Summary: In all the hoopla over the endtimes and the rapture, Christians must focus on getting ready, realizing that we will KNOW when it happens when it happens, focusing on getting others ready, while understanding that its God whose going to win in the end.
“Endtimes and the Rapture”
2003 Hot Topics Series
August 31, 2003
Purpose: In all the hoopla over the end-times and the rapture, Christians must focus on getting ready, realizing that we will KNOW when it happens beyond all shadow of doubt, focusing on getting others ready, while understanding that its God whose going to win in the end.
Jamie and her countdown to pre-school…(My daughter Jamie has been counting down the days until she begins preschool. Each day she starts her morning by announcing to whoever will hear how many days she has left.)
All Christians in the midst of a countdown…we’re waiting until Jesus comes again.
In Matthew 24, the disciples were no different than any Christian. They wanted to know how it all was going to happen. Jesus gave them the answer, but not necessarily the one they were looking for.
I. The first point I see Jesus making is that “It’s Good to Be Ready”
We live in a time when there are wars and rumors of wars…
where nations have risen up against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms.
We live in a time where many “new age” false prophets have come and spout their version of
the truth…they claim to be their own Christ, their own the Messiah, their own Savior…
We live in a time where these false christs and false prophets rise and show great signs and
wonders in order to deceive…
We live in a time when a large majority the earth’s population is experiencing famine and
We live in a time when pestilences and earthquakes and natural disasters are seen on our
televisions as regularly as sitcoms…and it’s often hard to differentiate reality from
We live in a time when many are offended, where many are betrayed, where many hate one
We live in a time where lawlessness is taken less seriously, where love has grown cold, where
it seems that since the beginning of the world it has never been any worse than this…
We live in the time that we’ve been warned about…
when we’ve been told to “take heed so that we are no deceived,”
when we’ve been told to “See that we are not troubled, for these things must come to
when we’ve been told to “endure to the end” and “witness to all the nations” the gospel
of the kingdom.
We live in a time when eventually the end will come…
But here me when I say…
Our parents lived in times such as these…
Their parents lived in times such as these…
Their parents lived in times such as these…
And we can back to John sitting on the island of Patmos after writing the book of Revelation
saying, “Surely the Lord is coming soon…” because he believed he lived in times such as these.
For generations, people have stood up and proclaimed that the end is near…
I say whether its near or not makes no difference (Paul said for me to die is gain, but to live is Christ.)As Christians we need to ready as if it were to happen today.
Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour…therefore, keep watch because you do not
know on what day your Lord will come.”
In fact, Jesus also said, “the Son of Man will come
at an hour that you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:36, 42, 44
We if live each day as if Christ were come in any moment, then we’re ready, and not before
then. It’s good to be ready.
II. His second point was that “We’re Going to KNOW When It Happens”
I think this is where many Christians get hung up…
A thickening stew of bad news – terrorism , war in the Middle East, nuclear fears, disease epidemics – has meant boom times for the end times. All you need to do is pick up one of the Left Behind books by Jenkins and LeHaye, or better yet, The Late Great Planet Earth, Hindsey’s book published in the 1970’s, or listen to the tele-evangelist prey on the fears of their listeners in order to solicit more funds to their ministries (even though the endtimes are coming so they shouldn’t necessarily need our money should they????), to see that there are a bunch of people dazed and confused when this topic is mentioned in and outside of our churches.
Have $6.66 ring up on the register on the way out of your grocery store and watch the cashier’s response. Or better yet, bring up the Apocalypse, and watch people’s eyes either grow bigger or glaze over.
Instead of focusing on the hope found in Jesus Christ, even Christians are finding themselves wondering about the lake of fire, the Great Tribulation, the mark of the beast, and wondering whether our credit cards are at the source of all evil.