Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.: tote paradosousin (3PFAI) humas eis thlipsin kai apoktenousin (3PFAI) humas kai esesthe (2PFMI) misoumenoi (2PPPMPN) hupo panton ton ethnon dia to onoma mou:
- Mt 10:17-22 Mt 22:6 Mt 23:34 Mk 13:9-13 Luke 11:49 Luke 21:12,16,17 Jn 15:19 Jn 15:20 Jn 16:2 Acts 4:2,3 Acts 5:40,41 Acts 7:59 Acts 12:1,2-5 Acts 21:31,32 Acts 22:19-22 Acts 28:22 1Th 2:14-16 1Pe 4:16 Rev 2:10,13 Rev 6:9-11 Rev 7:14)
KJV Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
NET "Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of my name.
ESV "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.
NLT "Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.
YLT then they shall deliver you up to tribulation, and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated by all the nations because of my name;
Mark's version is similar but adds a warning...
But be on your guard (present imperative = calls for continual alertness); for (term of explanation - explains why they need to be on guard!) they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. (Mark 13:9)
Then (5119)(tote) is an adverb that functions as an expression of time. Tote means at that time or a point of time subsequent to another point of time. Note that this adverb is found in Mt 24:9, Mt 24:10 and Mt 24:14 and generally indicates sequence (a successive order of two or more things).
So in the following section, we will simply observe the plain sense of the text, paying close attention to the three occurrences of the adverb of sequence, then (tote), the three occurrences of the copulative conjunction, and (kai), and the one occurrence of the conjunction of contrast, but (de). By using these simple observation techniques, let's see if this helps us discern what Jesus is describing and whether these events are related. Notice that the characteristics described in Mt 24:9-14 are surrounded by the bookends of "the beginning of sorrows" (Mt 24:8) and "the end" of the age (Mt 24:14).
The following section (Mt 24:15-22) is linked to Mt 24:8-14 by the word therefore.
Tony Garland offers an interesting thought that "It is because of the dangerous characteristics of the end of the age that Jesus then moves on to give explicit instructions concerning the safety of those living in Judea when the end of the age is unambiguously signified by the “abomination of desolation” -- the “second sure sign.”"
Hand over (3860)(paradidomi from para = alongside, beside, to the side of, over to + didomi = to give) conveys the basic meaning of to give over from one's hand to someone or something, especially to give over to the power of another.
You refers to Jews and the phrase because of My Name would seem to be relatively conclusive evidence that they are believers.
McGee adds that Jesus "is not addressing the church but the nation Israel. The affliction He is talking about is anti-Semitism on a worldwide scale. At this point let me inject an important fact for Christians in our day. As long as the true church is in the world, there could not be worldwide anti-Semitism because the church would resist it. No genuine believer in the Lord Jesus could hate the Jews; it is an impossibility. It is my feeling that the liberal wing of the church is presenting a false front to the Jews and that in the final analysis it will turn against them. But as long as the true church is in the world, there won’t be worldwide anti-Semitism (Ed: Not completely true - because there was a true church still left in Germany [e.g., Dietrich Bonhoeffer] and yet there was blatant anti-Semitism); it will break out after the church has been removed at the Rapture. (Thru the Bible).
Notice the phrase "you will be hated by all nations" - Global hatred clearly was not true in the first century and helps us identify these events as occurring in the time of the tribulation.
The question is when is THEN? There is not a clear consensus of conservative commentators as alluded to in the comments on Mt 24:4 (See various interpretations of Mt 24:4-14).
That said, if one compares Mt 24:9, Mt 24:15-note and Mt 24:21-note, there does appear to be an association ("then they will deliver you up to tribulation"), because Mt 24:21 describes the Great Tribulation (the last 3.5 years of this age) which begins with the sign described in Mt 24:15-note which in turn is followed by Jesus' warning to Jews that they need to flee (Mt 24:16-20-note) because of the coming Great Tribulation.
We know that the visual event of the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place in Mt 24:15-note will begin the "final countdown" to the end of the age, which is punctuated by the return of the King in glory (Mt 24:30-note). So in Mt 24:9 is Jesus referring to the last 3.5 years which He calls the "great tribulation" (Mt 24:21)? In this scenario the "THEN" would parallel the events of Mt 24:15-21. That is to say that the things described in Mt 24:9-14 would be things that will occur during the 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation.
Messianic Jewish commentator Arnold Fruchtenbaum as well as well known Bible teacher Kay Arthur feel that the "then" in Mt 24:9 introduces a description of the last 3.5 years. Certainly when 666, the mark of the Beast, is invoked as the rule of the land giving only those individuals the right to buy and sell, many of the characteristics of Mt 24:9-14 will be seen. At that time the hatred of the Antichrist will be such that all who refuse to follow and worship him, and instead choose to follow the Christ will essentially count their physical life as nothing, for they will be hunted, persecuted and eventually martyred (cp Rev 6:9-10 and Rev 7:9, 14)
Louis Barbieri makes his case that Mt 24:9-14 is a description of the last 3.5 years (recall he is one who interprets all of Mt 24:4-14 as taking place in the last 7 years of the time often called the "Tribulation") -
Jesus began His words (Mt. 24:9) with a time word, Then. At the middle point of the seven-year period preceding Christ’s second coming, great distress will begin to be experienced by Israel. The Antichrist, who will have risen to power in the world and will have made a protective treaty with Israel, will break his agreement at that time (Da. 9:27). He will bring great persecution on Israel (Da 7:25) and even establish his own center of worship in the temple in Jerusalem (2 Thes. 2:3–4). This will result in the death of many Jews (Mt. 24:9) and many people departing from the faith. Believing Jews will be betrayed by nonbelievers (Mt 24:10), and many will be deceived by rising false prophets (cf. Mt 24:5; Rev. 13:11–15). Wickedness will increase, causing the love of most people (for the Lord) to grow cold. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Tribulation - Does this tribulation refer to a general tribulation or to a specific time period? It does not say 'the tribulation' or the 'great tribulation'. However we know that after they are delivered to tribulation, lawlessness increases, they are hated, the gospel is preached, and then the end comes. When does THE END come? When Jesus Christ comes down to earth at THE END OF THE AGE. It follows that the events just described (Mt 24:9-13) are also associated with the time of the end of the age.
