Jesus, when telling us about the things that would come before the end, answered a question by the disciples. — “Tell us … what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matt 24:3)
There are those who tell us that what Jesus says in the remainder of His answer has no bearing on those who believe in and follow Jesus. Yet it was His disciples who asked and who were told these things. And it was these same Disciples who were told to make disciples and to teach them all that they had been taught. How could they know of two comings when nothing is stated here about two comings, and why did they not teach two comings? Why is it that Paul is stated to be the one who taught two comings?
In between the disciples’ question and Jesus’ statement “and then the end shall come” were His listings of the birth pangs leading to that end. “Then” He begins telling us how the age will end.
1. Tribulation and hatred of “you” on account of “My name”. Deaths on account of “My name”. 2. False prophets will mislead many. These will come in His name, just as they are today, yet, many of these very preachers say don’t worry about what you hear Jesus say, and what you see happening all around you today, because you will not see these things. So even though Jesus calls for Endurance, because lawlessness will cause a coldness to overcome love and there will be a falling away; yet these preachers say: this is not for you. 3. The gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations of the earth. But again they say this gospel is not the gospel that we preach. We preach another gospel they say — the Gospel of grace.
So Jesus makes clear that in the midst of persecution some will grow cold and fall away, but some will fulfill the great commission. But these preachers say you can never fall away, but they fail to add if you follow Him and abide in Him. “And then the end shall come.”
So what else does Jesus say?
Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Jesus says, teaching them “all things” that I commanded you. So why is it that so much of what Jesus taught them is left out of the gospel of grace in our day? Or is it really to be left out? Or is it simply that some doctrines of men presenting salvation just never tells the rest of the story?
In this same passage Jesus says:
Matthew 24:14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
So in order to conclude that we are not involved in both of these prophecies from our Lord, one must define them differently. So the end and the end of the church age must be different according to those who tell us we won’t be here and we won’t be seeing what we are even now beginning to see.
Jesus was answering a question by these disciples, who were to teach us. — “Tell us … what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
There was no question by the disciples concerning the timing of the resurrection and Rapture, nor was there any statement by the Lord that He was answering anything other than the disciples question. Yet, we are told that the secrete Rapture of the church was implied here, because this was not a question that a disciple of Jesus needed or wanted an answer to, but it was a Jewish question related only to a Jewish age. In fact, we are told that Jesus only preached a gospel of the kingdom to the Jews of Israel, and that it was this gospel that was rejected by them, and that this kingdom gospel will be reinstated as the end time gospel, at some point before He returns, in this end to this Jewish age. Listen to how one theologian thinks on the gospel message:
“Another issue concerns the gospel itself. Under the “Great Commission” the apostles were commanded to preach the gospel. But what gospel? The Scriptures teach more than one gospel–the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4.23), the “gospel of the circumcision” (Galatians 2.7), the “gospel of the uncircumcision” (Galatians 2.7), and the “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20.24). What gospel did John the Baptizer, Jesus, and the apostles preach? Did they preach that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4)? Hardly. That gospel remained undisclosed until God revealed it to Paul (Romans 16.25). The “good news” preached prior to Paul was the gospel of the coming kingdom. (Quoted from doctrine.org)
So, I have two questions: what did Paul say about this, and secondly why is this gospel of the kingdom not being preached to the whole world by Jesus disciples of today? Are there even disciples of Jesus today?
What does Paul say of the gospel and the Jew? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
And what of the kingdom gospel that Jesus preached to the Jews? Was it a message to establish an earthly kingdom? “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand'” Matthew 10.5-7
Much is made of the fact that Paul supposedly was preaching a gospel primarily for the Gentiles and it was not the kingdom gospel. Yet, he preached the kingdom message to the Ephesians and Romans as part of the gospel. See Acts 20:25, and 28:21.
He said to the Ephesian elders: Acts 20:25-27 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
Paul also told us in Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Yet, we are told that the Angel of Revelation who comes preaching has not the gospel of grace but that of the kingdom only. To Paul it would be another gospel. To these preachers it is another gospel. So listen:
Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to preach to the inhabitants of the earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God [with awe and reverence], and give Him glory [and honor and praise in worship], because the hour of His judgment has come; [with all your heart] worship Him who created the heaven and the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Revelation 14:6-7 AMP
This gospel is eternal, it was established therefore before the foundations of the earth. It is sent to all peoples of earth, every tribe and tongue. It calls men to worship their creator God. Read John chapter one. Jesus the word made flesh created all things, and nothing that was made was made apart from Him. There is an eternal kingdom only present in this gospel. It is the only gospel preached from the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
There is only one plan from God for the salvation of man. To the Jew first and also to the Gentile.
There is only one age that mankind will see brought to an end with the coming of Jesus to establish His millennial kingdom, (God’s kingdom on earth) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We are given the same promises in the gospel that Paul preached as were the Jews in the days of the prophets.
Ephesians 2:11-22 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Jesus had stated to the Jews, who came to trick Him concerning the Resurrection, that in this age there is marriage, but in the age to come there is no marriage. As you read His statement ask yourself — does this not imply that the Tribulation is included in this age rather than the age to come after the Resurrection? Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Luke 20:34-36 NASB
So the resurrection is placed by our savior at a specific point in time. The end of the age is it’s time, and the end of the age is after the Tribulation; for it is then that marriage and giving in marriage for this age will cease. The next age comes only after the resurrection of this completed one new man. It is this one new man who will rule over all the earth with Christ for 1000 years, and this rule will begin with His return, and the first resurrection and rapture of this one new man — the recipients of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:21 For since [it was] by a man that death [came] [into the world], it is also by a Man that the resurrection of the dead [has come]. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s [own will be resurrected with incorruptible, immortal bodies] at His coming. (AMP)
The only Old Testament accounts of this resurrection were told to Daniel, and Ezekiel. And Daniel was then told:
Daniel 12:13 “But as for you (Daniel), go [your way] until the end [of your life]; for you will rest and rise [again] for your allotted inheritance at the end of the age.” (AMP)
When is the end of the age?
There is only one age, and then the end shall come.
There is only one gospel, and this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all the world and then the end shall come.
What we see happening is leading to that end.
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I agree, the end of the age is at Jesus’s second coming. But when would you say this present age began?
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Jesus seemed to imply in His answer to the Sadducees question concerning the woman with 7 brothers who all in turn became her husbands, that this age includes the period of time when there is marriage and giving in marriage. I have A-post titled the end of the age which I believe explains it’s beginning as well.