SIGNS OF THE END OF THE AGE
Key Verse: 13:26
* WATCH OUT THAT NO ONE DECEIVES YOU (1-13)
1. What impressed Jesus' disciples about the temple? Why? What does this reveal about them? How did Jesus answer them? How did Jesus' view of the world and its culture differ from that of the disciples?
2. Who were the disciples with Jesus? Why were they of special importance to him? What did they ask Jesus? What world-shaking significance did they see in Jesus' prediction about the temple?
3. What did Jesus tell them to watch out for? Why did he warn them about false messiahs? What are some of the false messiahs that have deceived people? How can we not be deceived?
4. What are the things that make many people fearful and cause them to despair? What does Jesus tell his disciples about these things? (7,8) What does "the beginning of birth pains" suggest?
5. What are the things that disciples of Jesus should expect? (9,12,13) What must we do? How do these difficult things become opportunities? How can we overcome fear and be Jesus' witnesses?
6. What can we learn from verse 10 about Jesus' faith and vision? What direction do his words give us about how to live in the world as Jesus' people?
* THE ABOMINATION THAT CAUSES DESOLATION (14-23)
7. Find the primary references to the "abomination that causes desolation." (Dan.9:27; 11:31; 12:11; cf. 2 Th.2:4) To what kind of events or people might this refer?
8. Look at verses 15 and 16. What warnings do you find against a materialistic value system and/or an inversion of creation order? In a chaotic situation, how does blessing turn into a burden? (17)
9.If abominable people cause chaos and desolation, how do God's elect become a blessing to the world? (20)
* MEN WILL SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING (24-37)
10. What is the great event toward which all history moves? Contrast Jesus' first coming with his second. What does his second coming mean for believers? For unbelievers? What lesson should we learn from the fig tree?
11. In light of his coming, what should be our attitude and way of life? How can we serve the fearful and despairing people of our times?