The Abomination of Desolation Podcast by Pastor John MacArthur for Grace to You
Let’s open our Bibles together to the 24th chapter of Matthew. Matthew chapter 24. This great chapter is our Lord’s own sermon on His second coming. It details for us the events surrounding the return of the Lord Jesus Christ from His own mouth. What a tremendous privilege to study this great text.
You know, people in our world are always wishing for a better day, always hoping for a better time, always wanting to see the alleviation of the distresses and the problems that plague human society. But the message of Scripture is that before there is ever a better time, there is going to be an infinitely worse time. In fact, human society has to look forward to a time that is going to be more severe than any time they have ever known. That time is described rather briefly for us in just one verse in this particular chapter, and I want to draw your attention to it, it’s verse 21. “For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
In that very brief statement, the Lord says that the world is to look for a time that will be worse than any other time it has ever known. And the Lord even gives it a name: Great Tribulation. Now, this isn’t anything new because there have been other prophets than our Lord Jesus Christ who also have spoken of this same time. It is a time of tremendous trouble, which encompasses the world but centers on the nation of Israel. To see how the prophets of Israel spoke of it, let’s go back to Isaiah chapter 10. Isaiah chapter 10. And as Isaiah looked forward to that day, that day of the Lord, that day of great judgment, that day of establishing the kingdom of Messiah, that day of salvation for Israel, that great climactic day when man’s work on earth, as it were, done by his own hand and design is done and God takes over, he says this in verse 20: “It shall come to pass in that day” – that great day, the end of man’s day, the beginning of God’s day – “that the remnant of Israel and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob shall no more again lean upon him who smote them but shall lean upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.”