False Messiahs

Jesus next more fully elaborated to His disciples the importance of not being misled by reports of false Christs:

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. If therefore they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go forth, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather” (Matt. 24:23-28).

Notice again Jesus’ many uses of the personal pronoun you . His audience on the Mount of Olives would have expected to live to see the rise of false Christs and false prophets who would perform great miracles. And they would have expected to see Jesus return in the sky like lightning.

Of course, the danger of falling away at that time will be very great, because persecution against believers will be so horrific and false Christs and false prophets will be so convincing due to their miracles. That is why Jesus repeatedly warned His disciples about what would occur just prior to His return. He did not want them to be misled like so many will be. True and steadfast believers will wait for Jesus to return in the sky like lightning, whereas those who are not His true followers will be drawn to false Christs like vultures are drawn to a carcass in the wilderness.