In the Olivet discourse Jesus has warned His disciples that they would experience tribulation for not warring after the world along with the false Christs who would arise promising the sort of worldly salvation that caused the Jews to reject Him (Mat 24:4-10). He has also warned of a great tribulation that would sweep away the dead corpse of false and harlot religion which like a catalyst allows lawlessness to increase exponentially by calling evil good and good evil and putting forth darkness as light and light for darkness so that the love of most grows cold (Mat 24:11-22). After repeating His warning against being misled by false Christs and false prophets in regard to the nature of His coming (Mat 24:23-28), what does Jesus say in Mat 24:29 would happen immediately after the tribulation of those days? What one word summarizes the three events pictured in Mat 24:29? In what way is darkness, and especially the darkness of judgment, the immediate and natural consequence of men seeking to extinguish the Lord’s light that gives life to man and that is manifested in the tribulation and distress Jesus has just described? Cf. Isa 13:9-11, Joel 2:9-11, and Amos 8:9 in the context of the rest of Amos 8. What does this also remind us about how the Lord will give men over to the darkness they desire if they continue to resist His light? Cf. Joh 3:19, Rom 1:24,26,28, 2Th 2:11-12. In spite of the darkness that will overtake the enemies of the Lord and result in their destruction, why will that darkness not also overtake those who trust in God? See Joel 2:28-32, 3:13-16 and consider that in the very darkest of times those who cling to the Lord have Him as their light; see Psa 27:1, and cf. Exo 10:21-23, Act 27:20-25, 2Co 1:8-10.
Considering that Peter speaks of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy in Acts 2:15-21 and there are historical accounts that there were signs in the sun, moon and stars prior to the destruction of the Jewish nation in 70 A.D. (cf. the parallel account to Mat 24:29 in Luk 21:25), should we necessarily assume that the events Jesus describes in Matthew 24:29 must refer only to the very end of time?
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- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?