Tribulation (2347)(thlipsis from thlibo = to crush, press together, squash, hem in, compress, squeeze in turn derived from thláo = to break) originally expressed sheer, physical pressure on a man. Thlipsis is a strong term which does not refer to minor inconveniences, but to real hardships.
You will be hated by all nations - Nations is ethnos which can also be translated "Gentiles."
Nations (1484)(ethnos gives us our word "ethnic") in general refers to a multitude (especially persons) associated with one another, living together, united in kinship, culture or traditions and summed up by the words nation, Gentiles (especially when ethnos is plural as it is here in Mt 24:9), people (much like "people groups" in our modern missionary vernacular). In somewhat of a negative sense ethnos conveys the meaning of godless (generally idol worshipping) pagans (heathens, cp Eph 4:17, Mt 6:32), foreign nations not worshipping the true God (Mt 4:15). Often ethnos stands in clear contradistinction to Jew (Ioudaios) (Gal 2:14).
Who is YOU who will be hated? While this in some sense surely applies to all believers in Christ for they will be hated because of His Name, we must remember that Jesus is speaking to Jews and if we let context rule our interpretation, He is warning Jews to "be on your guard" (Mk 13:9). Indeed, since He is addressing Jewish believers that are seated on the Mount of Olives with Him, it is likely that He is referring to Jewish believers in the future who will be hated because the Name of Jesus. In addition, we know from other passages that just being Jewish will invoke the wrath of the Antichrist as he will persecute Israel and seek to annihilate her in the greatest Anti-Semitic movement the world has ever seen. (cp Mt 24:16-20, Rev 12:6, Rev 12-17)
Hated (3404)(miseo from misos = hatred) means to dislike strongly, to have a strong aversion to or to detest, all of these representing expressions of hostility of one person (or group) toward another (Mt 5:43, Lk 6:27, et al).
The church father Origen observed, “when the things foretold by Christ shall have come to pass, then there shall be persecutions, not as before in places, but every where against the people of God.”
Matthew 24:10 "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.: kai tote skandalisthesontai (3FPI)polloi kai allelous paradosousin (3PFAI) kai misesousin(3PFAI) allelous:
- many: Mt 11:6 13:21,57 26:31-34 Mk 4:17 John 6:60,61,66,67 2Ti 1:15 2Ti 4:10,16
- betray: Mt 10:21,35,36 26:21-24 Mic 7:5,6 Mk 13:12 Lu 21:16
Amplified And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.
KJV And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
NET Then many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another.
ESV And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
NIV At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other
A TIME OF
At that time (then) (5119)(tote) begs the question "At what time?" In context the answer is it will be at the time of intense persecution of the Jews, especially Jewish believers. It will be when they are delivered up to tribulation, killed and hated (Mt 24:9).
Many will fall away - Who is "many?" Remember that Jesus is addressing Jews and so one answer would be that many Jews will fall away, apparently falling away from orthodox Jewish beliefs. However, if this passage is taken by some commentators as descriptive of the last seven year tribulation (the details of which are found in Revelation 6-19 = Daniel's Seventieth Week), then Jesus surely also includes Gentiles who will fall away from orthodox beliefs because they are deceived into worshipping the Antichrist rather than the true Christ. And those who worship the Antichrist (the Beast) will deliver up those who worship the real Christ.
Scripture predicts an apostasy at the time of the end which is both specific and intense.
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (2Th. 2:3).
Comment: So here Paul says the apostasy will precede the revelation of the Antichrist.
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1Ti. 4:1)
One of the highest rated commentaries on Matthew (NICNT) by R T France writes "This saying (many will fall away) is one of those where it seems to have its most serious sense, of a fall which is not just a temporary setback but involves the abandonment of God’s way and the loss of salvation." Beloved, a genuine believer is one who has been "born again" and CANNOT be "unborn!" (cf Jn 10:27-30) Those who fall away may have been Christ professors, but they were never Christ possessors (so to speak)!
Fall away (stumble; take offense) (4624)(skandalizo from skandalon= a trap = put a snare or stumbling block in way; English = scandalize = to offend the moral sense of) means to put a snare (in the way), hence to cause to stumble, to give offense. Thayer adds it means "to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away," and in the passive (as it is in Mt 24:10), to fall away." Jesus used skandalizo 13 times in Matthew in several different contexts. In a context similar to Mt 24:10 Jesus taught "And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away." (Matthew 13:20-21) Jesus warned His own disciples that even they would fall away temporarily, a prophecy Peter protested, but which proved true (Mt 26:31, 33, Mk 14:27, 29). Jesus knowing that some would fall away encouraged His disciples (then and now) "These things (The Upper Room Discourse - Jn 13:1-16:33) I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. (John 16:1)
Ray Stedman (who interprets this as a general description over the last 2000 years) has some practical words on many will fall away - This is the terrible pressure of apostasy. When combined with persecution it represents a powerful double attack upon a quiet trust in Christ. It is highly disturbing to be left standing alone; to see, one by one, those who previously were on your side, depart, give in, succumb to the pressure and leave you unsupported and alone. If they also betray you in the process, it is almost unbearable. "Demas...has [forsaken] me, [having loved] this present world," writes the apostle Paul from his cold prison in Rome. Even to such a doughty spirit as his, that must have been a severe blow. What young person today does not feel the pressure of the world's sneering contempt for sexual and social standards that were once held by almost all? How many have thus "fallen way," driven by the spread of a philosophy of moral relativism that teaches that only the situation can determine whether a thing is bad or good? And when such folly is openly advocated by leaders of the church, who can help but feel his faith tremble a bit? (The Age of Confusion - Matthew 24:4-14)
Weber - Suffering, death, and ostracism were part of following Christ. It was natural that many would turn away from him, seeking to avoid the suffering of discipleship (Mt 24:10 cf. Mt 5:10–12; 10:17–18, 24–25; 16:24–25). Not only would they fall away from Jesus, but these same apostates would betray and hate believers. Jesus clearly stated that the apostate followers of Jesus would become party to the persecution of believers, along with the rest of the unbelieving world. (Holman New Testament Commentary)
Betray one another - Who is the one who betrays? In context they are those who fall away, professing believers persecute "possessing" believers! Global hatred in Mt 24:9 becomes more personalized hatred in Mt 24:10.
