Posts Tagged ‘end times’

Ready or Not

August 28, 2019

I wish we’d all been ready.  That is the name of a song by Larry Norman way back in the seventies.  It was a reference to the rapture, when Christ will return to gather His people to Himself.

I.  The Rapture:  Matthew 24:36-42

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

The idea of being left behind on that day gives one a terrible feeling.  Books and movies have been written and made imagining what that would be like.

One way of interpreting the order of the end of the world is: rapture, tribulation, return of Christ, millennial reign, final rebellion, final judgment, and the new heavens and new earth.

That is a lot of material all thrown in at once.  Today, I want to focus on the rapture.

There are three views of when the rapture will take place.  The pre-trib view believes that the rapture will take place before the tribulation.  The mid-trib view is that the rapture will take place three and a half years into the tribulation.  The post-trib view is that it will take place at the end of the tribulation.

I like to tell people to prepare for pre but be prepared for post.  In order to be prepared for the pre-trib rapture we simply need to be living in a right relationship with God.  To be prepared for post we need to be living in a right relationship with God, and have an understanding that we might be called upon to suffer for the name of Christ.  This is something that we should be ready for anyway, as many Christians have suffered before us.

II.  Call Upon The Lord:  Genesis 4:26

And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.

From the beginning people have called upon the name of the Lord.  Of course, in the New Testament we are introduced to Jesus; the Son of God, who is our Lord and Savior.

Acts 4: 8-12

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

So, it is not merely a faith in a generic god, but faith in Jesus that saves us.

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

So, when we call on the name of the Lord, we call upon Jesus.

III.  Obedience  Genesis 6;22

Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

God gave Noah direction.  Noah obeyed God.  Obedience is important.

Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Please notice the order: grace, faith, works.  People often get this confused or out of order.  Unless God reached out to us by grace we would remain dead in our sins.  If we do not respond in faith we would have rejected the salvation that God offers us through Jesus Christ.  Our faith in Christ changes us.

James 2:17

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Again, we need to emphasize that we do do have works to be saved.  We have works because we are saved.  We do not earn our salvation, but our salvation changes us.  Grace, faith, works, in that order.

So if we want to be ready for the rapture, if we do not want to be left behind, then we need to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus and be obedient to him.

Matthew 7:21

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

 

Are you ready?

Ready or not….

 

These are the sermon notes from 8/25/19.  All scripture references are from the New King James Version of the Bible.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

 

The End of the Age

August 18, 2014

Since I was a youngster, I have heard people talking about the return of Christ.  Certainly it is an important topic.

Mark 13:5-13

Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

Jesus answers this question in a typically prophetic manner.  By this I mean that there is a mixture of discourse about events that are relatively soon, the destruction of the temple, and events that are further off, the end of the age.

I.  Warning!  Mark 13:5-13

And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.

“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

A.  Do not be deceived.  The enemy will try to turn us away from the true faith.  The way to avoid deception is to study the Bible.  It is God’s Word to us and is the source of truth. We should read, and re-read, again and again, the Bible.  We should pray and ask God to help us understand.  We should talk with others, study, and make the pursuit of the knowledge of God through the scriptures a priority in our lives.

B.  The gospel must be preached in all the world.  The Assemblies of God has identified what they call unreached people groups.  They are working hard to bring the gospel to all the world.  They are not alone.  God works through many means to spread His gospel.

C.  The Holy Spirit speaks through us.  This is not just pastors and other professional religious leaders.  God can us all of us.  Many of us have had the experience of having a conversation when we can sense the Holy Spirit speaking through us.  It is a wonderful thing to be led by the Spirit in those moments.  When we are led by the Spirit, we are more effective than if we had spent hours in planning.

In verses 14-27 Jesus speaks about a mixture of events that will occur including the destruction of the temple, and during the tribulation, and the final return.  The message today is not focusing on these details which are addressed in many books and messages.

II.  Near and Far:  Mark 13:28-31

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

A.  It is near.  One of the things that I find most fascinating about the predictions of the Lord’s return is that it is worded in such a way that each generation of believers has sensed that the end was near.  I believe that this was intentional.  We are meant to live in an expectancy of the the Lord’s return.

B.  This generation is a Greek word that can mean either generation, or race.  Many scholars believe that a generation is about forty years.  The temple was destroyed in 70 AD and the ministry of Jesus was about 30-33 AD so, a generation before the destruction of the temple is about right.  However, if the reference is not meant to refer to the destruction of the temple but rather the end of the age, the the meaning of race is more appropriate.  The Jewish people managed to survive as a people for almost two thousand years without a homeland.  That is a remarkable feat.

C.  Heaven and earth will pass away.  Some groups teach that this world will be renewed.  I believe that it will be replaced.

D.  Even though this world will pass away and everything will change, the Word of God will not pass away.  It is eternal.

III.  Watch!  Mark 13:32-37

 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

We are not able to predict the day or the hour.  The important thing is to know that it is coming, and to be ready.

Do not be deceived.  Christ will one day return for his people.

If it were today, are you ready?

 

These are the sermon notes from 8/10/14.  Any advertisement that might appear is placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

 

Signs of the Times

April 19, 2010

In the past few years there has seemed to be an increase in natural disasters.  Volcanos, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and all sorts of tragic events have occurred. The other night, here in eastern Iowa there was a blazing comet that streaked across the sky.   Some people wonder if indeed these are signs of the end, that Jesus is returning soon.

It is possible.

I have long believed that Jesus could return at any moment.  I also accept that we do not know the day or hour.  Historically, many generations have believed that they were living in the last days. Obviously it hasn’t happened yet.  So what are we to do?

We should live our lives as if Jesus could return at any moment.  We should also accept that  it could be another thousand years.  What does that mean?  It means that if Jesus comes today, we should be ready.  We should also plan for the future, just in case.