Matthew 24:15 "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place ( let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
As we look at the above verses remember that Jesus is answering the question, "What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?" Remember this is important to learn so we will not be led astray or alarmed at the events that precede His coming to usher in the end of this present evil age.
The center of the action described in our text today is in the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the site of the Jewish temple where the abomination of desolation takes place (Matthew 24:15-16). The whole world is involved in this action right before the return of Jesus (Matthew 24:21-22).
What is the abomination of desolation? The Jewish worship of Yahweh (the LORD) will be violated by the conquering forces of the antichrist, a one world ruler who all people are forced to worship or relinquish all rights, even the right to buy and sell (see Revelation 13). Daniel the prophet spoke of the time of the end commensurate with Jesus words in todays text sometime between 600 BC and 535 BC as recorded in Daniel 11:31-12:4.
The world will be focused on Israel in the time just before the return of Jesus. The people in Israel are going to be fleeing their homes to save their lives during this time (Matthew 24:16-20). The trouble in Israel and the world will be such as has never been seen before and will never be again. If God had not stepped in and cut short those days, no human would be saved (Matthew 24:22). God cuts short those days for the sake of His people ("the elect" who are believers in Jesus Christ).
If we live during those days, we need to remember Jesus told us what would happen. We are not to be led astray by the spiritual error of those days and be forced to worship the antichrist. We are not to be alarmed in surprise at what is happening. We are to draw close to Jesus, call upon Him to help us and be testifying how those around us can be saved from sin and Satan by repenting of their sin and believing the gospel (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9). All who believe in Jesus will endure to the end and be saved through this great tribulation (Matthew 24:13).