Will betray (hand over) (3860)(paradidomi from para = alongside, beside, to the side of, over to + didomi = to give) means to give or hand over into the hands of another, especially to give them over into the power of another. Matthew has 31 of the 119 NT uses of paradidomi, the first use describing John the Baptist being taken into custody (Mt 4:12). Matthew identifies "Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him." (Mt 10:4, cf Mt 26:15, 16, 21, 23, 24, 25, 45, 48, 27:2, 4) Jesus had warned His disciples "beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues" (Mt 10:17) and "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death." (Mt 10:21)
Jesus used this same verb to warn "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name." (Mt 24:9)
- Mt 24:5,24 7:15 Mk 13:22 Ac 20:30 1Ti 4:1 2Pe 2:1 1Jn 2:18,26 4:1 Jude 1:4 Rev 19:20)
Amplified And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error.
KJV And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
NET And many false prophets will appear and deceive many,
Many...many - Many come and many are misled indicating they are very good at deception. This prediction is similar to Mt 24:5.
False prophets (5578)(pseudoprophetes from pseudes = false, untrue + prophetes = prophet) who teach any other way than that our Lord has clearly marked out in this passage. These men (1) claim to be prophets from God and (2) utter falsehoods under the pretense of divine prophecies. In some ways, false prophets are more subtle (and more pervasive = "many") than false Messiahs, because there can be only one Messiah but there can be many prophets.
As J Vernon McGee says "the church is warned against false teachers while Israel is warned against false prophets."
Weber adds that "The person who attempts to remain faithful to Christ may find great difficulty in discerning between so many claimants to God’s true revelation." (Holman New Testament Commentary)
Will mislead (deceive) (4105)(planao from plane which describes "a wandering" and gives us our English word "planet") means literally to make to wander and so to go astray (active sense) or to be led (passive sense as of sheep in Mt 18:12-13) astray.
Wiersbe - This is a warning to Jews, for true believers would not follow a false Christ. We are to watch out for false teachers and false spirits (1 John 4:1–3; 2Peter 2:1ff). (Expository Outlines)
Scripture teaches us that various things or classes of people can deceive a person including the following...
Signs, sorcery, pretenders coming in Jesus' name (Mt 24:4, 5, Mark 13:5, 6, Luke 21:8),
False teachers (1Jn 2:26, 3:7),
False Christs and false prophets (Mt 24:11,24, see note on Jezebel the false prophetess Re 2:20-note),
Not understanding the Scriptures or the power of God (Mt 22:29, Mark 12:24),
Evil men and imposters (2Ti 3:13-note),
Babylon (Revelation 18:23-note)
- because: Jas 4:1-4 5:1-6
- love: Rev 2:4,5,10 3:15
Amplified And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity,
KJV And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
NET and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold.
Because (term of explanation) - Explains why people's love grows cold.
Lawlessness - The pinnacle of lawlessness is described in Revelation 6-19, especially the last 3.5 years marked by the man of lawlessness taking his seat in the Temple and declaring himself to be the "Christ!" (2Th 2:3-4)
Garland on lawlessness...love...cold - Love grown cold due to a marked global increase in lawlessness. This is not a continual trend throughout church history, but a specific characteristic of the end.
Lowery on lawlessness - Jesus previously summarized the law as love of God and love of neighbor (Mt 22:34-40). It follows that lawlessness is essentially behavior without regard for God or concern for neighbor. It is behavior that basically focuses on serving oneself. (Ibid)
Lawlessness (458) (anomia from a = negates what follows + nomos = law) literally describes that which is without the law and signifies, not merely the abstract idea, but disregard for, or actual breach of, the law of God. Anomiameans “no law,” and emphasizes an attitude of disregard for the statutes of God. It means living as if there were no law. A person who rejects God’s authority doesn’t care what God thinks about his habits. Lawlessness is living as though your own ideas are superior to God's. Lawlessness says, "God may demand it but I don't prefer it." Lawlessness says, "God may promise it but I don't want it." Lawlessness replaces God's law with my contrary desires. I become a law to myself. Lawlessness is rebellion against the right of God to make laws and govern His creatures. Lawlessness signifies everything that is contrary to the will and law of God and is more intentional and flagrant sin. It is direct and open rebellion against God and His ways.
Most people's (4183)(polus) many. Polus can have various applications - Of Size, Degree, Intensity = much, mighty. Of Value or Worth. Of Space = large, wide. Of Time = long. Polus is used with nouns denoting an action, an emotion, a state, which can be said to have as it were measure, weight, force, intensity, size, continuance, or repetition, much equivalent to great, strong, intense, large. Used in Mt 24:10, 11,12, 30.
These individuals do not endure to the end (Mt 24:13) and thus prove themselves as unbelievers.
Grow cold (5594)(psucho) is used only here in the Bible and means first to breathe, blow or cool by blowing. In the passive sense as in Mt 24:12, it means to be made cool or grow cold, and metaphorically speaks of waning love. The idea is to cool something hot.
Friberg on psucho - make cool or cold; only passive in the NT become or grow cold; of fire become extinguished, go out; figuratively, of a loss of spiritual devotedness become less, greatly diminish.
