I'm horrible at asking questions on here, so please bear with me. As a Protestant, I'm struggling with finding answers to two questions dealing with Matthew 24:15-20.

In Matthew 24:17-18 (NASB), we are told:

17 "Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak."

Lot's wife didn't take God's word literally and paid for it. I don't want to make the same mistake. Obviously we have to go somewhere because verse 20 says:

"pray your flight not be on the sabbath."

According to the Protestant perspective, where are we supposed to go?

Also, why do we have to pray our flight isn't on the sabbath?

Apparently, "flight" during the sabbath would cause us to work, which according to John is not good. Are we still supposed to keep the sabbath holy and not work? Is the sabbath still holy? I thought we didn't "have" to observe the sabbath anymore.

2 Answers 2


The Protestant view is that there was a literal application when the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem, then withdrew unexpectedly. That was the moment to escape and flee to the mountains because when they returned in A.D. 70, the Temple and everyone in Jerusalem were utterly destroyed.

The warning not to stop and pack up possessions was meant to imply urgency. It meant to get on with it and get out while the going was good! The reality was that there would have been time to grab warm clothes or pack food for the journey.

To have traveled during winter, when the River Jordan would have been flooded, would have been very difficult. Likewise, to travel on the Jewish Sabbath (from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday) would almost certainly have meant breaking the law. Again, given the time gap between the first siege and the second siege, there would have been time to get out without breaking the law.
As you point out, Christians are not under the Jewish Sabbath Law.

The future application of this prophecy applies to the tribulation period when the Antichrist and the False Prophet are identified. Before Christ Jesus returns the elect will be gathered and taken up. If, as I suspect, Jesus' warning not to delay applies to the rapture, then it simply means we must be alert and flee when the moment arises. We are not to dally, looking to secure our property or pack a suitcase! Whenever the call comes, we must be prepared to drop everything and go where we are bidden.

The Bible does not give us specific details, and frankly, we don't need to know the details. We just need to be on the side of Christ and know that we belong to Him.


2 seconds after posting this I thought of the answer, sorry. I'm guessing all this scripture is referring to those people in Judaea. Otherwise Christ told the entire earth to to run for the mountains during this time without taking a single provision with you which doesn't make sense, not to mention many peopld live nowhere near mountains. Now for those in Judaea during that time, it probably does make sense because the Jews are about to be persecuted.

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