The Olivet discourse is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in all of Scripture. Therefore, as we begin, we must understand why the disciples are asking Jesus about the future.
Christians must understand that God’s eternal plan of redemption includes the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Olivet Discourse Jesus addresses three particular issues:
1) The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem,
2) the signs of Jesus’ return, and
3) the signs of the end of the age.
God is in control of human history, and He’s directing all events to one predetermined end.
Some scholars suggest that the events described in Mark 13 were fulfilled in 70 A.D. There are a number of reasons why this cannot be true.
During the end times, intense persecution against the Christian community will increase.
Religious persecution will greatly increase prior to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christians must pray and care for other brothers and sisters in Christ who are experiencing real persecution around the world.
In the second section of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus describes what will happen during the Great Tribulation.
Jesus’ teaching on the end times is meant to serve as a warning for all those who have not repented and believed in Him. Specifically, that Jesus will return in judgment.
During the time of the Great Tribulation persecution will greatly increase against the nation of Israel.
Even as God judges the world for its rebellion against Him, He still continues to care for His own people.
The Second Coming of Christ is an event which all of human history has been building towards. Here, Christ will return in power and glory.
All Christians should be encouraged and strengthened that our Lord will return for His own.
If the main points of the Olivet Discourse address future events, what purpose did the sermon serve for Jesus’ disciples?
Christians must live in light of the reality that Christ will return. This means every Christian must be faithful to Christ and His gospel.