The Abomination of Desolation
As you watch a movie you know that the end is coming as you see plots fall in place. As the disciples listened to Jesus tell them about the coming destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, they asked him, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answers their questions in what is known as the Olivet discourse in Matthews gospel. Please read Matthew 24:15-28 as he continues to answer the disciple’s questions by telling them to watch for the abomination of desolation that the prophet Daniel spoken of in his prophecy. Daniel wrote about this abomination of desolation taking place in Daniel 8:13,9:27,11:31 and 12:11. The word abomination means a detestable thing and desolation has the idea of devastation, destruction or depopulation. Think of something that is detestable that leads to total destruction or depopulation, almost like the black plague that swept across Europe. Jesus said that it would happen in Jerusalem. Matthew wrote his gospel in the early 50’s to early 60’s before Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome. Daniel’s prophecy about the abomination of desolation was thought to have been fulfilled when Antiochus Epiphanes IV erected a pagan altar over the altar where the burnt offering was offered to God and offered a pig on the altar as a burnt offering. This polluted God’s house. Jesus gives his disciples instructions to follow when they see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet. He instructs them to flee to the mountain, to pray, and not to believe everything they hear. Jesus instructs his disciples that there will not be enough time to get personal belongings, only enough time to flee to the mountains. He instructs us to pray specifically so that they can escape. God is in control of the length of the tribulation and that the tribulation will be cut short for the sake of the elect. Election is where God chose people from every nation before the foundation of the world to belong to him in Christ Jesus. God is the only one who knows who are the elect. He has also instructed every person to repent of their sins and call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. Here is a great mystery, all of the elect in Christ Jesus will be saved and whoever calls upon the Lord Jesus by believing in their heart and confessing with their mouth will also be saved. The Holy Spirit of God will seal all of those who are in Christ Jesus. The Counselor, the Spirit of Truth will instruct those who are in Christ Jesus and will keep them from being deceived. The end is coming, God’s wrath will be poured out during the great tribulation and it will only get worse until Christ Jesus returns. The question is this: Does the Holy Spirit bear witness that you’re in Christ?