Summary: Jesus tells us to lookout for false Messiah's and focus our attention on Him.
Lookout For False Messiah's
Text: Matt. 24:23-31
1. Illustration: Video from Titanic about lookouts spotting the iceberg.
2. The job of the lookouts on the Titanic was to spot the iceberg in enough time to steer the ship away from danger.
a. If you watched the movie they were in conversation that ranged from the weather to being able to smell an iceberg.
b. In reality, they failed at their job because they allowed themselves to be distracted resulting in them not being able to see the iceberg in enough time to steer away from it.
c. We cannot make the same mistake when it comes to false Christ's.
3. Jesus tells us to...
a. Lookout for the Un-Real McCoys
b. Lookout For Out of the Way Appearances
c. Look Up For His Coming
4. Let's stand together and read Matt. 24:23-31
Proposition: Jesus tells us to lookout for false Messiah's and focus our attention on Him.
Transition: First He tells us to...
I. Lookout For Un-Real McCoys (23-25).
A. False Messiah's
1. Earlier in this chapter, Jesus warns us that many people will come claiming to be the Messiah, and that many people will be deceived.
a. Now, just a few verses later, he warns us a second time about them.
b. Here's a hint, if some has to warn us twice about the same thing there is a real danger involved.
c. During the time of the Great Tribulation this danger will be even greater.
2. Jesus tells his disciples, “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it."
a. Jesus once again points to the rise of false messiahs and prophets, but whereas before he noted that the presence of these charlatans would be a characteristic of the entire age until the Second Coming and would not signal the end of the age, during the time of great distress there will be an unprecedented rise of miracle-working false messiahs and prophets (Wilkins).
b. They may or may not say that one is Jesus.
c. They may simply claim that whoever they are pointing to is God's true anointed and chosen servant.
d. But whatever they say he is and wherever they say he is on earth, true followers of Christ must not believe them (Horton, 523).
e. We cannot go chasing after the latest religious fad that becomes popular because if we do we will be deceived.
f. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus!
3. Jesus tells them that not everything is as it appears. He says, "For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones."
a. Jesus had been hesitant to perform miracles simply for the publicity and to gain a following, but the false Messiah's will not be.
b. Jesus' warning to his disciples, and us, is one means by which God chooses to protect them (Turner, 312).
c. The signs and miracles they perform are indications of supernatural activity, but believers must be careful not to be deceived into thinking that God stands behind them.
d. Satan himself and his evil forces are able to manipulate the supernatural, so the spiritually discerning must look for the hand that lies behind the signs and miracles to see whether it truly comes from God.
e. False messiahs and prophets who work supernatural deeds are therefore ultimately pawns in the hands of the enemy of God, the evil one (Wilkins).
f. The truth is that people today, and even more so in the future, love the sensational.
g. Everyone from the secular news media to TV preachers go after those things that people find fascinating because it sells!
h. Jesus repeated his warning against false christ's and false prophet's because foresaw that many people would have an interest in Christ's coming without understanding the requirements of faith and obedience.
i. In fact, there are many people today who are more than willing to enter into a discussion about the End Times, but want nothing to do with having a relationship with Christ or faithfully attending a local church.
j. Consequently, he foreknew that false teachers would take advantage of people's curiosity, interest, and fears of the people to lead them astray.
k. As that time approaches even his true followers could be attracted to the tremendous miracles these false teacher will perform by demonic power and trickery.
l. But Jesus indicates that true believers will not be deceived (Horton, 524-525).
4. The reason they will not be deceived is because they have heeded Jesus warning. He said, "See, I have warned you about this ahead of time."
a. Because Jesus was faithful to give these warnings, no one will be able to say, "Why didn't you tell us?"