Home / Commentary / Matthew / Matthew Chapter 24 / Matthew 24:4-14
Verses covered in this passage:
Jesus answers the last question first, answering the disciples’ question regarding when the end of the age will come. It will come after greatly increased lawlessness, and after the gospel of the kingdom is preached in the entire world as a testimony to all the nations.
Jesus begins His answer of the disciples’ three questions by answering the last question first: “What will be the sign of the end of the age?” First Jesus says that many people will attempt to mislead those who desire to follow Jesus. And there will be wars and rumors of wars. But even though those things occur, that is not yet the end of the age. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom as well, and there will be famines and earthquakes. But that is not the end of anything. Rather, that is the beginning of birth pangs. Birth pangs are a sign that the birth is on the way, but it is not the birth itself.
Birth pangs get increasingly severe and painful. And that is what Jesus describes, because they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. Some people who are followers of Jesus will be mislead. So the deception will be quite persuasive. During this time lawlessness is increased. As a result people’s love will grow cold. When interactions with others turn violent, it is natural for people to stop caring for their neighbors. This environment sounds quite similar to the situation described in Genesis 6:11, which describes the earth as being “filled with violence,” and that being the situation that caused God to judge the world by destroying it with a flood.
So it is understandable that believers in Jesus who have been commanded to love others would turn cold, and stop loving. But that is a death of caring, of loving your neighbor, is a death to be avoided. Jesus states: But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Those who continue steadfastly in love, even though there is lawlessness and likely violence surrounding them will be delivered from having their love grow cold.
But the end of the age will come only after the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations. This might be done by those believers who endure to the end of the age and continue to live for Jesus and share the gospel, those who are delivered from their love growing cold. It also could be aided by events such as that in Revelation 14:6, where an angel flies through heaven preaching the everlasting gospel. Perhaps that is needed because the love of many has grown cold.That ends Jesus’ answer to the last question. Now Jesus will answer the second question ”What will be the sign of your coming?” asked by the disciples, as He is answering in reverse order.
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 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.