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Summary: Signs of the end of the age (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Luke chapter 21 verses 5-38.

Ill:

• 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;

Context:

• 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.

ill:

• 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.

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