24:4-35, as we stated in our previous post, is primarily, not exclusively, about the destruction of Jerusalem. 24:14-35 gives us, and specifically the apostles, specific signs to know when the event is not just on the horizon but right at their front door.
(1) 24:14—Jesus said there would be Worldwide Gospel Proclamation. Now some take this to mean that the whole earth will hear the Gospel but that is mistaken. The NT writers used the words “world” and “earth” to refer to the civilized world of the Roman empire as opposed to the lands of the barbarians. Notice in Colossians 1:6, speaking of the Gospel, Paul says, “which has come to you, just as in all the world.” Later in Col 1:23 he states, “ if indeed you continue in [a]the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven.” Note that Colossians was written around 62 A.D. and the destruction of Jerusalem was in 70 A.D. Therefore, if we read the book of Acts, we can see that this was fulfilled in the days of the Apostles.
(2) 24:15—Next Jesus predicted that Jerusalem would be besieged. He quotes Daniel 11:31 which is in reference to Antiochus Ephiphanes. This was a man who desecrated the temple during the Maccabean period (164 B.C.). Thus Jesus is saying, “Do you remember what happened to Jerusalem when Antiochus surrounded it, came into the city, and sacrificed a pig on the altar? Well a very similar thing is going to happen in your day.” If you read 24:16-22 it makes no sense if Jesus were speaking of his 2nd Coming. Why would we want to flee? If it is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem then it makes perfect sense. In fact the Jewish Christians took this to heart and when Vespasian was beginning to surround the city they all fled. But the Jews who weren’t Christians stayed thinking they could fight off the Romans.
(3) 24:23-28—False Christs will appear. This is probably different than the ones he spoke of in 24:4-5. These false messiahs are probably Jews who are claiming God is leading them to fight off the Romans. Jesus is telling his apostles not to listen to these misguided fools. God is not going to save Jerusalem and it will be destroyed so get out of town.
In 24:27 Jesus contrasts his 2nd Coming with what he has just told them. He gave them general signs of the times and then specific signs of when Jerusalem’s destruction is imminent. Then he says that His coming will be like lightning. You can’t predict it. This is exactly what he says in 24:36, that nobody knows the day nor hour. Therefore, we can say, Don’t Look For Signs. All these wanna-be Nostradamus types who are running around today screaming about blood moons, bombings in the middle east (like that hasn’t been happening for centuries), and marks of the beast have just missed plain and simple bible teaching. We interpret the difficult passages through the simple. And it takes professional help to miss 24:27, 36. You can’t predict it so please stop trying and making Christianity look like a foolish thing.
Do you remember Harold Camping? How did people around you react when his prediction failed?