Matthew chapter 24 is a description by Jesus of His second coming, and the language is very graphic. However, I believe it is also open to translation, or perhaps it is in want of transliteration into more modern imagery. Science and technology have given our generation a familiarity with marvelous devices that primitive first-century minds could not grasp, and for which they had no frame of reference.
Look, for example, at verses 4-8: “…wars and rumors of wars… Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom… famines… earthquakes…” Does this sound familiar? Just turn on any world news channel, and hear the prophecy coming to pass. What bothers me is the very next verse: “…you will be hated by all nations because of Me…” Christianity is coming to be viewed as more and more obnoxious to the public peace, even in nominally Christian nations like America. Genuine adherence to God’s Word is largely being supplanted by the teaching of various televangelists that “Gawd wants you to be rich, and healthy, and successful.” These are the false prophets that Jesus warned about in verse 11. We can see very clearly that true Christianity will not long be tolerated in even the most ‘tolerant’ of countries. As when the leaves of deciduous trees change color to signify the changing of seasons, it is obvious from these signs that a cold spiritual winter is coming, and coming soon.
The ‘holy place’ of verse 15 is probably Israel, possibly Jerusalem, maybe even Mount Sinai. The ‘abomination that causes desolation’ is not clearly described, but Daniel says it will be set up “at the temple” (Daniel 9:27). What causes more desolation than a nuclear warhead? Is it much of a stretch of the imagination to call such a thing an ‘abomination’?
“Lightning flashes from east to west” (verse 27) is ominous in this context, because it may hint at a missile strike from the Middle East toward a Western nation, such as Europe or even America. Immediately, He says, “…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken” (verse 29), quoting from Isaiah. This might very well be descriptive of the smoke and darkness that precedes nuclear winter. Now read verse 30: “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”
Are these ‘clouds of heaven’ actually the mushroom clouds of nuclear explosions, which can sometimes vaguely resemble a cross, more so than any other cloud can? After all, the cross is undeniably the sign of the Son of Man, at least to Christians.
Christ’s Second Advent may very well be at the heart of global thermonuclear war. Wouldn’t it be just like our magnificent and mysterious God to turn such a horrific tragedy into the moment of His great glory?
Anthony Vaughan #308-236
P.O. Box 56
Lebanon Ohio 45036