Signs the End Is Not Yet

After Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, the disciples asked Him when it would take place (Mat 24:1-3). They also asked for the sign of His coming and end of the age which probably indicated that they believed these three events would happen concurrently. In this discourse, Jesus disabused them of this error in thinking, and indicated that the destruction of the temple would happen within a generation (vs. 34, A.D. 70), and that His coming and end of the age would happen sometime after that on a day that was only known to His Father (vv. 32-33, 36). We are still awaiting that day!
Jesus began His answer by indicating signs that “the end is not yet” (vv.4-14, See especially vs. 6). Things like earthquakes, war, pestilences, the presence of false christs and false prophets, tribulation and martyrdom are not signs of Christ’s coming and the end of the age, but rather are signs that that the end is not yet. These signs began to occur after Jesus ascended back into heaven, and will occur throughout this age. Jesus does not speak of “the sign” of His coming until verse 30 (Its context is verses 23-44). Since the signs in verses 4-14 began after Christ’s ascension and will continue until His coming, obviously they also occurred between the time Christ went back to heaven and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. In fact, there seems to be a special connection between these signs (vv.4-14) and the time of Jerusalem’s destruction which Jesus narrates in verses 15-22. With respect to the signs in verses 4-14, Jesus tells His disciples not to be troubled when they see these things (vs.6). However, when they saw the abomination of desolation which signaled the temple’s destruction (vs.15), they were to be troubled, and flee Judea for the mountains (vs.16).
In the same way, we should not be troubled by earthquakes, lawlessness, famines, etc., and fall into the trap of saying things like “Christ must be coming soon” for these things have been happening ever since Jesus returned to heaven almost two thousand years ago. Rather, we should take Christ’s words in verse 44 to heart, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44).