The end of the world, in one way or another…is on your mind. We watch movies about it, we read books about it, we watch TV shows about it, we’re well aware of the interest involving the Mayan calender and the year 2012. There is NOTHING to the Mayan theory, an asteroid is NOT going to end human civilization. Nuclear was is NOT going to end humanity. It only makes a good story.
To ALL of our campuses and those watching around the world: What you saw a few moments ago, is GOING to happen.
Scare tactics? Friends, it is the way God painted the picture. It’s unsettling. Yet the study of the end times (eschatology) is probably one Mega Theme in the Bible you most want to hear about. It fascinates us. It frightens us. It draws us closer to trusting the Lord. It ties the entire Bible together: the story of perfection, sin, loss, redemption, salvation and judgment into a perfect painting by the Creator. God Himself.
The Bible ends with GRAVE implications. The greatest book EVER written, ends with the most frightening chapter we can possibly imagine. The end of humanity, authored by God.
End times in 30 minutes? Impossible. I want to give you an overview as a resource. Share it. Study it, prepare for it.
Biblical Prophecy is 100% proven all over scripture. The detailed accounts of what is yet to come are NO exception. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not, it’s imminent.
The leadership here at CedarCreek.tv hold a view of these end times that is called ‘Dispensational Premillennialism’. Simply put:
We believe Jesus will rapture the living Christians on earth from the sky in a split second, like a thief in the night at some point in the future. Every single Christian will vanish in an instant to be with Jesus, those who have died throughout history that accepted Jesus as Lord will be resurrected to meet with Him in the clouds, leaving the world speechless.
We believe the Bible teaches those left behind will endure a literal 7 year tribulation period of untold horror and destruction unpatrolled to anything we could imagine. This is finalized by the battle of Armageddon when Jesus returns for His second coming, defeats all evil and binds Satan.
We believe after this tribulation Jesus Christ will physically resurrect those who were martyred during the tribulation along with Old Testament Saints and will reign as King over a peaceful and perfect earth with 144,000 of His chosen Jews and those Christians who survived the Great Tribulation.
Following this 1000 year Millennium period, Satan will be temporarily ‘loosed’ to lead the hoards of Gog and Magog against the church, where Jesus Christ will destroy them and cast Satan into the bottomless pit for all eternity. This is followed by the resurrection of all those throughout history who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
We will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment and those whose names are found in the Lambs Book of Life (Christians) will remain in Heaven for eternity and those who did not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be cast to Hell for eternity. *8
Easy enough? Ha…There are many views of what’s going to happen in the end times. I interoperate the Bible literally unless it contextually leads me NOT to. If God wanted to create the universe in 6 days like the Bible says, I believe it. If God wants fire-breathing locusts in the end times, He’s got them. He is God and He revealed to us in scripture all that we need to know about the end times.
Let’s quickly and easily break down the main components to the end times according to the Bible…the Rapture, Tribulation and Millennium before we move on to current events…as you can NEVER use current events to decode the Bible….the Bible dictates current events, if you get that turned around, you become a paranoid, scare monger televangelist☺ And we’ve got enough of those in this world.
THE RAPTURE – is mentioned a few times in scripture.
Matthew 24:30 All people on earth will see Jesus in the sky coming with great power and glory
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 Jesus comes in the air, there’s a shout from the archangel, the sound of a trumpet and those who have died throughout history who were Christians will be resurrected into the air, while those Christians on earth at that moment will be seized up to be with Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Says it will happen in the blink of an eye.
CLAP LOUD …BOOOM! Every Christian on earth is gone, planes crashing, cars piling up, governments collapsing, hospitals overrun, the world….has NO answers. (besides aliens) ha
When will the rapture happen? Great question. Matthew 24:36 we learn NOT even Jesus knows. God alone knows. There is a countdown clock ticking this very second. It could happen NOW.
4 views for timing of rapture (all Biblical) Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, Pre-Wrath or Post-Trib. Explain.
I lean towards Pre-Trib these days, especially if it happens NOW. I just can’t see how events against Israel can unfold as they are in the Bible with the United States as powerful as it is TODAY. A pre-Trib rapture would undoubtedly cripple our nation and allow the Antichrist to attack Israel as is in the Bible.
That being said, I’ve been Mid-Trib or Pre-Wrath most of my life…so we need to be prepared IF THAT IS THE CASE. Strengthen our faith if we need to endure the early ‘birth pangs’ of the tribulation.
