In order to understand what Jesus teaches us about God's end times plan, we must look closely at the teachings of Jesus Himself as well as consider how His followers throughout history have interpreted His teachings concerning the future.

The Teachings of Jesus Regarding the End Times

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus frequently spoke about His return and the ultimate fate of humanity. However, when examining His teachings, it is important to remember that Jesus spoke in parables and in allegories, often using imagery and language that may seem cryptic or indirect to modern readers. Yet, through the study of Scripture and the context of Jesus' teachings, much can be understood about what Jesus intended us to understand with regard to His return and what it means for us today.

One of the most well known teachings of Jesus regarding the end times is found in Matthew 24. Here Jesus discusses signs that would precede His return (Matthew 24:1-35), which include: false prophets and teachers (Matthew 24:4-5, 11), wars and rumours of war (Matthew 24:6-7), famines (Matthew 24:7), earthquakes (Matthew 24:7), persecution of the church (Matthew 24:9), betrayal among Christians (Matthew 24:10), lawlessness (Matthew 24:12), a falling away of faith among many (Matthew 24:10), great afflictions for all people (Matthew 24:21), false Christs appearing (Matthew 24:23-26), and the abomination of desolation in the Holy Place (Matthew 24:15).

It is also worth noting that during His sermon on the mount Jesus painted a sober picture of the end times for the disciples of His day when He said "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" (Mathew 24:9). He further taught that His followers would experience persecution on an unprecedented scale during these final days (Mark 13:9-13).

Jesus also spoke about His Second Coming in other contexts. For example, in Luke 17:22-37 Jesus speaks of His return being unexpected, much like when He ascended to Heaven which "came upon them as a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:2). In John 14:1-3, Jesus communicates to His disciples that they will know He has returned because they will see Him again with their own eyes. This is believed to be a reference to His appearing to those gathered in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:3-11 and Acts 2:1-41) as well as His many appearances following His resurrection from the dead.

In addition, Jesus makes it clear that no one knows the exact day or hour of His return. This understanding comes from Jesus' statement recorded in Matthew 24:36: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." This verse reinforces Jesus' earlier admonition in Matthew 24:42 to always remain ready and alert, since the exact time of His coming is unknown.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus made it clear that His return would initiate a Judgement Day and the time of final reward and punishment for both believers and unbelievers alike. This understanding can be seen in Jesus' teaching in Matthew 16:27: "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his deeds," which reflects similar sentiments in other Scriptures such as Revelation 11:18 and Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus separates people into two groups – those who are sheep (the saved) and those who are goats (the unsaved). These passages indicate that the end times represent a time of judgement when Jesus returns to separate believers from unbelievers.

Interpretations of Jesus' Teachings Throughout History

The teachings of Jesus regarding His return and the end times have been subject to varied and sometimes conflicting interpretations throughout Church history. For instance, different Christian denominations have held diverging beliefs about the chronological order of events leading up to Jesus' return, as well as debating the meaning of certain cryptic sayings of Jesus such as "This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled" in Matthew 24:34. Some Christians have held a literal interpretation of this statement and believed that Christ would return within their own lifetimes. Others have seen this verse as more metaphorical and linked it to the early stages of the Church’s growth and spread.

Other contentious points have included discussions about whether Jesus returned in the form of His spirit in 70 AD to judge and destroy Jerusalem, or if He will make a visible Second Coming on Earth in the future. Again, Christian denominations have different views about this issue. For instance, some Christians believe in a pre-, mid- or post-tribulation rapture, an event in which believers are taken off the Earth prior to, during or after a time of great tribulation.

It is important to remember that scriptural interpretation is not an exact science but rather requires careful consideration and study of Scripture within its historical and cultural context. It also necessitates n honest engagement with differing views whilst remaining attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in understanding God’s Word.


In summary, Jesus taught His followers about His return and the end times through various parables, imagery and allegories. He warned of false prophets, wars, persecution, lawlessness and great afflictions leading up to His second coming. Moreover, Jesus predicted His unexpected return as well as a final judgement day wherein He will separate believers from unbelievers, rewarding each person according to their actions. There remains a diversity of interpretations among Christians about the specifics of these prophetic events with different denominations holding distinct views. It is crucial for followers of Christ to study Scripture diligently, seek God’s guidance through prayer and engage honestly with differing viewpoints while remaining open to the Holy Spirit’s illumination.


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