Summary: Signs of the end of the age (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Luke chapter 21 verses 5-38.
• A friend once asked Isidor I. Rabi, a Nobel prize winner in science,
• How he became a scientist.
• Rabi replied that every day after school his mother would talk to him about his school day.
• She wasn’t so much interested in what he had learned that day,
• But she always inquired,; “Did you ask a good question today?”
• Rabi said, “Asking good questions made me become a scientist.”
• In this passage before us tonight:
• The disciples in verse 7 ask two good question;
• The temple in Jerusalem was one of the wonders of the world.
• It was begun by Herod in around 20BC.
• It dominated the city;
• And its golden walls meant it could be seen for miles around.
But much more than that:
• The temple was the heart of Jewish national, cultural and religious identity.
• For them it was the presence of God on earth.
• In verse 5: the disciples draw the attention of Jesus to the wonder of the building.
• In verse 6: Jesus stuns his disciples by telling them its days were numbered!
The disciples then respond to this startling announcement by asking two questions:
• Verse 7a:“When will these things happen?”
• Verse 7b: “And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
The response of Jesus in verses 8-36 is fraught with difficulty:
• Is Jesus talking about the fall of Jerusalem or the end of the world?
• Well, the answer is both!
• Many of Jesus’ hearers would have assumed that the destruction of the temple;
• Would be synonymous with the end of the world.
• Notice Jesus is at great pains to separate the two events in verses 8-11;
• Then in verses 12-36 he will give his hearers greater detail.
One more thing to Note before we look at the passage:
• Keep in mind as we read these verses:
• That this is not an all-inclusive teaching on end times,
• Rather it is selective
• Jesus shows us only a broad-brush mural of the end times.
• Other New Testament writers will later add more specific information;
• About the Rapture of the church, the Tribulation, and the millennial kingdom.
• So this is not an all-inclusive teaching on end times, rather it is selective:
• It is a message to Jews by a Jew about the future of the Jewish nation.
• But don’t sit there and think; “this is not relevant to me”;
• Because it contains definite applications for us as Christians today.
I want to divide the passage into three sections:
Section 1: Jesus gave us several WARNINGS.
(1). There will be false messiahs (verse 8)
• There will be false messiahs.
• So do not be mislead.
• Story told of an old sailing ship;
• One day the ships captain caught one of his crew drunk and a sleep on duty.
• The sailor begged the Captain not to record the incident the ships log.
• As it would reflect badly on his character.
• Despite his desperate pleadings;
• The Captain insisted that the sailor record it in the ships log.
• Reluctantly the sailor wrote in the log, ‘Seaman Smith was drunk today’.
• Annoyed at the Captain he plotted his revenge.
• The next night the Captain decided to review his entry for that day;
• To his amazement the same sailor had added a statement to the Captains dictation;
• He added the words:
• “The Captain was not drunk today”.
• It was true;
• But of course it was also misleading!
Jesus said in verse 8 do not be mislead:
• By religious leaders who; ‘Come in My name’, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time is near’;
• Jesus makes it clear; “Do not go after them."
• Earlier on in chapter 17 verse 23-24;
• Jesus had made it quite clear that when he returns to the nation of Israel.
• There will be no mistaking him!
• He will be like a bolt of lightening which lights up the sky”.
(2). Their will be wars (vs 9-10):
“When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.
10 Then he said to them: Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”.
When Jesus spoke these words:
• The Roman empire had been enjoying a long era of peace;
• But about four decades later that would all change.
• In fact Rome would soon have 4 different emperors in one year
• Political upheavals and military strife would effect the world of the early Church.