Weber observes that "There had been many seasons in history during which lawlessness increased greatly, and there would be many to come (Ge 6:1–7; Book of Judges; Book of 2 Kings; and in the future, 2Th 2:1-17; 2Ti 3:1ff). The United States seems to be on a fast track into just such an era of anarchy. One of the consequences of the abandonment of God’s principles is the hardening and deadening of people’s love for one another and especially for God. The deadening of people’s love for other people manifests itself in the devaluing of life, a greater focus on one’s own pleasure and protection, and a decrease in sensitivity to the needs of others. People’s hearts for others grow numb when they are battered with injustice and unrighteousness. A person’s capacity to love others is damaged by misuse and abuse. The deadening of people’s love for God is demonstrated through a loss of conscience. Right becomes wrong, and wrong becomes right (Isa. 5:20) and people lose the capacity to recognize this perversion. Society sees an increase in “senseless” crimes (such as shootings in schools) and wonders how anyone could become so hardened and unfeeling as to lash out in these ways. The cause is society’s abandonment of God’s values. (Holman New Testament Commentary)
McGee - This is a principle, and there are many principles in this Olivet Discourse which we can apply to our own day. Not long ago I met a preacher who had been a schoolmate of mine. He has become liberal in his theology; he drinks his cocktails, smokes his cigarettes, and lives just like the rest of the world lives. He told me, “McGee, you don’t fight city hall; you join it!” He told me about how sinful practices had gotten into his church and how he is not planning to fight them. When iniquity abounds, the love of many grows cold, and this will be even more true at the end of the age. (Ibid)
- Mt 24:6 10:22 Mk 13:13 Lu 8:15 Ro 2:7 1Co 1:8 Heb 3:6,14 10:39 Rev 2:10
ENDURING TO THE END
CARM Dictionary on perseverance To endure to the end. Theologically, the term perseverance of the saintsâ is the teaching that salvation cannot be lost, that the saints will preserver to the end.
Holman Bible Dictionary on perseverance - Maintaining Christian faith through the trying times of life.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary has a well written summary on perseverance - God requires of Christians not only that they believe the gospel, but also that they persevere in living according to the gospel, regardless of the difficulties they meet. Perseverance is proof of the genuineness of faith and leads to spiritual maturity (John 8:31; Acts 14:22; Romans 5:3-4; Colossians 1:21-23;Hebrews 3:12-14; Hebrews 4:1-11; Hebrews 6:11-12). When Jesus called people to believe in him, he made it clear that he was calling them into a continuous relationship with himself. Belief involved more than just a momentary decision; it involved a life of following him as a true disciple to the end (Mark 8:34-38; Mark 13:13; Luke 9:57-62; John 15:4-6; cf. John 6:60; cf. John 6:66-68). In one of his parables Jesus showed that some people profess to be believers, but later, by their lack of perseverance, prove not to be (Mark 4:15-20). Christians are able to persevere because of the power of God working within them (Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:11; 1 Peter 1:5; Judges 1:24; Revelation 3:10). In addition to giving his people the promise of his power, God demands that they exercise self-discipline and effort. Christians must be on their guard and persistent in prayer if they are to endure firmly to the end (Luke 21:36; Colossians 4:2). If people have true faith in God, they will prove it by their steadfast trust in his power and promises. Their perseverance is not something God rewards by giving them salvation, but something that gives proof of their salvation. It shows that their faith is genuine (Mark 13:13; Mark 13:22-23; Luke 21:36; Philippians 3:13-14; 2 Timothy 4:7-8). At times people may be tempted to give up their Christian commitment. The source of their troubles may be the trials of life, persecution, desire for personal prosperity, worry, laziness or false teaching (Mark 4:17-18; Mark 13:13; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 2:1; Hebrews 10:32-39). Christians can fight against these temptations by training themselves in godliness, resisting the pressures of the world, continuing steadfastly in the truth they have believed, learning more of God through the Scriptures, and giving themselves wholeheartedly to whatever work God has entrusted to them (2 Thessalonians 2:14-15;1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 4:15; 1 Timothy 6:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:10; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 4:14;Hebrews 6:1-3; Hebrews 10:23; Judges 1:20-21). The outcome of Christian endurance will be the experience of salvation in its fullest expression at the return of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:24-25; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Peter 1:6-9; Revelation 2:26-28). The expectation of Christ's return is therefore a constant incentive to perseverance (Matthew 24:45-51; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Timothy 2:11-12; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:14; 2 Peter 3:17; 1 John 2:28).
ARTICLES ON PERSEVERANCE:
- Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
- Holman Bible Dictionary
- Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
- Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia
- Torrey's Topic - Perseverance
- Nave's Topic - Perseverance
Spurgeon - It is not true that one act of faith is all that is required, except you consider that one act to be continuous throughout life. If a man were a believer once, and if it were possible to cease to be so, then, of course, he is ruined. But the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints does not speak in that manner. It says that he who is a believer shall continue so—that he who is right with God shall abide so even to the end, and unless it be so we are not partakers of Christ at all.
Spurgeon - None are truly Christ’s but those who persevere in grace. Men may be nominally Christ’s, but they are not Christ’s house unless they hold fast to the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Temporary Christians are not really Christians. Perseverance—final perseverance—is the test of election. He whom God has chosen holds on and holds out even to the end, while temporary professors make only a fair show in the flesh, but, by-and-by, their faith vanishes away.
But (de) is a term of contrast which in this context injects the hope that despite the extreme tribulation of the times (Mt 24:9-12), it will still be possible to endure. This group stands in diametric opposition to the many whose love grows cold. In contrast those in this group stay "hot" to the end proving they are true believers.
The one who endures - This statement in one sense describes the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. Genuine disciples will endure to the end of their life or the end of this age not by their own efforts but because the indwelling Spirit enables them to endure to the end. Endurance does not save anyone but it demonstrates that one is truly saved! Stated another way, it is not one's endurance (self effort or works) that saves them but that one is able to endure because of the fact that they are saved.
John MacArthur - The one who endures to the end is the overcomer (Ed: See "definition" of an overcomer in 1Jn 5:4-5), the beloved child of God who does not fear suffering or death and who will be given the crown of life and will “not be hurt by the second death” (Rev. 2:10–11). Faith that perseveres is faith endowed and sustained by the indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ. (Matthew Commentary)
ESV Study Bible on the end - Either the end of the persecution when the Son of Man returns (cf. Mt 10:23), or the end of one’s life.
