“God’s elect are always special objects of God’s care (vv. 22,24). Those whom God has chosen to salvation by Christ are those whom God especially loves in this world. They are the jewels among mankind. He cares more for them than for kings on their thrones if kings are not converted. He hears their prayers. He orders all the events of the nations and the consequences of wars for their good and their sanctification. He keeps them by His Spirit. He allows neither man nor devil to pluck them out of His hand. Whatever tribulation comes on the world, God’s elect are safe. May we never rest till we know that we are of this blessed number! When Paul saw their faith, hope and love of the Thessalonians, then he knew their election of God (1 Thess. 1:4).
In Luke 21:24 a period is foretold during which Jerusalem was to be given over into the hands of Gentile rulers and the Jews were to have no dominion over their ancient city. A fixed period is likewise foretold which was the time in which the Gentiles were to enjoy privileges and occupy a position something like that of Israel in ancient days. Both days are one day to end. Jerusalem is once more to be restored to its ancient inhabitants. The Gentiles because of their hardness and unbelief are to be stripped of their privileges and endure the judgment of God. Their dominion shall crumble away and their vaunted institutions shall fall to pieces. The Jews shall be restored.” (Written in the 1800’s).
“Whenever the second advent of Christ takes place, it shall be a very sudden event (v. 27). This is a practical truth that we should ever keep in our minds. That our Lord Jesus will come again in person we know from Scriptures. That He will come in a time of tribulation we know. But the precise period, the year, the month, the day, the hour are all hidden things. We only know that it will be a very sudden event. Our plain duty then is to live always prepared for His return. Let us walk by faith, not by sight. Let us believe in Christ, serve Christ, follow Christ and love Christ. So living, whenever Christ may return, we will be ready for Him.”
“In this part of the prophecy our Lord deals with His own second coming to judge the world. When the Lord Jesus returns to this world, He shall come with peculiar glory and majesty (v. 30). Before His presence the very planets shall be darkened and shaken (v. 29).
The second personal coming of our Lord shall be as different as possible from the first. He came the first time as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was born in a manger in Bethlehem in lowliness and humiliation. He took on Him the form of a servant and was despised and rejected by men. He was betrayed into the hands of wicked men, condemned by an unjust judgment, mocked, scourged, crowned with thorns and at last crucified between two thieves. He shall come the second time as the King of all the earth and with all royal majesty. The princes and great men of this world shall by themselves stand before His throne to receive an eternal sentence. Before Him every mouth shall be stopped and every knee bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. May we all remember this. Whatever ungodly men may do now, there will be no scoffing, no jesting at Christ, no infidelity at the last day. The servants of Jesus may well wait patiently. Their Master shall one day be acknowledged as King of kings by the whole world.
These verses teach us that when Christ returns He will first take care of His believing people (v. 31). In the Day of Judgment true Christians shall be perfectly safe. Not a hair of their heads shall fall to the ground. Not one bone of Christ’s mystical body shall be broken. There was an ark for Noah in the days of the flood. There was a Zoar for Lot when Sodom was destroyed. There shall be a hiding place for all believers in Jesus when the wrath of God at last bursts on this wicked world. Those mighty angels who rejoiced in heaven when each sinner repented shall gladly catch up the people of Christ to meet Him in the air. Believers may look forward to that awful day without fear.”
“Some understand ‘this generation’ to mean true believers (v. 34), but I understand it to mean that until Christ returns, the Jews will always remain a separate people. The continued existence of the Jews as a distinct nation is undeniably a great miracle. It is one of the evidences of the truth of the Bible that the infidel can never overthrow. For most of their history since A.D. 70 they have been without a land, without a king, without a government, scattered and dispersed over the world. The Jews are never absorbed among the people of the countries where they live like people of other nations, but live alone. Nothing can account for this but the finger of God. The Jewish nation stands before the world as a crushing answer to infidelity and a living book of evidence that the Bible is true. But we ought not to regard the Jewish people only as a witness the Bible is true. We should see them as a continual pledge that the Lord Jesus is coming again. Like the Lord’s Supper, they witness to the reality of the second advent as well as the first.” (Written in the 1800’s).
“Our Lord’s predictions will certainly be fulfilled (v. 35). Our Lord knew well the natural unbelief of human nature. He knew that scoffers would arise in the last days saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ (2 Peter 3:4). He knew that when He came faith would be rare on the earth. He saw how many would contemptuously reject the solemn predictions He had just been delivering as improbable, unlikely, and absurd. He warns us against all such skeptical thoughts with a caution of peculiar solemnity. He tells us that, whatever man may say or think, His words shall be fulfilled in their season and shall not pass away unaccomplished. May we all lay to heart this warning. We live in an unbelieving age. Few believed the report of our Lord’s first coming and few believe the report of His second. Let us beware of this infection and believe to the saving of our souls. We are not reading cunningly devised fables, but deep and momentous truths. May God give us a heart to believe them.”
-J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) from Daily Readings from all four Gospels Published by Evangelical Press England 2001 Devotions for October 23-25.