The Parable of the Fig Tree
ILLUS: When my wife and I drive down to the Delta, instead to taking Highway 5 and turning off at Highway 4 to Rio Vista, we enjoy taking the river route. It is a beautiful drive, with the river on one side and farmland on the other side. If you've ever driven that way, you will have noticed the many, huge fig trees along the roadside.
Now if you want to bless my wife, simply bring her a box of figs and that will do it. She loves figs. It is a great temptation for us to drive by some of these fig trees and not stop to pick them; but, since I'm a preacher and she's a preacher's wife, it wouldn't look good if we got caught snitching someone's figs.
INTRODUCTION: Matthew 24 is referred to as the Olivet Discourse. In (vs. 3), the Bible says, And as he[Jesus] sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Jesus responds by giving a prophetic statement about the future. In chapter 24, He begins with Jerusalem's coming destruction in 70 A. D., and continues through history until His return at the end of the tribulation period. In (vs. 30), it says, And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
The disciples wanted to know the same thing we want to know today; "When is He coming?" In answer to that question, the Lord uses the parable of the fig tree (vv. 32, 33), Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
With that background, let's consider three things:
I. Discerning the Signs
II. Considering the Times
III. Sepa ...
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