Lowery on endures - Disciples are called to patient endurance, "to maintain a belief or course of action in the face of difficulty" (BDAG, 1039; cf. BAGD, 845). This is the essence of discipleship until Jesus' returns: faithful service in His behalf. In various ways this theme is echoed in this closing message." (Ibid)
Endures (perseveres) (5278)(hupomeno from hupó = under, as in under the rule of someone + meno = to abide or remain - see study of noun hupomone) means literally to remain under not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant hope. To stand fast, endure or remain in the sense of persevering so that under affliction, trouble, opposition or trial one holds fast to one's belief or faith (Mt 10:22, 24:13, Mark 13:13, James 5:11, et al). The idea is to be patient under, to persevere and to do so bear bravely and calmly (from Thayer).
NET Note - Jesus was not claiming here that salvation is by works. He was simply arguing that genuine faith evidences itself in persistence through even the worst of trials.
The end - When is the end? It could be the end of one's life (and that is certainly the teaching of the doctrine of perseverance of the saints). Many Preterists feel that this is the end of The Temple and the nation of Israel in 70AD. However in context, the disciples asked about the end of the age (Mt 24:3). The last 3.5 years (Great Tribulation) of this age will be horrible for Jews in general and for all true believers because they will refuse to worship the Antichrist. It will not be a time when people profess Christ as they do in our day where there is no significant cost for associating one's self with the Christ. In that day it could cost one their life!
Will be saved - Does this refer to physical or spiritual salvation? Given the fact that believers will die (Mt 24:9), this most likely refers to spiritual salvation.
Will be saved (4982)(sozo) has the basic meaning of rescuing one from great peril. Additional nuances include to protect, keep alive, preserve life, deliver, heal, be made whole. Sozo is sometimes used of physical deliverance from danger of perishing (Mt 8:25; Mt 14:30; Lk 23:35; Acts 27:20, 27:31), physical healing from sickness (Mt 9:21, 22; Mk 5:23, Acts 4:9), and deliverance from demonic possession (Lk 8:36). More often sozo refers to salvation in a spiritual sense (Mt 1:21).
We cannot fold our hands at ease,
And look for Heav’n at last;
We cannot shout the victory won
Until the war is past.
Blessèd are they that endure to the end,
For with them it shall be well;
They shall eat of the fruit of the tree of life,
And with Jesus forever dwell.
We cannot hope to win the prize,
Unless the race we run;
Nor reap the fruits of endless joy
If we no work have done.
We cannot slumber at our post,
Nor lay our armor down,
And only they who bear the cross
Can ever wear the crown.
Then let the cross be all our boast,
And Jesus all our song,
Till in His robe of righteousness
We join the ransomed throng.
Matthew 24:14 "This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come: kai keruchthesetai (3SPFPI) touto to euaggelion tes basileias en hole te oikoumene eis marturion pasin tois ethnesin kai tote echei (3SFAI) to telos:
- This gospel: Mt 4:23 9:35 10:7 Ac 20:25
- Shall be preached: Mt 18:19 Mk 16:15,16 Lu 24:47 Acts 1:2 Ro 10:18 15:18-21 16:25,26 Col 1:6,23 Rev 14:6
- Then: Mt 24:3,6 Eze 7:5-7,10
Amplified And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end.
THEN THE END
What is the end to which Jesus refers? If we let context rule our interpretation, the end to which Jesus refers is the end of the age, which is the initial question asked by the disciples (Mt 24:3).
Gospel (2098)(euaggelion from eú = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell) is literally good news or glad tidings. In the NT euaggelion is used only of God's message of salvation in three senses (1) act of proclamation (preaching the gospel) (1Cor 4:15), (2) the work of evangelization (spread of the gospel) (Phil 4:3), (3) the content of the message as an offer of salvation (good news) (Ro 1:16) (Adapted from Friberg - Analytical Lexicon). In secular Greek it originally referred to a reward for good news and later became the good news itself. The word euaggelion was commonly used in the first century as our words "good news" today. The idea then and now is something like this - “Have you any good news (euaggelion) for me today?” This was a common question in the ancient world. In ancient secular Greek euaggelion described good news of any kind and prior to the writing of the New Testament, had no definite religious connotation in the ancient world until it was taken over by the "Cult of Caesar" which was the state religion and in which the emperor was worshipped as a god (see more discussion of this use below).
Gospel of the kingdom - This specific phrase is found only 4x in the NT, three times by Matthew (Mt 4:23, 9:35, 24:14) and once by Luke (Lk 16:16). Most writers agree that the Gospel of Matthew is directed toward a Jewish audience and here we see Jesus use this phrase in the context of a description of the time of the end. While we cannot be dogmatic, we know that every kingdom has a king, and it is as if Jesus' is saying the good news of the kingdom will be followed by the good news of the coming of the King, even the King of kings (Rev 19:11-15, 16-note) to set up His Millennial Kingdom.
Kingdom (932)(basileia from basileus = a sovereign, king, monarch) denotes sovereignty, royal power, dominion. Basileia is used most often in the NT to describe God's (Christ's) rule and reign, a rule and reign which in turn most often described by the phrases kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God. Although some scholars attempt to differentiate these terms, it is more reasonable (as discerned from the context) to consider these two phrase as synonyms. Kingdom of heaven is found only in the Gospel of Matthew (32 times) and Kingdom of God is used in the other Gospels (66 times including 4 times in Matthew), 6 times in Acts, and 8 times by Paul. Most observers conclude that Kingdom of Heaven is used by Matthew whose Gospel was addressed primarily to a first century Jewish audience that for the most part would not (and still do not, especially the orthodox) vocalize the Name "God". Jesus' began His ministry proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom (See Tony Garland's discussion - The Arrival of God’s Kingdom) by which, if one receives it and believes it, gains entrance into the Kingdom of God/Heaven, which is simply another way of saying one is "saved" by grace through faith (Jn 3:3, 5, Mt 18:3).
Shall be preached - There is no doubt about this proclamation's consummation! Jesus sounds a note of certainty using this future tense verb. It is as good as done! Yes, the Gospel will encounter great opposition and resistance, but Christ's good news will go forth to all the nations. And what does this signal? When the global proclamation of the Gospel is achieved, Jesus will return and bring an abrupt curtain down on this present age. And so the end of the age (Mt 24:3) will come when the mission is completed. See discussion below on how this "mission possible" is to be completed -- the answer may surprise you.
