Summary: We are living-and longing -for the end of the world
OUR UNMISTAKABLE TASK
Matt 24:14 March 11, 2012
“And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations…and then the end will come”
My In-laws have a new favorite show on T.V. It’s on the National Geographic channel; Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m….It’s called
Here’s a little peek at the promise of the show… [Show Video]
When they talk about ‘bugging” out they mean when the power grid explodes. Or when the super volcano erupts, or when the economic structure collapse or when the nuclear war blows everyone else to Kingdom come…they escape to a safe, well stocked and prepared area to ride out the storm and repopulate the earth.
I watched the show last Tuesday evening and it was amazing to watch the extensive preparation these folks go through ….and in truth it seems there’s a little bit of
“Hey, we’re looking forward to this happening”
They are living and longing for the end of the world…doomsday is what they are prepping for…preparing for. With enough resources…with the right survivor skills and the proper shelter…with the right plan…they’ll survive, (at least they believe this).
In our text Jesus is prepping his disciples for the end of the world…He’s prepping us for a scenario that truly does leave His followers…living and longing for the end of the world…
He begins by teaching…
I OUR WOLRD ISN’T AS STABLE AS WE THINK IT IS.
Jesus is finishing his earthly ministry….Matt 24 records events that take place very close to the cross…Jesus is in Jerusalem…His heart aches for his people He cries out…
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing (Matt 23:37)
As Jesus leaves the temple and is walking away his disciples call his attention to the buildings…
Herod’s temple is immense…it took 46 years to construct…it’s walls were solid rock…it’s court yards huge…every single aspect of this amazing structure shouted out permanence….stability… [show picture]
It had always been there for the disciples…they could not remember a time it didn’t loom over Jerusalem. And Jesus points to it and says…”you see the temple? Its walls…It’s gonna fall…just ruble left…every rock toppled…I’m not lying…I promise!”
When they finally arrive at a more private time on the Mt. of Olives…Jesus disciples approach him and say, “when’s it gonna happen? When’s the temple gonna fall…what are the signs we should look for…and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the world.
They think…if the temple falls…the world ends…
Not so fast….it’s just gonna be about 37 years, and Titus will lay wake to Jerusalem. The world wasn’t ending…just there picture of it…Jerusalem would be leveled in 70 A.D. We all have the habit of only seeing the world through our neighborhood…for the few in and around Jerusalem...the temple and the world were the same thing…
[It’s like you were standing with an investment banker on the corner of Liberty St. and Church Street in New York City. On Sept 10th, 2001….looking up at the World Trade Center 1 and 2, towering 110 stories into the sky and you said…tomorrow at noon…they won’t be here!
“What are you talking about…they’ve always been here…Our skyline is deferred by these 2 buildings…you’ve got to be crazy. They’re a permanent part of our world…. No….No…they’re not!]
It’s so easy for us to be deceived isn’t it….to think nothing changes…nor should it…this is my world…only what I can see with my own eyes….whether it’s the temple, the twin towers or the Y.U.M center…it’s not the world…and it’s not permanent.
Listen to Jesus… Matt 24: 4-8 (p 701)
Jesus’ challenge to us is about what we do when the world changes…when the things that give stability crumble when people begin to fight….The world is full of war…there are earth quakes and famines…and Jesus says even though “Nation will rise against nation and Kingdom against Kingdom…See to it that you are not alarmed”
He says there will be individuals who show up claiming to be the savior…don’t be deceived” there will be many fake prophets who show up sounding intelligent and with lots of plans…they don’t have the answers!
Here’s what Jesus has to say about living and longing for the end of the world….
II WHEN THE WORLD SHAKES YOU STAND FIRM.
Labor pains for a new earth began the minute sin entered the Garden of Eden…the final trimester “the last days” are the days between Jesus ascension after the resurrection…and when he returns to make all thing new.
Romans 8 says “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us…the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of god to be revealed…We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (v18, 19, 22)