Summary: We are living in the last days. How do we get ready for the second coming of Jesus? By looking for opportunities to provide people with hope and healing.
THE LAST DAYS: GETTING READY FOR THE SECOND COMING
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7).
• One of the basic fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith is the second coming.
• Emphasis repeatedly: JESUS IS COMING SOON!
• When it comes to teaching on the last days, people get distracted by worrying about the antichrist and all of the signs of the times.
THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS:
“4 As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but "must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. 5 John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon." 6 When they were together for the last time they asked, "Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?" 7 He told them, "You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. 8 What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will receive power to be my witnesses.” (Acts 1:4-8, The Message).
• JESUS IS COMING SOON!
• Don’t worry about the timing, rather focus on what God wants us to do to get ready!
• Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32).
• Are we living in the last days? Yes. The Bible definition of the last days is the time period from the first coming to the second coming of Jesus.
“9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11).
• Too many Christians waste time gazing into Heaven, waiting for the second coming.
• JESUS IS COMING SOON! It’s our job to get as many other people ready as possible.
• Jesus has called us to go into all the world and be His witnesses!
THE BIG IDEA: We are living in the last days. How do we get ready for the second coming of Jesus? By looking for opportunities to provide people with hope and healing.
THE LAST DAYS – KEY TEXTS:
• Let’s take a look at two of the teachings in the N.T. that talk about the last days:
“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. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
• In this Scripture Paul describes the last days as being PERILOUS TIMES:
• Perilous: harsh, savage, difficult, dangerous, painful, fierce, grievous, hard to deal with
• Is this the world we’re living in today? YES! Look at the description of the people, too.
• Now let’s take a look at a description of what God wants us to do in these last days:
“’And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams… I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.” (Acts 2:17-21).
1. The last days are here pictured again as perilous days – the world’s in upheaval
2. JESUS IS COMING SOON! How then should we live?
God says: Be filled with the Spirit! He is the COMFORTER.
Be a prophetic people – revealing the Father’s heart to our generation
Have dreams (hope and future) and visions (provide sight and direction)
Be Jesus to the world! “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27).