Shall be preached (proclaimed) (1Th 2:13-note). He gave the people exactly what the Emperor bade him give, nothing more, nothing less. He did not dare add to the message or take away from it. Should this not be the example and pattern every preacher and teacher of the holy gospel of God seeks and strives to emulate, yea, even doing so with fear and trembling! ("not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts" see 1Th 2:4-note)
The original meaning of the root word kerux was a "herald at the royal court."
This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world - This passage is frequently used in missionary conferences to exhort the attendees to take the Gospel to the ends of the world in order to fulfill Jesus' Great Commission to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." (Mt 28:19) I wholehearted agree with the exhortation in those conferences to GO to the lost. The question that arises is will our taking the Gospel to "all the nations" bring about "the end" of this age? To answer that question, we need to look at another way Jesus' words in Mt 24:14 might be interpreted. To do so let's first look at John's incredible vision in Revelation 14:
And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an Eternal Gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.” (Rev 14:6-7-commentary)
If one reads John's words literally, it is clear that this angel (aggelos/angelos = messenger) will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom in the whole world. And if one observes Revelation carefully, it is very clear that there is chronological progression in many of the chapters. And Revelation 14 is inserted at a time which would correspond to the mid-point of the last Seven Year period preceding the horrible time of the 3.5 year Great Tribulation. But even if one did not agree with that timing, anyone who interprets Revelation literally would agree that this worldwide proclamation of the Gospel is very near the end of this age, which is brought about when Jesus returns in Revelation 19:11-16. Therefore I would submit that Rev 14:6-7 could be the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy in Mt 24:14. Please do not misunderstand - Jesus was quite clear in Acts 1:8 declaring that "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And so every believer should be involved in some way (going, sending, praying, giving all in the power of the Holy Spirit) so that the Gospel penetrates even to the remotest part of the earth!
OF THE GOSPEL
In Revelation 14 John's vision of an angel in midheaven clearly links the worldwide proclamation of the Gospel with the end of the age. Recall that "the end" that the disciples asked about in Mt 24:3 was the end of the age. While the global proclamation of the Gospel is not called a sign, it certainly will be seen by everyone on earth and it occurs in Revelation 14 after the Antichrist has set up his rule (Rev 13:5), so it clearly is in the time of the tribulation and most likely the great tribulation (very possibly at the midpoint of the last seven years).
THE SIGN OF THE GLOBAL GOSPEL
|THE SIGN||THE END|
This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world
An angel will preach the eternal Gospel to those who live on the earth
The King of kings returns
Jon Courson agrees writing - Sometimes I hear preachers say that, on the basis of this verse, we must evangelize the world so Jesus can come back. I personally don’t believe that is a correct understanding of this Scripture. Jesus will come back at a time already appointed by the Father. Surely the gospel is to be preached, and surely we are to participate in the process. But the second coming is not dependent upon us, for the greatest explosion of evangelism this world has ever seen will not take place until after we’re gone. Revelation 7:3-8, 9, 14 tells us that after the Rapture, 144,000 Jewish evangelists will be anointed. Moses and perhaps Elijah will come back on the scene, working miracles and calling down fire from Heaven (Rev 11:3ff - Ed: Note that the identity of the two witnesses is not clear! See Chart on Identity of Witnesses). (Jon Courson's Application Commentary)
Tony Garland makes an interesting observation of the preaching of the eternal Gospel - Although it is the Church’s mandate to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8) and to make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28:19), it will not be her who ultimately fulfills the words of Jesus concerning the Gospel reaching the entire world prior to the end: Why? Because she will be absent from the earth at the time of the end, having been taken in the Rapture." (A Testimony of Jesus Christ - Revelation 14) (Bolding added)
John MacArthur - Just before the bowl judgments (Ed: All 6 bowls are poured out in Rev 16:1-21) are poured out and the final great holocaust begins, and just before the increasingly rapid birth pains issue in the kingdom, God will supernaturally present the Gospel to every person on earth (Ed: Referring to Rev 14:6)....That will be the final and total evangelization of the world, miraculously proclaimed from heaven. After that proclamation man’s day will be finished, his rebellion will be over, and his opportunity for salvation will be over, because then the end shall come. (MacArthur New Testament Commentary) (Bolding added)
Warren Wiersbe adds that "Revelation 7:1–8 teaches that God will choose and seal 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Ed: In fairness, they are never actually called evangelists in the text, but that may indeed be their function) who will carry the kingdom message to the ends of the earth (cf the "harvest" in Rev 7:9, 14). This verse does not teach that the Gospel of God’s grace must be spread to every nation today before Jesus can return for His church. It is the Lord’s return at the end of the age that is in view here." (Bible Exposition Commentary) (Bolding added)
Whole (3650)(holos) means all, complete in extent, amount, time or degree = all, altogether, every whit, throughout, whole. Jesus used holos in His piercing question "What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?" (Mt 16:26, cp Mk 8:34-38, Lk 9:25) In Matthew 26:13 (Mk 14:9) Jesus declared "I assure you: Wherever this Gospel is proclaimed in the whole (holos) world (kosmos), what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her." This exact phrase "whole world" (holos oikoumene) is used by John - "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." (Rev 12:9)
World (3635)(oikoumene) the feminine participle present passive of oikeo = to dwell or abide) describes the inhabited portion of the earth, exclusive of the heavens above and hell below. The Romans used oikoumene in their secular writings to refer to the Roman Empire, for to them their empire equated with the whole world. Finally, in some NT contexts oikoumene was used to refer to the inhabitants of the world (see below Acts 17:31, 19:27, Re 12:9-note) Although John uses a different word, the truth is that "The whole world (kosmos) lies (keimai) in the power of (under the sway of) the evil (poneros = wicked) one.” (1Jn 5:19-note) And what is the "key" that unlocks the door of the jail cell and sets free those under the dominion of Satan? The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only answer to man's sin problem and devil's deception and rule over fallen men's souls.
