Summary: Lots of misinformation out there about the coming of Christ and the End of the World. But we have the truth right here from the mouth of our Savior and Coming King.
Passage: Matthew 24:29-35
Intro: Now that I am getting older, I am receiving two pieces of mail consistently
1. invitations to join AARP
2. invitations for a free meal if I will listen to retirement investment advice.
3. change is coming, no more working means no more income. SS?
4. investment = entrusting your $ to someone to insure a continuing flow of $ until you die.
5. make the wrong choice, you could be in trouble.
6. hey, there are even bigger stakes!
7. we have been looking at what Jesus says about the end times in Matt 24
8. I’m finding that talk of end times gives many commentators the willies!!
9. but I think our teacher (Jesus) here is worth listening to, don’t you?
10. this passage full of “time stamps”
I. The End of Common Grace
1. last few weeks, lots of signs
2. fall of Jerusalem, terrible time of distress for believers thru Satan, nonbelievers thru intensifying wrath of God. Vv21-28
3. powerful time statement in v29: “immediately after the distress…”
4. only way to not connect to verses 21- 28 is to refuse to do so. Text is clear
5. and just because it is an OT quotation does not mean it is not real
PP Isaiah 13:10 (just another example of God telling us ahead of time)
6. a terrible sign, the lights go out!
Il) when the sun is darkened, then the reflecting moon is dark as well.
7. loss of sunlight=loss of plant growth, loss of heat, an Ice Age.
8. sunshine is a huge part, perhaps the biggest physical part of God’s common grace.
9. after the Flood of Noah, God said…
PP Genesis 8:22
10. until God comes to judge, His undeserved kindness to His creatures will continue.
11. and as that common grace begins to slowly retreat, beginning in the seal judgments of Revelation 6, it will have an end
12. the sun; God’s tool to sustain earth and ocean and seasons and warmth, will go out.
13. and along with the stars, those creations that we thought were self- generating self-sustaining and almost timeless, will reveal their complete subservience to the One who made them, and thru whose power they exist.
14. and as they go out and fall, they call complete attention to the One whose glory eclipses theirs, and before whom they gladly bow.
Il) like the house lights going out before a powerful stage performance
15. the withholding of judgment is finished; the Judge is at the door.
II. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
PP picture of sign in Phoenix announcing the coming of Christ on May 21, 2011
1. it will be a lot more spectacular when it happens!
2. and we only have a few weeks to get in an awful lot of serious suffering and intensifying judgment
3. if the sun goes out on May 20th, then I will believe it!
4. there will be a sign, (and not the sign on 7th Ave)
5. and whatever it is; a cross, a banner, or Jesus Himself, it will be unmistakable and seen by everyone everywhere.
6. in the awesome darkness of a sunless and moonless sky, Jesus will appear coming on the clouds with power and great glory.
7. all the nations (nonbelievers everywhere) will mourn.
8. they are watching the exposure of the comfortable lie they had been told, and which they believed.
Il) talk about “An Inconvenient Truth”
9. there will be no limitations on this display of glory, no budget restraints, no City codes, no physical restrictions of any kind.
10. It will be the God/Man still in the resurrected flesh, His infinite majesty no longer hidden
11. He comes as loving Savior/ Redeemer and Righteous Judge
12. and those who have been watching for Him will raise hands and voices in tumultuous greeting, while those who were hoping His arrival was a myth collapse in abject fear.
13. this event will be greater than Creation, greater than Resurrection, absolutely full of the crystal clear revelation of the Son of Man as God, the Son
14. unmistakable, undeniable.
III. The Rapture of Every Living Believer
1. those with their hands in the air, shouting words of welcome and praise, will be gathered.
2. there will be a trumpet sound heard around the earth, and angels will gather every believer alive and bring them to Jesus.
3. here is my favorite statement from a commentator on this matter:
4. and while we are at it, how about…