Matthew 24:27
For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Christ's Second ComingBishop HuntingtonMatthew 24:27
Christ's Second Coming a RevelationE. E. Johnson, M. A.Matthew 24:27
Duty to be Done in Time of JudgmentJ. Cumming, D. D.Matthew 24:27
LightningW.F. Adeney Matthew 24:27
The Coming of the Son of ManMatthew 24:27
The Last ConflagrationJ. Cumming, D. D.Matthew 24:27
Salutary WarningsJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 24:15-28

Our Lord compares his coming to a great flash of lightning which blazes out in the east and illumines earth and sky as far as the west. This is in contrast to the notion of an obscure and doubtful appearance, or one that is local and limited, or one the coming of which is so gradual that it can scarcely be discerned. In opposition to these erroneous conceptions, the advent of Christ is to be lightning like. Let us consider its characteristics as they are suggested to us by this startling image.

I. VISIBILITY. Bursting out of the darkness of the storm, the lightning blinds us with the brilliancy of its illumination. There is no mistaking the fact that it has come. We may not observe the glow worm; we cannot ignore the lightning. The awful "day of God" at the destruction of Jerusalem has made its impress on all history. Other advents of Christ in judgment, as in the sack of Rome by the Goths, the wreck of the Spanish Armada, etc., have startled the world with their terror. The present more peaceful coming of Christ to heathen nations in the spread of his gospel produces most visible effects in the transformation of degraded fetich-worshipping cannibals into civilized, humane Christians. Our Lord's words lead us to anticipate that there will be no obscurity about his great final advent. Then every eye shall behold him.

II. BREADTH. The lightning flashes from east to west; or its flash is so splendid, that while for a moment it plays in the east, the far-off west is illumined by the radiance it spreads in all directions. There is a greatness in the appearance of Christ. Even when he came in humiliation, he was "a Light to lighten the Gentiles." Perhaps he had some thought of his first appearance in the East, and of the spread of his light to Europe, when he spoke of the lightning shining in this direction. But if it is a strain of fancy to assert that any such idea is to be found in this image, the notion of breadth is certainly there. Christ's life was lived in the open. As St. Paul boldly said, "This thing was not done in a corner" (Acts 26:26). Christ is the Light of the world, and his radiance is spreading over the earth. The last advent will be for all the world to see, and it will concern all mankind.

III. SUDDENNESS. Nothing is so sudden or so startling as the lightning. In its very silence it gives us a greater shock than the roaring thunder. There is something peculiarly awful in its momentary blaze of splendour, especially as we know that there is death and destruction in its shaft. In a moment the steeple is shattered, the stout oak is blasted and riven to its core, the strong man is scathed and flung down dead. It is not clear that our Lord meant us to attach any idea of destruction to his image of the lightning. We know that there is a terror in the wrath of the Son (Psalm 2:12). In his advent to judgment Christ must smite down his foes. He is not the incarnation of unruffled amiability which modern hymns represent, although he is not the stern Judge of Byzantine art. Part of the terror of his judgment is its suddenness. We know not when he will come. Yet if we are his true people we need not fear. His sudden advent will be our sudden joy. - W.F.A.

For as the lightning.
I. Christ's advent shall be SUDDEN. Unexpected by the masses; like the flash that leaps from the bosom of the black cloud, sweeps through the sky, and completes its journey in an instant.

II. Christ's advent will be with INTENSE AND VIVID SPLENDOUR. The lightning fills the whole world; leaps from the east, and finds its lair only in the remote and distant west. When the searching lightning of that day shall come it will penetrate the cell of the captive, etc. What an arrest will take place. The world will be going on when Christ comes, as it does this moment. There will BE SIGNS, AND SYMPTOMS, AND PREMONITORY WARNINGS OF CHRIST'S ADVENT.

1. Some will say, on seeing them, "The whole thing can be explained on the principles of natural science," etc. It may be so; but certainly these scientific objectors seem to be the successors of a class who are a sign of the times, while they say, "Where is the promise of His coming?" etc.

