Summary: Paul’s advice on how to respond to the signs of the times. 1- Avoid the ungodly 2- Expect the evil 3- Keep the faith
INTRO.- Matthew 24:3-7 “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?’ Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ’I am the Christ, ’ and will deceive many. You 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. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.”
ILL.- When Westinghouse first proposed to stop a huge railroad train with air brakes he was not taken seriously. People thought he was crazy and they dismissed his claim. They said it never would happen. But it did!
ILL.- When a man by the name of Edwards first proposed that disease could be prevented through vaccination, most people were skeptical. They said it would never happen. But it did and the smallpox scourge was eliminated.
ILL.- When Alexander Graham Bell suggested that communication over great distances could occur by means of a telephone, people said it would never happen!
ILL.- When Robert Goddard began his pioneer work with rockets he said that man would someday land on the moon. Nobody believed him.
Brothers and sisters, many people in our world do not believe that this world will ever come to an end, but Jesus said it would! Do we dare bet against Him?
Most Christian people are concerned about the signs of the times. They are absolutely convinced because of certain things happening in our world that the return of Christ and the end of the world is near. Indeed, many things, many strange, weird, wild, and evil things are happening in our world.
ILL- Hurricane Charley swept across Florida on Aug. 13, killing 27 people and causing an estimated $7.4 billion in insured damage to homes, businesses and personal possessions.
ILL.- Hurricane Frances completed its two-day assault on Florida, leaving storm-weary residents Tuesday, Sept. 7th, with flooding, frayed nerves and long lines for everyday items such as gas, ice and water. At least 10 deaths were blamed on the storm in Florida and Georgia.
About 3 million people had no power in Florida and more than 40,000 more were without electricity in Georgia because of winds that downed trees, limbs and power lines. It is estimated that the damage from Frances could be as much as $10 billion.
Now Hurricane Ivan. Over 50 deaths in the US. Blackouts in many states. People devastated. What next? What else?
ILL.- The Sudanese famine. May 24, 2004 The situation in Sudan was grim. About a million people had been displaced and the threat of mass starvation was real.
ILL.- The war in Iraq. A total of over 1000 U.S. service members have died since the beginning of military operations in Iraq in March 2003. Over 7,000 other Americans have been wounded. Of those who have died, 97 percent were men; two dozen were women.