Testimony (3142)(marturion) refers to "an objective act, circumstance, or statement that serves as a means of proof evidence = testimony, witness." (Friberg) Webster's Dictionary says testimony is "something that someone says especially in a court of law while formally promising to tell the truth; proof or evidence that something exists or is true." (See also Testimony - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words) or Testimony - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)
Nations (Gentile) (1484)(ethnos gives us our word "ethnic") in general refers to a multitude associated with one another, living together, united in kinship, culture or traditions and summed up by the words nation, Gentiles (especially when ethnos is plural as in this verse), people (much like "people groups" in our modern missionary vernacular).
OF THE AGE
The end - Notice the repetition of the phrase the end key expression of time in Matthew 24, where it occurs 4 times - Mt 24:3, Mt 24:6, Mt 24:13, Mt 24:14.
Richards on telos - The Greek word group (teleō [verb], telos [noun]) has two basic emphases. The primary concept of “end” is that of achievement of an intended goal. Particularly in eschatological passages the NT picks up the thought of process implicit in the OT. But the NT draws our attention to the conclusion of the process. That end is an extremity, but it is an extremity infused by purpose. Nothing is random; nothing is purposeless. When the end comes, it will bring the achievement of all of God’s purposes. The end will be marked by the consummation of God’s plans. The other concept implicit in the Greek words indicating “end” draws our attention to persons or to things that have reached an intended goal. In a limited but real sense, achieving a goal means that a thing or person is completed, or perfect. Thus “perfect” in the NT does not suggest sinlessness or flawlessness; rather, it is a mature stage of development in which one’s potentials are achieved.
Will come (2240)(heko) means to have come, to have arrived (Lk 15:27 of the prodigal son's arrival), to be present. Heko is used especially to express the certainty of future events happening, which is the sense in our present passage (cp the certain future events described in 2Pe 3:10 = "the Day of the Lord will come like a thief", Rev 18:8 = "plagues will come" on Babylon). See also numerous examples of this "futuristic" sense in the Septuagint uses below. Paul predicts that in the last days (the end of the Great Tribulation) "the Deliverer will come from Zion. He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." (Ro 11:26). Hebrews uses heko three times all referring to Jesus - His first coming (Heb 10:7, 9, cp 1Jn 5:20) and His Second coming (Heb 10:37, cp similar promises of Jesus' return = Rev 2:25, 3:3; Ps 97:9 describes His Second Coming = "He is coming to judge the earth").
Jesus uses heko in His prophetic promise to the nation which rejected Him at His first advent - "Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes (heko) when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” (Lk 13:35) Jesus predicted “And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt 8:11) In Mt 23:36 Jesus predicted " “Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation." In Lk 12:46 Jesus says "the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect." In Luke 19:43 Jesus predicts the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD declaring that "days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side." In John 2:4 Jesus referring to His crucifixion declared "My hour has not yet come." Jesus promises that "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me." (Jn 6:37) Jesus declares to the unbelieving Jews "I proceeded forth and have come from God." (Jn 8:42)
In the Septuagint, the first use of heko is Ge 6:13 - “The end of all flesh has come before Me." In Ge 18:10 Jehovah promised that He would "surely return (Lxx is 2 words - epanastrepho - turn back + heko = will come). The psalmist cries "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?" (Ps 42:2) The psalmist writes "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?" (Ps 121:1)
As described above heko is often used in a futuristic context as illustrated in the following passages.
Joseph correctly predicts "seven years of famine will come." (Ge 41:30) God says "the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me." (Ex 3:9) God promises that when Israel makes an altar of earth for Him "I will come to you and bless you." (Ex 20:24). Israel is promised that "All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God." (Dt 28:2) As Joshua was preparing to pass on he predicted "It shall come (Lxx = heko) about that just as all the good words which the LORD your God spoke to you have come upon (not heko here) you." (Joshua 23:15) In a Messianic psalm we read "Then I said, "Behold, I (Jesus) come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me." (Ps 40:7 quoted in Heb 10:7) The Antichrist "will come to his end, and no one will help him." (Da 11:45) Jeremiah 31:12 describes the promised future regathering of Israel to their land when "They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion." In Ezek 38:8 there is a prediction of restoration of Israel to her promised land in the last days - "in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword." Malachi 3:1 predicts the first coming of Messiah "And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple." The prophet Zechariah foretells of a future day in the Millennium or 1000 year reign of Messiah when "many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD." (Zech 8:22) Compare a description of this same time in Isa 2:2 = "Now it will come about (Lxx = estai = will be) that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream ("shall come" - Lxx = heko) to it." The psalmist also describes this glorious future day "All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And they shall glorify Your name." (Ps 86:9)
Friberg of heko summarized - (1) of persons; (a) as the result of moving toward and reaching a point be, come, arrive (Lk 15.27); (b) as being in a place be here, be there (Heb 10.7); (2) impersonally, of events happen, take place, come (Jn 2.4); used especially to express the certainty of future events happening (2Pe 3.10)
BDAG of heko summarized - (1). to be in a place as the result of movement to, have come, be present, of persons (a). with mention of the starting point = Mt 8:11; Lk 13:29. Ro 11:26. (b). with mention of the goal = Jn 4:47; go to one’s death 1 Cl 16:9. To have come to someone. (c) Absolute - Mt 24:50; Lk 12:46; 15:27; Jn 8:42; Heb 10:7, 9 (d) of the coming of a worshiper to deity = Jn 6:37; Rev 15:4. (e) Of a solemn appearance = be here = Jn 8:42. (2) To make an appearance or come to pass, come, of time (Ezek 7:12) or of events = Mt 24:14; Jn 2:4. Of information, reports . Of the reign of God 2 Cl 12:2. until the time comes when Lk 13:35. Upon someone (Is 47:9; of the final tribulations Mt 23:36; Lk 19:43.
NAS usage of heko - come(17), comes(1), had come(1), has...come(1), has come(2), have come(3).
