As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to take place?”
Jesus said to them, “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and deceive many.” (Mark 13:3-4 NIV)
Parallel passages in the Gospels are not uncommon. Details may be added or omitted but there is no doubt they describe the same event. Of the four Gospels, John’s was the last written. Of the other three, Mark wrote his Gospel first. Reliable scholars believe it was around 50 A.D., not 75 A.D. as some suggest.
I offer this as background for the charge that Matthew 24’s account of The Olivet Discourse was written for Jews and not for everyone. Since this is an attack on the credibility of a significant part of the Bible, this charge merits a full investigation.
I follow this principle: If an argument’s foundation is based on a faulty assumption, it cannot produce an accurate conclusion. A faulty assumption is like inaccurate data entered into the guidance system of a rocket. Everything looks good on the pad, but when launched there is no chance of success.
Unfortunately, some Bible teachers frequently pull faulty assumptions and erroneous arguments out of their hat. We must listen for what’s presented as fact.
Evidence given to back the Pre-Tribulation Rapture claim that prophecy in Matthew 24 does not pertain to Gentile believers is the absence of “Church” in the passage. In logic this is termed “an argument from silence,” the weakest of all arguments. (The YouTube link offers an example of a violating Rule #1, The 5 Major Rules of Bible Interpretation, “Accept the meaning of Scripture in its most normal, natural and customary sense.”) Watch and see how long it takes before confusion sets in. It is a sample of “muddying the water” a type of deception among Christians surrounding Matthew 24. Check out another link that presents a refutation of the charges about Matthew 24. Whose case is clearer?)
Before we decide, we need to give this matter “due diligence.” Consider: If Mark was written earlier and contains the same account, why was Matthew 24 for Jews while Mark 13 was not? Luke 21 was written during the same time period as Matthew 24. Why no argument about the Olivet Discourse in Luke being only for Jews. Matthew has two references to “the Church” (16:18 and 18:17), Mark and Luke have zero, yet they say Matthew was written to Jews and not the Church. They assume we all agree with their untenable assumption.
These shenanigans are only supposed to happen in politics, not within Christianity. By making their charge against Matthew 24, these teachers have crossed the line. They discredit Jesus’ prophecy, inject confusion and obscure God’s sovereign plan of salvation in the last days.
To whom was Jesus referring when he stated, “Let the reader understand”? (24:15b) Was it Torah reading Jews or Matthew reading saints?
Playing to the vulnerable, teachers claim faithfulness to God’s Word, but is that important to the trickery (Matthew 24:4)? This has nothing to do with Jews and everything to do with deceiving the saints.
Could their motive be to protect their amassed wealth and power?