Before we proceed with this question let us first find the answer to the other question the disciples asked in V3 concerning the destruction of the temple, which Jesus prophesied in V1-2 (CP Mk 13:1-4). The disciples' question as to when this would happen is not answered in either Matthew or Mark, but in Luke (CP Lu 21:5-7, 12-24). Jesus' response to the disciples' question here merges with what He also has to say in this discourse about the signs prefacing His second coming and the end of this present age. We have to carefully study the discourse to find the verses which answer the respective questions. Jerusalem being encompassed about by armies in V20 points to her destruction in fulfilment of Christ's prophecy in Mt 23:34-36 (CP 23:34-36). History records that both the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed in 70 AD. The period leading up to Christ's second coming will be characterized by false Christs (CP Mt 24:4-5, 23-26; Mk 13:5-6); wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes (CP Mk 13:7-8). Many will be betrayed and martyred for the gospel's sake (CP Mt 24:910; Mk 13:9-13); false prophets will rise up, and many will be deceived (CP Mt
24:11; Mk 13:21 -23); lawlessness will abound, and the love Christians should have for each other will decrease (CP Mt 24:12). All this takes place during the seven years reign of Antichrist - the first three and a half years as a benevolent dictator (CP Rev 6:1-2) - the last three and a half years as the enemy of God, whom he blasphemes when he breaks his seven years peace treaty with Israel and sets up the image of himself in the temple to be worshipped (CP Mt 24:15 with Dan 9:27; 2Th 2:3-4; Rev 13:11-15). These are all the signs that preface Jesus' second coming (CP Mt 24:32-36; Mk 13:28-37). Jesus said when all these things comes to pass, those that will be living at the time would know that His second coming and the end of this age was about to take place (CP Mt 24:27-31, 40-51 with Rev 19:11-21). Jesus' statement in Mt 24:22 that no flesh would be saved in the tribulation except the days be shortened simply means that had God not ordained the tribulation to be limited to three and a half years, no one could survive it (CP Mt 24:22 with Rev 11:1 -2). Jesus will come again immediately after the tribulation, and as lightning is visible right across the sky, so too His second coming will be visible to all. The sun and the moon will darken, the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken (CP Mt 24:27-30 with Isa 13:6-16; 34:4; Joel 2:30-31; 3:14-16; Mt 26:64; Ac 2:19-20; Rev 1:7; 6:12-17).
Mt 24:28 refers to the dead bodies of Antichrist's army slain by Christ at Armageddon. The eagles refer to vultures which will be gathered together to eat the bodies (CP Eze 39:17-20; Rev 19:11-21). Where two people are together the ones taken in Mt 24:40-42 are with Antichrist and will be among those slain at Armageddon (CP Lu 17:34-37). Those who are left behind will go into the millennium - the thousand years reign of Christ on earth - to replenish the earth at that time (CP Zech 14:16 (see also comments on Mt 25:31-46)). It will take the Jews seven months to gather up and bury all the dead bodies that are left after Armageddon, and seven years to gather up and burn all the weapons of war (CP Isa 34:2-3; Eze 39:9-16). There are three parables in Mt 24: the parable of the fig tree in V32-34, the parable of the goodman of the house in V43-44, and the parable of the faithful and wise servant in V 45-51. The core teaching in all these parables is faithfulness, preparedness and watchfulness in view of Christ's second coming. The church is not in view in any of the teachings in Mt 24 and 25 or Mk 13 - it is caught up to heaven to be with Jesus before the emergence of Antichrist, at least seven years before Christ's second coming (CP Jn 5:28-29; 14:1-3; 1Cor 15:51-58; 1Th 4:13-18; 2Th 2:7-8).
While the primary application of the teaching in Mt 24 is toward the future generation that will experience the reign of Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, and the second coming of Christ, the teachings are relevant to all Christians in all ages. Believers today must also be faithful and prepared for Christ's coming, whether it be in the air to catch away the church to heaven, or on earth to set up His millennial reign. Christ's second coming should not be confused with when He comes back for the church and all who have died - all the redeemed of God - to take them up to heaven with Him. They are two distinct and separate events in time, as the scriptures in this study clearly prove. The event when Christ comes back for the saints to take them up to heaven with Him, is called the first resurrection. This takes place in the air, which is what Jn 5:28-29; 14:1-3; 1Cor 15:51-58; 1Th 4:13-18 and 2Th 2:7-8 all teach. The disciples in Mt 24:3 knew nothing about the rapture - Christ alluded to it in Lu 21:36 (CP Lu 21:36), but it was reserved for Paul to reveal in 1Cor 15:51-58. (See comments on Lu 21:36; Jn 5:28-29, 14:1-3; 1Cor 15:51-58; 1Th 4:13-18; 2Th 2:6-8; Rev 1:19, 3:7-13). Christ's second coming takes place on earth when He returns to earth with the saints, at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation to defeat Antichrist and his armies at the battle of Armageddon, prior to setting up His thousand years reign on earth (CP 2Th 1:7-10; Jude 14-15; Rev 20:4-6).
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Preparing for Armageddon, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Strikes, the Zombie Apocalypse, and Every Other Threat to Human Life on Earth. Most of us have thought about how we would handle various types of scenarios that could signal the end of the world. There are plenty of movies on the subject, psychological papers, and even survivalists that are part of reality TV shows. Perhaps you have had dreams about being one of the few left and what you would do in order to survive.