Summary: Signs at the End of the Age (PowerPoint slides available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Signs of the end of the age (2)
Reading: Luke chapter 21 verses 25-38.
• Charlie Steinmetz was a dwarf, ugly and deformed,
• But he had one of the greatest minds in the field of electricity that the world has ever known.
• Steinmetz built the great generators for Henry Ford in his first plant in Michigan, USA.
• One day these generators broke down and the plant came to a halt.
• They brought in a variety of engineers, mechanics and helpers;
• But none of them could get the generators going again.
• They were losing money.
• So Henry Ford called Steinmetz.
• The genius came, seem to just putter around for a few hours,
• And then threw the switch that put the great Ford plant back into operation.
• A few days later Henry Ford received a bill from Steinmetz for $10,000.
• Although Ford was a very rich man, he returned the bill with a note,
• ’Charlie, isn’t this bill just a little high for a few hours of tinkering around on those motors?’
• Steinmetz returned the bill to Ford. This time it read:
• ’For tinkering around on the motors: $10. For knowing where to tinker: $9,990.
• Total: $10,000.’
• Henry Ford paid the bill.
As I have looked at these verses in Luke’s gospel:
• I feel I need a spiritual Charlie Steinmetz to help explain them,
• I confess that I am not sure I understand them;
• As I have read various commentators – I am not sure they understand them either!
• Without being bogged down in detail;
• I want to simply divide these verses under two sections.
(1) The return of the Lord (vs 25-28)
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
• Last week in the previous verses of this chapter:
• Jesus foretold the end of Jerusalem and the Temple;
• In this section Jesus moves on to another “end”;
• This time he speaks briefly concerning the “end” of time as we know it!
• For some (verses 25-26 tell us) that “end” will mean judgment,
• For some (verse 28 tells us) that “end” will mean salvation.
Without being bogged down or side-tracked with details or 2nd coming doctrine:
• Ill: Tony Campolo who said concerning the 2nd coming of Christ:
• “I am on the welcoming committee not the planning!”
• I do want to bring to your attention a couple of important truths.
• Notice: Jesus tells us that “The End Time” is inevitable, but unpredictable:
• There are many in our world who ignore or even ridicule;
• The teaching that Jesus Christ is one day going to return to planet earth.
• After all it’s been 2,000 years and he still has not come!
• The apostle Peter answered that accusation in his letter 2 Peter chapter 3.
• He pointed out that God keeps his promises whether we believe in the or not;
• And that God measures time differently to the way that people measure time.
• Ill: “One day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day”
• His delay is not meant to be a trial to the Church;
• Rather is an opportunity for the lost to be saved – his delay is only because of his grace!
So Jesus tells us that “The End Time” is inevitable, but unpredictable:
• It is inevitable - in that it will take place;
• The whole Bible backs that fact up!
• Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent,
• So both Testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ.
• One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references;
• To Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence.
• In the 260 chapters of the New Testament,
• There are 318 references to the second advent of Christ;
• An amazing 1 out of every 30 verses.
• Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event.
• For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent,
• There are 8 which look forward to His second!
If we take this book seriously:
• And I hope we do!