrible situation.  If they do not turn to Christ, their eternal fate is sealed, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” Matthew 25:41 (KJV).  On the other hand, if they turn to Christ during the Tribulation they will be hunted down and slain, Rev6:9; 13:15 – but their end will be with Christ for eternity.  Isn’t it wiser to make a commitment to Christ now?


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