Summary: You and I are living today in a seemingly stable world and society. Living in the United States, where we have relative freedom to worship God, to travel, to buy and sell things, even to choose our employment.
"Seven Year Tribulation!"
"Left Behind" series Part 2
Text: Mt. 24:3-31 & Selected
Cross Creek Community Church
Pastor Dave Martin - Jan. 14, 2001
God’s Word is Powerful, Relevant, and Life Changing!
Matthew 24:3-8 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
4Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ’I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.
You and I are living today in a seemingly stable world and society. Living in the United States, where we have relative freedom to worship God, to travel, to buy and sell things, even to choose our employment. As Christians, many have become so caught up making a living, raising our families, and generally doing the "things" we want to do, that we sometimes lose track of our eternal values and what God is doing in this world. Which all brings us to the false assumption that this world will continue for thousands of years more. That Jesus Christ won’t return in my lifetime, so why "waste" my time going to church, praying, or reading my Bible. And yet we see the stock market on a downward slide, sin becoming more brazen and rampart. We see the technological boom advancing in our daily lives, the alignment of world powers, false cults, fighting in Jerusalem, homosexuality and the family breakdown - all signaling the return of Jesus Christ. How close are we?
Any student of history, who has studied the events of the holocaust, will realize the awfulness of what transpired and how quickly things can change. The message this morning is on the Tribulation period - the next step in our series "Left Behind". To some here this morning, the things you hear may sound surreal, a fairy tale, or just plan hard to comprehend. If God said it, I believe it and that settles it! We need to love, read, study and trust God’s blessed book - the Bible. The Disciples of Jesus wanted to know about the future, so they came to Jesus, and asked Him this question, " what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" There is no difference today - people wanting to know the "future".
There are a few different views concerning Prophecy:
Premillennialists - Sees the tribulation period before the Second Coming of Christ.
Pre-tribulationists - Sees the rapture occurring prior to the Tribulation.
Mid-tribulationists - sees the rapture at the mid-point of the Tribulation.
Post-tribulationists - sees the church remaining on earth during the entire Tribulation.
There are many fine men of God who may differ on these views. I hold to the premillennial, Pre-tribulational view comprising of two parts to the Second Coming of Christ. Our Lord tells us in:
Rev. 3:10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial (Tribulation period) that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
Most Bible scholars agree, there will be a Tribulation period upon this earth:
- The duration will be seven years, broken into two parts of 3-1/2 years, 1,260 days, 42 months each.
- Vs 4-14 generally thought of being the first half with Vs 15-28 the second half of the Tribulation.
- The main characters during this time will be the Antichrist (Beast) and the False Prophet (2nd beast).
- The 144,000 Jewish evangelists and God’s two witnesses.
- There are numerous references to the Tribulation, both in the Old & New Testaments.
- This will be a time when the wrath of God is poured out upon an unbelieving world, this will be a time when God will bring to a close the current world system.
This morning we are not going to look at all the details of the Tribulation, this study is vast. We are only going to look at five points, from Jesus’ words in Mt. 24.
Characteristics of the Tribulation period (From Mt. 24)
1. Tremendous worldwide DECEPTION. (Rev 6:2; 13:13-14)
Matthew 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.
Matthew 24:4-5 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ’I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.