Matthew 24:15-31

Talks for Growing Christians

The Great Tribulation and the Return of the Lord

Matthew 24:15-31

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Lesson Number 65

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The abomination of desolation marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
  2. The sign of the Son of Man marks the end of the Great Tribulation.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t be taken in by signs and wonders.


  1. What is the subject matter of Matthew 24:4-28?
  2. How is this Tribulation Period divided?
  3. What two events mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation?
  4. What is the abomination of desolation?
  5. How is the coming of the Son of Man like lightning (Matthew 24:27)?
  6. Why will the tribes of the earth mourn when the Lord returns (Matthew 24:30)?


  1. The future Tribulation Period which immediately precedes our Lord’s return
  2. In Daniel and Revelation, the seven-year Tribulation is divided into two 3.5 year periods. The second 3.5 years are referred to as the “Great Tribulation.”
  3. The breaking of the covenant between Israel and the western nations and the abomination of desolation
  4. In the abomination of desolation the world-renowned leader will set up an idol of himself in the Jewish temple, causing Jewish sacrifices to cease.
  5. His coming will be open and apparently known. He will not come in secret.
  6. The unbelieving nations will mourn because He is coming in judgment. The unbelieving Jews will mourn because they finally realize that the Messiah they rejected is the returning Lord of Glory.


  1. Think over the news in past years when many men have claimed to be Christ or the Messiah. The number of false claims will rise during the Great Tribulation. Matthew tells us several criteria that can be used to identify the false christs. These criteria will be crucial during the Great Tribulation, and we can use them discerningly today.


  1. Too often when people see signs and wonders they say, “It must be from God!” Matthew warns us that false prophets will perform signs and wonders, but they are not of God. Use your discernment when you hear about the latest miracle worker.

Key Verses

  • “Then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21
  • “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven.” Matthew 24:30

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