Matthew 24:23-28 (ESV)
23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
Jesus told his disciples that people will come in the future, declaring themselves to be the Messiah. He counseled his followers not to believe those who make such assertions. The followers of Jesus were also warned not to pay attention to anyone who suggests that he knows where the Messiah is located. For example, if one claims the Messiah is in a desert or in a closet, the followers of Jesus should not believe the report. Why should they reject any such claim? The second coming of Christ will not be a secret thing. After the great tribulation is over, his return will be like lightning flashing in the sky. All will see it. Jesus followed this caution and exhortation with a strange statement in verse 28. He says, “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” A corpse is something dead. Those who are spiritually dead, or those who have not been born again through repentance and faith in Jesus, will attract vultures. The vultures represent the judgment of God upon sin. Just as a corpse draws vultures to itself, so will the unbeliever draw God’s judgment down upon herself. No one can say when the last judgment will occur, but it is inevitable. It will take place. God will deal with sin.
Often, people ask, “If Christianity is the truth, then why are there so many religions?” Jesus told his followers in advance that false religious leaders would arise. He didn’t say they might come, but he said they would come, even doing great things to substantiate their claims. If someone declares he has a new way to reconcile others to God, or they have received new revelation from the Lord, even by an angel, their message should be immediately rejected. We live on a planet where the god of this world is at war with our Lord Jesus. But this war will not continue forever. God will put an end to it soon. Until then, the Christian must remain on guard and live defensively. Our enemy, the devil, would love to get us sidetracked onto some supposedly new or different path to Jesus, or even get us listening to “new words” from the Lord. Avoid these things. Keep your focus on the gospel, and stick to the message that was given once for all believers. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted today by any “new revelation” from any so-called Jesus.