2. Others will meet all statements on the subject with "Wishes it may not be true," etc.

3. God's own people will say, "Come, Lord Jesus; we have been looking for Thee," etc.

4. The testimony of God's Word as to the accompaniments of this day.

5. What is the lesson from all this? "What manner of persons," etc.

6. Seek to promote things that will survive the last fire.

7. The prospect of a dissolving world is a more practical motive force than the prospect of death. This is the apostolic motive power.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

About sixty years ago, there was in America a universal superstition — not an enlightened belief — that the world was about to close. They believed that the world was about to end, because a total eclipse of the sun took place at noonday. There was all the darkness and the gloom of midnight. It happened that the Congress of the United States was assembled at this hour; half the members of the Congress believed that that dense night, caused by a total eclipse of the sun, was really the darkness that preceded the ushering in the judgment and another state and world. They were in great alarm, and two or three of the most agitated got up at once, and moved that the Congress do adjourn. There was a panic. In the midst of the panic, and while some were proposing an adjournment, an old and venerable Puritan, who had learned noble lessons from the Puritans of England, the salt of the country at that time, rose up and said, "Mr. Chairman, we are told that our duties are always imminent, that they are always obligatory. Some in this house are afraid that the last day is come; it may be they are right; I have some suspicion they are so; but as our duties never cease, instead of moving that the house adjourn, as we cannot see in this darkness to do business, I move that the candles be brought in, and that we proceed to the order of the day." That man spoke like a Christian, and he lived like a Christian. And may we be found going on with the orders of the day when the light of the last day shall flash upon this world.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

The Rev. Edward Irving was once preaching at Perth. The text was taken from Matthew 24., regarding the coming of the Son of Man. While he was engaged in unfolding his subject, from out of a dark cloud, which obscured the church, there came forth a bright blaze of lightning and a crash of thunder. There was deep stillness in the audience. The preacher paused; and from the stillness and the gloom, his powerful voice, clothed with increased solemnity, pronounced these words: "For as the lightning cometh out of the earth, and shineth even unto the west; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be."

Here are two opposite yet ever-present dangers. One is of fancying that our Saviour and our salvation are to be found in some extraordinary out-of-the-way fashion of religious manifestation: "Behold he is in the desert." The other danger is that we shall fancy that our Saviour and our salvation are to be found in particular states of our own interior feeling: "Behold he is in the secret chambers." The first was superstition; this is fanaticism.

I. BOTH CHRIST AND HIS APOSTLES SPEAK REPEATEDLY OF A SECOND COMING OF THE SON OF MAN IN SUCH A SENSE AS FORBIDS US TO CONFOUND THE SECOND WITH THE FIRST. The two are put entirely apart in time, though they are internally and morally connected with each other; the one pro. paring the way for the other, and each being in fact fragmentary and unintelligible without the other.

II. THAT COMING IS PERSONAL AND LITERAL. We may call signal social revolutions, reforms in government, the emancipation of slaves, or great accessions of knowledge or charity, new comings of Christ. The figure is intelligible; but they are not comings of Him. They may be comings of the impersonal power and principles of His religion — partial blessings reminding us of the one great blessing that includes them all; but He is to come. "Ye shall see the Son of Man(not His ideas, but Him) coming in power and great glory." Nor will it do to tamper with Holy Scripture by such a theory of interpretation as that His coming means our going. The death or departure of the individual is one thing; the Bible often mentions that, meaning just what it says. The Lord's coming is another.



