Summary: How close are we to the return of Christ?
ARE WE THERE YET?
TEXT: Matt. 24:33 “Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door”.
OPEN: If you have ever been on a trip with a child (maybe even a teenager) you have heard the question, “ARE WE THERE YET”?
Sometimes you have heard the question SO MUCH that you get sick of hearing it…
Well, the scripture we just read this morning deals with the return of Jesus and basically asks the same question:
ARE WE THERE YET?
(Title of today’s teaching)
I believe that we can accurately and convincingly answer that question. We will do so by the end of the time we have together today.
But before we answer that question, let’s watch this video (MAN ON THE STREET INTERVIEWS)
Before we get into the “meat” of the message, there are three observations I want us to explore:
OBSERVATION # 1 – NO MATTER HOW FAR AWAY THE COMING OF THE LORD IS, (2 MONTHS, 2 YEARS, 200 YEARS) IT IS CLOSER THAN THE LAST TIME WE SPOKE ABOUT IT
OBSERVATION # 2 – THE THOUGHT OF HIS RETURN SHOULD FILL US WITH FAITH, NOT FEAR.
16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.
_ The Bible didn’t say…”…therefore scare the HELL out of each other with these words”
_ When I was growing up, I think that was the tactic of most preachers. It was something like this…(VIDEO)
_ The bible says…”encourage each other with these words” (NIV) the KJV says “comfort” one another with these words. The MESSAGE translation says “reassure” one another with these words
OBSERVATION # 3 – NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN THE JOURNEY, AT THIS MOMENT, THERE IS STILL TIME FOR YOU TO COME TO JESUS.
2 Peter 3:9 (which talks about why the Lord hasn’t come back yet) says…”The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise…He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (repentance means “changing directions”, or “changing you mind”)
SO, HOW CLOSE ARE WE?
# 1 – NO ONE TRULY KNOWS (MATT. 24:36)
# 2 – WE CAN ONLY READ THE SIGNS (MATT 24:33)
_ LIFE WILL BE NORMAL (MATT. 24:38-39)
_ THERE WILL BE A RESURGENCE IN “SPIRITUAL MATTERS” (MATT. 24:5)
_ WARS & RUMORS OF WARS (MATT. 24:6-7a)
_ FAMINE & EARTHQUAKES (MATT. 24:7b)
_ (BECAUSE OF THE INCREASE OF WICKEDNESS…) THE LOVE OF MOST WILL GROW COLD (MATT. 24:12)
_ TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES – ONE WORLD MONETARY SYSTEM, IMPLANTED COMPUTER CHIP (REVELATION 13 TALKS ABOUT IT)
# 3 – CLOSE ENOUGH TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE
_ OUT OF GOD’S INCREDIBLE LOVE FOR YOU, HE SENT JESUS TO PAY THE PRICE FOR EVERY SIN YOU EVER HAVE OR EVER WILL COMMIT.
_ THAT WAS THE FIRST AND GREATEST GIFT YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN.
_ THE SEOND GREATEST GIFT YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS TIME. TIME TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE. THAT RIGHT CHOICE IS JESUS AND THE RIGHT TIME IS NOW.
_ LISTEN TO ROMANS 9:33 “…AND THE ONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME”
_ OF ALL OF THE POTENTIALLY SHAMEFUL THINGS IN LIFE, NOTHING COULD COMPARE TO THE SHAME I WOULD FEEL IF JESUS CAME BACK AND I HAD REJECTED HIM. I WOULD BE ALL ALONE, WITH NO HOPE, NO JOY AND NO FUTURE.
_ BUT THE BIBLE SAYS, IF I TRUST (THE GREEK WORD IS ACTUALLY “PISTEUO” (PIST-YOO’-O) IT MEANS TO BELIEVE IN OR TO PUT YOUR TRUST IN) I WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.