Summary: We are living in difficult times; we are living in prophetic times. All we have to do is examine the word of God and realize the signs are being given.
The truth is that nowadays we can’t watch television or listen to the radio without hearing mention of distant wars and disasters. We are living in difficult times; we are living in prophetic times. All we have to do is examine the word of God and realize the signs are being given. As I said, we can’t watch television or listen to the radio without hearing that Iraq biological weapons at their disposal, weapons that can cause the death of thousands of people with just one use. We also hear that North Korea, who has broken all the laws between nations, is now developing nuclear bombs, weapons that can also cause the death of thousands with just one use. The world doesn’t realize that we are on the verge of a third world war. I tell you this because when we examine the word of God and compare what it says to world events, you don’t have to be a genius to realize that the situation is grave. Why do I tell you this? Let us go to the word and we shall see if what I am telling you is true.
Matthew 24:3-12 – And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Before we proceed I want to make something very clear, the purpose of this preaching is not to scare or frighten anyone; nor do I claim to know the day or date that the inevitable will happen, that is to say when this evil world will end, when our Lord will return to do justice; this date is only known to God. This is something that is clearly stated by our Lord in Mark 13:32 when we read “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Therefore, the purpose of this preaching is to call believers to repentance; the purpose of this preaching is to call believers into His service. The purpose of this preaching is to awaken those that have fallen asleep in the pews of their churches and are so comfortable that they don’t realize the Lord is at the door. Many think that we have time, many feel that there will be enough time tomorrow to ask for forgiveness of God, that tomorrow they can start a new life, but if this is your way of thinking I am here to tell you that tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone, and that tomorrow may never come for you. This is something clearly stated in James 4:13-15 when we read “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” I know that many must be thinking, all of this is well and good, but how do we apply this warning that Jesus gave to our life today? To determine this, let us examine the key points of this warning a little closer.
First, here we read that the Lord says: “Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many“. I want to stop here a moment and examine this word “Christ.” This word has come to be synonymous with the name of Jesus, but this word has a meaning of its own. This word has its origins in the Greek word “kristos” which means the “anointed one”. Why is it so important that we make this distinction? The reason is simple; we only have to open our eyes and we can see that across history and in our day as well, there has existed, and there still exists numerous persons who claim to be the only ones who know the truth. If we analyze all the different cults and religions that exist in this world we can see that they all claim one thing, and that is that only through their doctrines and theologies can anyone reach God. I don’t want to go too deeply into this subject since doing so would take too much time and our time today is limited, but I know all to well that everyone here today knows exactly what I am speaking of. You know that cults and all types of religions exist that don’t follow the doctrines of Jesus, and that they will never reach God. Confirmation of this statement that I have just made is found in the words of our Lord in John 14:6 when we read “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Therefore, we can clearly see that the warning that Jesus gave us in these verses that we are studying today has come to pass, and is still happening today, because there are many that say that they posses the truth, there are many that claim that only through their religion can you be saved or have eternal life. But the truth of the matter is that you can’t obtain salvation and eternal life because you belong to a particular church or because we are members of a particular council or denomination, salvation comes only through the grace of God, and His son Jesus Christ. This is something very well reflected in Ephesians 2:8-10 when we read “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” As we can clearly see, there is nothing on this earth or anyone on this earth that can save you, there is no institution that can guarantee you eternal life, there is only one and his name is Jesus. This is again clearly stated for us in Acts 4:10-12 when we read “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” But unfortunately, this has not stopped all those that preach a different gospel, that twist scriptures to fit their needs, and that is why Jesus said, “Take heed that no man deceive you”.