V. INSPIRED WRITERS, APOSTLES, SIGNIFY THEIR EXPECTATION THAT CHRIST'S SECOND ADVENT WOULD TAKE PLACE DURING THEIR OWN NATURAL LIFE. Were they mistaken, and mistaken teachers of others? A vast amount of ingenious effort has been made to break the force of this objection with out sacrificing the infallibility of the record. For the most part it has failed by taking the purely external or philological method, and without sounding spiritually the depths of the Evangelic purpose. Let us honestly take the language of honest men in its ordinary acceptation. What, then, shall we say? All difficulties are cleared by the following proposition, which is reasonable and reverential: The purpose of revelation, in this matter, was to create in Christians, not a belief that Christ would come at any particular hour in history, but a belief that He is always at hand, and that all Christians should at all times and in all places be ready, as men that stand with their lamps trimmed and burning, to meet Him personally. The date of the event was no part of the Divine communication. In proportion as we rise, in thought, toward the immensity of the life of God, and have "the mind of the Spirit," the whole period of history shrinks, great distances dwindle, epochs are pressed together, and "a thousand years are as one day." Besides, the highest authority in modern physical science, in astronomy, and geology, and chemistry, harmonizes singularly enough, as to the issue, with the Apostolic language. It concludes that the machinery of the material universe is wasting, its movements are slackening, its balance is slowly loosening, and that a general catastrophe is inevitable. The sneer of the scientific sceptic of the last century is silenced by the science of to-day. We may say that in the Bible predictions generally, borrowing a phrase from the fine arts, what we may call historical perspective is lost sight of. We are not told at what intervals from each other, or always in just what order, these majestic events, by which eternity seems to open down into time, shall follow on. Chronology is not the object. The facts are what we are to know, and receive, and feed upon in our hearts by faith. The moment we begin to try our petty arithmetic on them we miss the mark, and lose our way. We all know that, even with ourselves, the moments of tremendous peril, when awful events are casting their colossal shadows about us, are just the time when the ordinary measure of succession drops out of sight. We look across the great tract and see other great conjunctions, as if they were nigh at hand. Christ Jesus is not enclosed in time, but time is all in Him.

(Bishop Huntington)

The essential circumstance in this parable or analogy is not so much the suddenness of the splendour that breaks forth from the cloud, as the wide-reaching and supernatural illumination and revelation which come with it. It annihilates all the darkness of the night and of the storm. Each of all the hidden objects stands out clearly manifest. The daylight comes so slowly that we seldom think of its revealing power. Even when we pause to watch its increase, the world has ample time to grow into its old look of naturalness without any shock to us; and, ere the sun has fully risen and disclosed clearly to our sight the familiar objects around us, we have already well-nigh forgotten that the night ever hid them. But it is not so when the lightning comes. That has no twilight. Its dawn is its fullest day. It transfigures the world at once. It divides the light from the darkness somewhat as we imagine God did at the beginning — separating them perfectly, and leaving no neutral ground between them.

(E. E. Johnson, M. A.)

Daniel, Jesus, Noah, Noe
Jerusalem, Judea, Mount of Olives
Appear, Bright, East, Flashes, Forth, Goes, Lightning, Presence, Shines, Shineth, Thunderstorm, Visible, West
1. Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple;
3. what and how great calamities shall be before it;
29. the signs of his coming to judgment.
36. And because that day and hour are unknown,
42. we ought to watch like good servants, expecting our Master's coming.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 24:27

     2024   Christ, glory of
     2565   Christ, second coming
     4821   east
     4838   lightning
     4857   west

Matthew 24:27-31

     1450   signs, kinds of
     8746   false Christs

The Carrion and the Vultures
'Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.'--MATT. xxiv. 28. This grim parable has, of course, a strong Eastern colouring. It is best appreciated by dwellers in those lands. They tell us that no sooner is some sickly animal dead, or some piece of carrion thrown out by the way, than the vultures--for the eagle does not prey upon carrion--appear. There may not have been one visible a moment before in the hot blue sky, but, taught by scent or by sight that their banquet
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Two Forms of one Saying
'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.' --Matt. xxiv. 13, R.V. 'In your patience possess ye your souls.'--Luke xxi. 19. These two sayings, different as they sound in our Version, are probably divergent representations of one original. The reasons for so supposing are manifold and obvious on a little consideration. In the first place, the two sayings occur in the Evangelists' reports of the same prophecy and at the same point therein. In the second place, the verbal resemblance is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Watching for the King
'Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. 45. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season! 46. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

