Summary: We are already feeling the ’birth pangs’ Jesus said would proceed the end times. This world’s contractions are close together, the earth is dilated to 10 & could deliver at any time! Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint Presentation.

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The Beginning of Labor Pains

End of the World

Matthew 24:1-8

Today thru next Sunday, 1/27/08, is Sanctity of Human Life Week, and as always, our church is extremely active year round in promoting life and opposing the atrocity of abortion, which is just one of many “signs of the end times.” Life is a miracle, and it’s a blessing of eternal proportions every time our efforts convince someone that life begins at conception and that an eternal soul is already on the way. And when they decide to carry that child and deliver that soul into this present world, well, we rejoice, and millions of aborted little ones in heaven must rejoice as well.

To bring a child into this present world and not rob them of that privilege requires a delivery to take place, beginning with the earliest labor pains. I’m no expert at labor, but I’ve seen it happen a few times! And Jesus says in our text that it is the same when it comes to the end times.

We begin today a new sub series from Matthew on The End of the World. Please don’t miss a single message, whether morning, evening, or Wed. nites. It’s the week that Jesus goes to the cross, no more than 2 or 3 days before His passion, and at least a dozen messages will lead us right into a study of the last supper, Gethsemane, the cross, and all culminating on Easter Sunday, which is very early this year on March 23rd. The next few weeks will be very powerful as we see He Who was in the beginning, as His life comes to an end, followed by the life changing truth that it’s all only the beginning once again!

v. 8 ‘sorrows’ = ‘birth pangs’ ... labor pains start low and they increase in intensity as they continue. They also start slow and increase in frequency. So it is w/ the signs of the times.

Jesus has finally gotten it across to the disciples that He’s not in Jerusalem this time to set up His kingdom, and that He will be going away and returning for the end of the world.

v. 1 The Temple in Jerusalem was an amazing configuration of buildings, made largely of white polished marble. It was still under construction at this time, not to be completed until A.D. 64. Some of the stones that made up the temple were up to 40’ x 20’ x 12’.

v. 2 Jesus walked out of the temple for the last time, never to return to it again. His prophecy about its demise was astounding to His disciples, but it came to pass in A.D. 70 when the Roman General Titus surrounded Jerusalem and laid siege to it. He cut it off from the rest of the world and eventually breached the wall and gained access to the city. They demolished the city completely, with not one stone left upon another.

Mark tells us that Peter, James, John, and Andrew went to Jesus off to the side to ask Him these 3 questions found in v. 3...

[Olivet Discourse]

Good men disagree on some of the interpretation of Jesus’ answers, from chronology to specific events. We won’t try to settle those fights, but to see the big picture of how the shadow of events to come are already cast across our day today, leading us to be warned that there is wrath soon to come to this world!

In the end there will be:

1. Spiritual Deception.

v. 4-5 A word of caution from the Lord that before the antichrist, the great deceiver, there will be others who do the same. I won’t name names because there are far too many in our lifetime who claim to be God, and many are gaining bigger and bigger followings.

Hal Lindsey said, “When Jesus returns many churches will not have to look for a new pastor.”

I want you to know that even though we are committed to staying here, when the rapture occurs we’re outta here! And I hope you are coming with me. [By the way, when that happens, you have my blessing to vote in Jerry McKee!]

Here’s a couple of things which are seeding deception today...

• Heresy in the church

1 Timothy 4:1

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

George Barna does Christian research using Gallup Polling methods, and every year his research shows how those who call themselves Christians move further and further from Bible truth.

-46% now say the devil is not real, just symbolic of evil

-All believe in heaven but nearly 2/3rd’s say there is no hell.

-Many deny the virgin birth, the inspiration of the Bible, and that Jesus could have lived completely sinless in this world.

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