Summary: The Word gives the signs of the return of Jesus Christ
Intro: we live in a society that has a hunger and thirst to know the future. Psychics are in every city, we go to investment firms to predict what stocks will be on the rise, some people get a tip sheet to help determine which horse will win a race. In Matthew 24 the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him to give information concerning the future. In verse 3 they gave the question that people are still wanting to know today—what will be the signs of the coming of the Lord, and when will the end be? We will look at a few signs in Matthew 24, and a few others found in scripture.
Signs of the Times
Matthew 24: 1-14
I was given a Word that I am preparing the way of the Lord, and there is no better subject than giving these important signs of the Times.
I. Love will Grow cold—Matthew 24:12—the love of many will wax cold—here is a sign that is easy to see in the world today. In this evil world we all must guard our hearts and spirits from growing cold, losing the fire.
· There will be a great falling away—one way we see coldness is the great exodus from the church. It is reported among main stream denominations declines over the last few decades in attendance. We are seeing people give up, drop out, throw in the towel.
· Lost zeal—in many churches today, you see just religion, just a form of Godliness that denies the power of God. For some, Sunday is just a ritual, not a heartfelt experience of praise and worship to Jesus Christ.
· Lost witness---concern for souls, the kingdom advancing, the church expanding just isn’t the cry of many hearts today. Some churches have become satisfied with business as usual, or content with just holding our own.
II. People will be deceived—v.11 false prophets will arise and shall
Deceive many. Here is another sign of the times, that people will be led astray by false teachers.
· One deception that we see being preached in our world today is this: you can live any way you want, it doesn’t matter, God loves you just the way your are.
· There is no such thing as sin---there is only one sin and that is rejecting Jesus Christ. That may be a definition of sin, but sin isn’t just a rebellion against Christ, but also walking in disobedience to His commands.
· There is no punishment: God is love and would never punish His children. This is a new teaching that has widespread appeal. But just because God is a God of love, does not diminish that He is also a Holy God that demands a Holy life.
III. People will mock the Truth—2 Peter 3:3-4 Here is one of the big signs that we are seeing in our world today, the mocking of Christianity, the scoffing at the Word of God. It isn’t just the Davinci Code—it is our society as a whole that scoffs at anything Christian.
· People are skeptical of God’s power—if you share that God is doing great things in people’s lives, or that God moved in a powerful way, people scoff at it.
· People tune out anything prophetic—if you mention signs of the times people will say, seems like things are going on just like they always have been.
· Media—loves to mock anything sacred or holy. It attacks abstinence, it attacks the traditional family, it attacks holy living, and it especially attacks the teaching that Christianity is the one true light of the World.
IV. People will not want strong preaching—2 Timothy 4:2-4 people will not endure strong preaching. They will get teachers that tickle their ears, or say what they want to hear.
· Don’t want strong doctrine—most people that go to church today don’t even care what the doctrines or beliefs of the church are. They aren’t looking for a service where they might be convicted of sin, but a service that makes them feel good.
· Turn to fables—this is a classic sign, some people would rather do a 20 week study on angels, but not do a one week study on Holy living.
Some people are more interested in researching where the Garden of Eden may be, then finding out how to be a witness for Jesus Christ.
V. This gospel will be preached in all the world—Matthew 24:14—here is the good news, we are seeing this fulfilled before our eyes. With all the bad signs, there is a good sign that we see.
· Revivals in Russia, South America, Africa, China—there are places that had walls built to keep the gospel out, that are now places where the gospel is being preached even in the schools.