March the Twentieth the Lord is at Hand!
"Ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." --MATTHEW xxiv. 42-51. Then let me always live as though my Lord were at the gate! Let me arrange my affairs on the assumption that the next to lift the latch will be the King. When I am out with my friend, walking and talking, let me assume that just round the corner I may meet the Lord. And so let me practise meeting Him! Said a mother to me one day concerning her long-absent boy: "I lay a place for him at every meal! His seat is always ready!" May
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

What Lasts, and what Passes Away.
25th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matthew xxiv., 35. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass away." INTRODUCTION.--Yes! all will pass away! This beautiful world and all that is on it. Our houses, our churches, our cities, will crumble away; the very earth with its mountains and rivers, and plains, and seas, will pass away. The stars will fall from heaven, the sun will have exhausted its fires, the moon will sink into night. But the words of Christ will last. SUBJECT.--Incessant
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

"And Watch unto Prayer. "
1 Pet. iv. 7.--"And watch unto prayer." "Watch." A Christian should watch. A Christian is a watchman by office. This duty of watchfulness is frequently commanded and commended in scripture, Matt. xxiv. 42, Mark xiii. 33, 1 Cor. xvi. 13, Eph. vi. 18, 1 Pet. v. 8, Col. iv. 2; Luke xii. 37. David did wait as they that did watch for the morning light. The ministers of the gospel are styled watchmen in scripture and every Christian should be to himself as a minister is to his flock, he should watch over
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of Meditation Upon Death
Very quickly will there be an end of thee here; take heed therefore how it will be with thee in another world. To-day man is, and to-morrow he will be seen no more. And being removed out of sight, quickly also he is out of mind. O the dulness and hardness of man's heart, which thinketh only of the present, and looketh not forward to the future. Thou oughtest in every deed and thought so to order thyself, as if thou wert to die this day. If thou hadst a good conscience thou wouldst not greatly
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

"Take heed that no man deceive you."--Matt. xxiv: 4. "Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."--Col. i: 27, 28. To give a warning is a sign of love. Who warns like a mother, and who loves like a mother? Your mother, perhaps, is gone, and your father is gone. Let me take the place of those who have departed, and lift up a warning voice. With Paul I would say: "I write not these
Dwight L. Moody—Sowing and Reaping

Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold.
^A Matt. XXIV. 1-28; ^B Mark XIII. 1-23; ^C Luke XXI. 5-24. ^a 1 And Jesus went out from the temple [leaving it to return no more], and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him ^b as he went forth ^a to show him the buildings of the temple. ^b one of his disciples saith unto him, Teacher, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings! ^c 5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said [The strength and wealth of the temple roused
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Second Coming of Christ.
^A Matt. XXIV. 29-51; ^B Mark XIII. 24-37; ^C Luke XXI. 25-36. ^b 24 But in those days, ^a immediately after the { ^b that} ^a tribulation of those days. [Since the coming of Christ did not follow close upon the destruction of Jerusalem, the word "immediately" used by Matthew is somewhat puzzling. There are, however, three ways in which it may be explained: 1. That Jesus reckons the time after his own divine, and not after our human, fashion. Viewing the word in this light, the passage at II. Pet.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Christian Conception of Life Has Already Arisen in Our Society, and Will Infallibly Put an End to the Present Organization of Our Life Based On
The Condition and Organization of our Society are Terrible, but they Rest only on Public Opinion, and can be Destroyed by it-- Already Violence is Regarded from a Different Point of View; the Number of those who are Ready to Serve the Government is Diminishing; and even the Servants of Government are Ashamed of their Position, and so often Do Not Perform their Duties--These Facts are all Signs of the Rise of a Public Opinion, which Continually Growing will Lead to No One being Willing to Enter Government
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

The Evening of the Third Day in Passion-Week - on the Mount of Olives: Discoures to the Disciples Concerning the Last Things.
THE last and most solemn denunciation of Jerusalem had been uttered, the last and most terrible prediction of judgment upon the Temple spoken, and Jesus was suiting the action to the word. It was as if He had cast the dust of His Shoes against the House' that was to be left desolate.' And so He quitted for ever the Temple and them that held office in it. They had left the Sanctuary and the City, had crossed black Kidron, and were slowly climbing the Mount of Olives. A sudden turn in the road, and
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

