The Signs of the Times (6): Glory

editor - 29 July 2018

“…Jesus left the Temple and was walking away when His disciples came up to Him to call His attention to its buildings. ‘Do you see all these things?’ He asked. ‘Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down’…”
Matthew 24:1-2 NIV

The first question of the disciples was: when will this happen? When will the city of Jerusalem and the Temple be destroyed in such a way that not one stone will be left upon another? It was literally fulfilled 40 years later.

The second question was: what will be the sign of Your Coming? How can we understand the ‘signs of the times’ so that we know when Your Coming in Glory is very near, right at hand? The disciples ask this question when they have recovered from the shock and understand that Jesus’ first coming apparently will not lead to the coming of the Kingdom of peace and righteousness. But Isaiah and many other prophets in the Old Testament had spoken about the coming of this Kingdom! Were they wrong? That’s impossible! So they ask Jesus: “If not now, when will Your Kingdom come?”

At this moment they are beginning to understand that somehow there must be a second coming of Jesus, a coming in Glory. To realize the long waited for and expected Kingdom on earth! The Greek word that they are using is ‘parousia’ – Coming in Glory.

His destiny apparently will now be suffering and death, a cruel death on a cross. But the Word of the Lord cannot be broken. The Kingdom will come. It must! But when? So already at this moment His friends ask Him: how do we know when You will come again?

When will You come back in Glory? When will You establish your Kingdom of peace and righteousness? When will peace flow forth from Jerusalem all over the world?

When will the time come that Jerusalem and the Temple shall be the centre of the world? When will the time come that the nations will no longer send their representatives to the United Nations in New York, but to Jerusalem? Just as Isaiah 2:2-4 and many other prophets in the Old Testament have promised.

How do we know? What will be the sign of Your Coming in Glory? When will this awful part of world history be finally over, with its wars, famine, contagious diseases, earthquakes, false prophets, child rapists, immorality, lawlessness, destruction of creation, martyrs and so on?


After they have asked Him these questions, and when they are alone with Him and can talk privately with Him, He says: sit down and I will explain this to you. At this moment they are with Him on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. From there one has a great view over the city of Jerusalem and the Temple.

What follows is one of the longest sermons recorded of the Lord Jesus: the Sermon about the future, about the end of the age, Matthew 24-25. Another great sermon of Jesus is the Sermon on the mountainside in Galilee, Matthew 5-7.

In this ‘Sermon about the signs of the end of the age’ He sums up a great number of general ‘signs of the times’ preceding His Coming in Glory. These signs that Jesus mentions are many – practically all of them are negative signs. Many of them we have seen happening already for almost 2000 years. But in our days they are intensifying. The statistics of many of these negative signs are steeply on the rise.

But He also mentions two positive signs’. And these two are being fulfilled in our days. The preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom in the entire world. And the fig tree that’s coming back to life again. The restoration of Israel. The fig tree is one of the pictures of Israel in the Bible.


The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible. The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

About the Author