Heko - 26x in 25v - Mt 8:11; Mt 23:36; 24:14, 50; Mark 8:3; Luke 12:46; 13:29, 35; 15:27; 19:43; John 2:4; 4:47; 6:37; 8:42; Ro 11:26; Heb 10:7, 9, 37; 2Pet 3:10; 1John 5:20; Rev 2:25; 3:3 (twice), Rev 3:9; 15:4; 18:8
Heko - 212 verses in Septuagint - Ge 6:13; 18:10; 41:30; 42:7, 9; 45:16, 18; 46:31; 47:4f; Exod 3:9; 18:23; 20:24; Lev 13:9; 14:35; Num 22:36, 38; Deut 12:9, 26; 28:2; 32:17; 33:2; Josh 2:3; 9:6, 9; 23:15; Judg 16:2; 1 Sam 2:34, 36; 4:6f, 16; 9:12; 10:3, 7; 15:12; 16:2, 5; 20:19; 22:5; 23:7; 25:8; 26:3f; 29:6, 9f; 2 Sam 3:23; 14:32; 17:12; 1 Kgs 8:42; 13:21; 19:15; 2 Kgs 8:7; 20:14; 23:18; 1 Chr 12:17; 2 Chr 20:2; 32:2; 35:21; Neh 2:10; Esth 4:15; Job 3:24; 4:5; 15:21; 16:22; Ps 37:13; 40:7; 42:2; 50:2; 65:2; 68:31; 86:9; 98:9; 101:1; 102:13; 109:17; 121:1; 126:6; Prov 6:3, 11; 24:25, 34; Eccl 5:15; Song 2:8; Isa 2:2; 3:14; 4:5; 7:17; 8:21; 10:3, 28f; 13:6; 18:6; 19:1; 27:13; 30:28; 32:19; 35:4, 10; 37:3; 39:3, 6; 42:9; 45:20, 24; 47:9, 11; 51:11; 59:19f; 60:1, 4ff, 13; 61:5; 66:15, 18, 23; Jer 1:15; 2:3, 31; 3:18; 4:12, 15f; 5:12; 6:3, 26; 8:16; 10:9; 16:19; 17:26; 23:17, 19; 25:31; 30:23; 31:12; 32:24, 29; 36:14; 40:4; 46:18, 22; 47:5; 48:8; 49:36; 50:4f, 27, 31; 51:13, 33, 53, 60; Ezek 7:2, 5ff, 12, 25; 21:25, 29; 23:24, 42; 24:14, 26; 30:4, 9; 32:11; 33:33; 38:8f, 11, 15; 39:8; 47:9; Dan 4:23; 9:26; 11:7, 21, 24, 29f, 39, 44f; Hos 6:3; 9:7; 13:13; Joel 1:15; Amos 8:2; Mic 1:15; 4:8, 10; 7:4, 12; Hab 1:9; 2:3; 3:3; Hag 1:2; 2:7; Zech 6:10, 15; 8:20, 22; 14:5, 21; Mal 3:1
R T France in one of the "highest rated" commentaries (cf Challies and Ligonier) interprets the events in Mt 24:4-22 as primarily past history, and it therefore not surprising that he encounters considerable difficulty explaining Mt 24:14 as an event fulfilled in the past writing that "This saying comes unexpectedly here, not only because it provides a note of hope and triumph in an otherwise threatening context, but also because, like Mt 26:13, it already envisages a world-wide proclamation of the good news....In particular, this passage does not speak of worldwide evangelization as the cause of the “end,” but as a necessary preliminary. And we have argued at Mt 24:6 that the “end” (telos) in view here is not the “end (sunteleia) of the age” but the destruction of the temple, which happened long ago. In what sense, then, would the good news of God’s kingdom be heard “all over the world” before that event occurred?" (Bolding added) France then twists the literal meaning of Jesus' words in fact going so far as to "suggest caution in interpreting it too literally...The point is that the gospel will go far outside Judea, as indeed it certainly did in the decades following Jesus’ resurrection.....Unless one insists on a woodenly literal meaning for the phrase, the good news of God’s kingdom was indeed being proclaimed “all over the world” before the temple was destroyed." (Ed: France defends his assertion with reference to Col 1:6, Ro 16:26, Ro 10:18, 15:18-24) So France goes to considerable length to avoid a literal interpretation of "to the whole world." He adds to Jesus' words. Jesus did not state the Gospel would "go far outside Judea!" A normal reading of the text is clear -- Jesus meant the whole world and then the end would come, the end of the age, not the end of the Temple. This critique of France's analysis is presented as an example of what happens when one adheres to a preterist interpretation, and is forced to "massage" the literal meaning in a vain attempt to try and make it fit with one's preconceived notions.
As as aside if one compares France's interpretation in NICNT published in 2007 with his earlier 1985 commentary on Matthew (Tyndale NT Commentary), it seems that he has changed his view writing "In one sense Paul could claim long before AD 70 to have ‘fully preached the Gospel’ in a large area of Asia and Europe (Ro 15:19), and at many times since then similar claims could have been made with reference to an area far wider than the oikoumene known in Jesus’ time. But Jesus’ words allow no such calculation. (Ed: Not if one reads them literally which it looks like France in fact did in 1985!) The end cannot come until the Gospel has reached far outside the Jewish world, but that gives us no warrant for deciding when it must come." I agree with his 1985 comments! Notice that in 1985 when France interpreted Mt 24:14 literally, he did not equate "the end" with the destruction of the Temple as he did in 2007 when he choose to interpret Jesus' words non-literally! So here is the point of this critique: While France's highly rated 2007 NICNT commentary on Matthew has some good material, one needs to keep a Berean mindset (Acts 17:11-note) and be very careful when reading his comments on eschatological passages!
Preterist Albert Barnes commented (in the 1880's) on "Then shall the end come" explaining that this refers to "The end of the Jewish economy; the destruction of the temple and city." Not only does he take Mt 24:14 out of the context of the original question about the "end of the age" (Mt 24:3), but he incorrectly states this is the "end of the Jewish economy." I wonder how he would explain the rebirth of the "Jewish economy" in May, 1948 when Israel became a nation after almost 2000 years of not being a nation (cp Isaiah 66:8 - "Can a land be born in one day?" Answer = Yes!)
- See related discussion: Keep Context King