Summary: A sermon closing out a short series on prophecy. This sermon deals with the prophecy of the Rapture. Communion meditation at www.sermonlist.com/communion.html
Three weeks ago, I started this series on End Time Prophecy to bring us all a little closer to being comfortable with such a little known subject. I pray that you are curious enough now to be able to go in and discover some previously hidden information for yourself regarding End Times.
I began by asking the question: ‘Is America Found in the End Time Prophesies?’ I answered that by saying, ‘Yes’ and ‘No’: ‘No’, because there is no direct reference to anything that can be clearly construed as America in Scripture, and ‘Yes’ because I believe we are the new workers in God’s vineyards.
Today, I would like to bring this series to a close, and to leave you with some knowledge that, perhaps, you did not have before; and to leave you with enough curiosity to continue studying End Time events on your own.
The twenty-four thousand dollar question is, ‘When will Jesus return to Rapture His church?’ Of course, the answer to that is, ‘We aren’t supposed to know.’ But that hasn’t stopped every generation since Jesus from expecting it during their lifetime. And we expect that, too, don’t we?
But there is a difference now. Things are finally falling into place, and now all we are waiting for is His return. So, let’s spend a few moments and see what Jesus says how we can tell when the time gets close to His return.
1. JESUS GAVE US FOUR SIGNS
In MATTHEW 24:3 Jesus’ disciples asked Him,
’Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming, and the end of the age?’
In MATTHEW 11:5, he went a step further.
‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many false prophets will come in my name. Saying, I am the Christ, and they will mislead many. Then, many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.’
FALSE TEACHERS AND PROPHETS
There has always been false teachers, but who can deny that everywhere we look today, we find lies and deceit becoming more pronounced with each passing day? If Satan cannot get people to outright rebel against God like he did, he will then get them interested in some kind of false doctrine to lure them away from God.
It has been said that a new cult, or new religious belief, springs up every month in the United States, and people are so hungry for spiritual needs, no matter how fantastic and fanciful the cult’s teaching may be, there are always some who are willing to be deceived.
WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS
In MATTHEW 24:6-7, Jesus gave another hint at when He will return.
‘You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen before he end comes. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.’
Thanks to today’s media, we know the exact moment something happens across the globe. There are several wars going on at this very moment, and even more wars are on the horizon. We are fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq; Russia invaded Georgia and has been talking about the possibility of going to war with America; Venezuela threatens its neighbors; and on and on it goes.
MATTHEW 24:7 also tells us,
‘There will be famines.’
Jesus tells us that we will see many people going without food. We have seen more famines in the last 30 years than at any other time in modern history, and the number grows with each passing year. Tens of thousands have starved to death Darfur and in other parts of Africa.
And in Jesus ends Verse 7 by saying,
‘There will be earthquakes in various places.’
We have more earthquakes with each passing year, also. There were over 800 earthquakes reported in California and Nevada since the beginning of the year. Now they were not major, but they are expecting a major one in California at any time. Also, Memphis and St. Louis sits atop a major fault that is on the timetable to occur at any time. And there are even more earthquakes overseas on a regular basis. Jesus said we would see a drastic increase in all these things just before He returns.
Jesus was giving us prophetic promises. He loves us enough to tell us before hand what will happen and how we can get ready for them.
So, Jesus gave us four signs to let us know when the time would be getting close at hand. And later …
2. THE APOSTLE PAUL GAVE US TWO MORE SIGNS
In 1 TIMOTHY 3:1-5 & 7, Paul writes,
‘But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.’