Bottom line: Jesus will come back in an instant as millions upon millions disappear, it’s just a matter of where you place the rapture on the end times timeline that changes what trials we’ll have to endure.
THE TRIBULATION – 7 year period where the first 3 ½ years have great peace on earth…then the Antichrist will arise, deceive the Nation of Israel and there will be 3 ½ years of war, famine, pestilence, death and destruction of which this earth has never seen. These last 3 ½ years are called the ‘Great Tribulation’.
HOMEWORK: Read Revelation ch 6-18 this week.
HELL. ON. EARTH. What you read this week will blow your mind. We can’t even begin to fathom how awful it’s going to be.
THE MILLENIUM – A literal 1,000 year reign where Jesus rules the earth and all is in harmony. Isaiah even tells us the animals are in harmony. Yes, you can play with a lion, or a shark. I believe those who get to enjoy this amazing time are the Christians who have survived the Great Tribulation AND a special group of 144,000 Jews.
NOW….breathe. This is a lot to take in. Of course I have left out thousands of details. We could preach on the end times EVERY weekend for an entire year and you would still have never ending questions. Ha
I’ve studied eschatology more than any other doctrine in the Bible. Even I still have questions. I don’t have all the answers. WHY don’t I have all the answers? Because God didn’t give them to us. GET OVER IT!
I can’t believe the crazy things some Christians say and think about the end times. God has given us all we need to know.
I also don’t feel we need to dwell on it. Read your homework this week…if that doesn’t scare you…if that doesn’t make you reevaluate your life, if that doesn’t make you want to tell the WORLD…YOUR FRIENDS…YOUR FAMILY about Jesus Christ and His undeserved grace, then you either don’t have Jesus in your heart or you are too selfish to care. Either way, I’d be worried if I were you!
Jesus preached a lot on the signs of the times. The book of Daniel in the Old Testament talked about what is to come. The question you are all dying to ask me is….
WHEN DO I THINK IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN! Only fools give dates as we’ve seen throughout history. I will tell you this…one of the last key end times prophecies was fulfilled in 1948. Israel became a nation.
THE STAGE IS SET.
It could happen NOW. It could happen in 20 years, or 60 years but it could also happen in 1,000 years. Are you willing to bank your eternity on that?
I truly believe it’s closer than you think. How far will God let us go? How far can we wander as a Nation? How long will be a world power? How long will we defend Israel? This is the big one to watch.
Out of all Jesus’ teachings on the end times…He consistently made one point. OVER AND OVER AND OVER – BE PREPARED.
Are you prepared? Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you living for Him in such a way that the world knows what He has done for you and in turn you’re sharing the way to salvation with them?
That is YOUR job. If He does return this very second, will you be left behind to face the final years of your life, with NO church, NO mature Christians? Will you be deceived and take the mark from the Antichrist just to survive or will you turn to Jesus and most likely be killed for it?
Daily archaeology is uncovering truths of the Bible that skeptics don’t know what to say about these discoveries. The end times and all that is to soon unfold is NO different.
It’s. Going. To. Happen.
A savior that came once as a lamb (Christmas) is going to return as a LION, all-powerful, prepared to judge those that refused to accept Him into their hearts.
You don’t need all the answers, God NEVER promises all the answers. You need to start by turning to Him…and live a life that fruitful, your time, spent working hard for HIM.
ILL – As I was studying for this sermon, two ants were busy working on my living room rug. I watched them for an hour. One ant was giving all of its effort to lift half a Dorito. This thing was huge. This ant kept trying to lift it up and would only make it a ¼ of an inch at a time. It never made it off the rug…in an hour!
Meanwhile the other ant made 20 trips with small pieces of whatever to wherever it was headed. I had to laugh. The parallel is obvious and God knew I needed it.
Some of you are so Hell-Bent on puffing up your minds with knowledge and big words from the Bible you aren’t really getting anything done for the Kingdom. Some of you are so busy demanding ALL the answers before you make a decision for Christ that you are completely missing the mission.
Jesus commanded us, in the face of all His end times teachings…to go and tell the world about HIS GRACE. His death and resurrection. The fact that if you just have Jesus in your heart, you’ll spend eternity with Him.
Which ant are you?
Accept Him as King of your life, understand you’re a sinner and deserve nothing but Hell but take up His FREE offer of grace brought on by His death on the cross and resurrection 3 days later….or continue to reject Him and face Hell on your own merits…and quite possibly be left behind if He is sent for us NOW.
You may have less time than you anticipated. What are you waiting for?