READY OR NOT – The Second Coming of Christ
Sermon shared by D. Greg Ebie
Summary: READY OR NOT – The Second Coming of Christ Explores the tension between the imminent return of Christ and the delay of His coming; also the signs of His return. View sermons at www.praiseag.org - click on "The Path"
Denomination: Assembly of God
Audience: General adults
With questions filling their minds, the disciples looked to Jesus for answers—answers they could understand. If the coming kingdom is near, then when will it arrive and how will they recognize it? So they went to Jesus on the Mount of Olives and asked Him plainly, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3 NIV)?
Jesus answer was probably not what they were expecting. I’m sure they were thinking Jesus would gather them all in a huddle and say, “Okay, here’s the plan for setting up the new age. God’s kingdom will be established in so many days and this is what to look for. . .” How many of you are just like the disciples and would have liked for Jesus to have just spelled out the end time plan like that?
While Jesus didn’t give us an answer we can put into our calendars with a big red circle, the Olivet Discourse recorded in Matthew 24 and 25 is Jesus’ direct response to the disciples question, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Here Jesus gives one of the clearest explanations of the end time events recorded anywhere in the Bible. The disciples asked what to look for and Jesus told them. Within the 11 verses of Matthew 24:3-14, Jesus reveals seven signs pointing to His coming at the end of the time. These signs are:
2. worldwide birth pains,
4. falling away,
5. false prophets,
7. worldwide evangelism.
• Matthew 24:4-5 (NIV)
Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in my name, claiming, ’I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
The first and most important sign pointing to Christ’s coming is deception. As we move closer and closer to the end religious deception will be widespread affecting people everywhere. People will be out of control spiritually chasing whatever makes them feel good.
Jesus was so concerned that His followers be prepared for the spiritual deception to come upon the world that He repeats this warning two more times. In verse 11 He says, “Many false prophets will appear AND DECEIVE MANY PEOPLE.” Later in verse 24 He warns, “False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles TO DECEIVE EVEN THE ELECT—if that were possible.”
Let me ask a simple question: IS RELIGIOUS DECEPTION ON THE INCREASE IN OUR WORLD TODAY? Absolutely it is! If you have not noticed an increase in deception and false teaching, then pull your head out of the sand and wake up lest you too be deceived!
• Romans 13:11 (NIV)
The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
• 2 Timothy 3:13 (MsgB)
Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They’re as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse.
ILLUSTRATION: The George Barna Group has uncovered some of the ways people in America are being deceived today.
59% do not believe in Satan
51% believe praying to dead saints is beneficial
35% believe you can communicate with the dead
50% believe salvation is earned and not a gift (so much for grace)
75% believe people are born neither good nor evil—
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