A Key to the Knowledge of Church History
A KEY TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHURCH HISTORY [Ancient] Edited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT, M.A. Editor of "The Dictionary of Theology," "The Annotated Book of Common Prayer;" Author of "Household Theology," Etc. Etc. "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations."--St. Matt. xxiv. 14 Rivingtons Waterloo Place, London Oxford, and Cambridge MDCCCLXXVII [New Edition]
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History

Our Lord's Olivet Discourse Shows that There is no Universal Triumph of the Gospel Before his Second Advent.
The Olivet Discourse of our Lord is recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. We cannot now attempt a detailed exposition of these highly interesting and important chapters, but would simply single our from them a few things which throw light upon our present inquiry. At the beginning of Matt. 24 we find that three of His disciples asked our Lord, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?" (vs. 3). What then was the answer which
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return

Third Sunday Before Lent
Text: First Corinthians 9, 24-27; 10, 1-5. 24 Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25 And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The vineyard and Its Keepers
'Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34. And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Watching the Horizon
"Thy Kingdom Come." "Thou art coming! We are waiting With a hope that cannot fail; Asking not the day or hour, Resting on Thy word of power, Anchored safe within the veil. Time appointed may be long, But the vision must be sure: Certainty shall make us strong, Joyful patience must endure. "O the joy to see Thee reigning, Thee, my own beloved Lord! Every tongue Thy name confessing, Worship, honour, glory, blessing, Brought to Thee with glad accord! Thee, my Master and my Friend, Vindicated and enthroned!
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

Another Shorter Evening Prayer.
O eternal God and heavenly Father, if I were not taught and assured by the promises of thy gospel, and the examples of Peter, Mary Magdalene, the publican, the prodigal child, and many other penitent sinners, that thou art so full of compassion, and so ready to forgive the greatest sinners, who are heaviest laden with sin, at what time soever they return unto thee with penitent hearts, lamenting their sins, and imploring thy grace, I should despair for mine own sins, and be utterly discouraged from
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

There is a Blessedness in Reversion
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3 Having done with the occasion, I come now to the sermon itself. Blessed are the poor in spirit'. Christ does not begin his Sermon on the Mount as the Law was delivered on the mount, with commands and threatenings, the trumpet sounding, the fire flaming, the earth quaking, and the hearts of the Israelites too for fear; but our Saviour (whose lips dropped as the honeycomb') begins with promises and blessings. So sweet and ravishing was the doctrine of this
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

An Analysis of Augustin's Writings against the Donatists.
The object of this chapter is to present a rudimentary outline and summary of all that Augustin penned or spoke against those traditional North African Christians whom he was pleased to regard as schismatics. It will be arranged, so far as may be, in chronological order, following the dates suggested by the Benedictine edition. The necessary brevity precludes anything but a very meagre treatment of so considerable a theme. The writer takes no responsibility for the ecclesiological tenets of the
St. Augustine—writings in connection with the donatist controversy.

The Completion of Our Saviour's Prophecies Confirmed Pagans in their Belief of the Gospel.
I. The completion of our Saviour's Prophecies confirmed Pagans in their belief of the gospel. II. Origen's observation on our Saviour's disciples being brought before kings and governors; III. On their being persecuted for their religion; IV. On their preaching the gospel to all nations. V. On the destruction of Jerusalem, and ruin of the Jewish oeconomy. VI. These arguments strengthened by what has happened since Origen's time. I. THE second of these extraordinary means, of great use to the learned
Joseph Addison—The Evidences of the Christian Religion, with Additional Discourses

I. (i) Against Eunomius. The work under this title comprises five books, the first three generally accepted as genuine, the last two sometimes regarded as doubtful. Gregory of Nazianzus, [303] Jerome, [304] and Theodoret [305] all testify to Basil's having written against Eunomius, but do not specify the number of books. Books IV. and V. are accepted by Bellarmine, Du Pin, Tillemont, and Ceillier, mainly on the authority of the edict of Justinian against the Three Chapters (Mansi ix., 552),
Basil—Basil: Letters and Select Works

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