Summary: How to ID false teaching so we won’t lose focus in the last days
The Problem with Focusing on the Wrong Things
Many are lost –focus on wrong things. Events of world shake them up, such as Sept.11. Christians, if the Bible is right, ought not be shaken up.
Bible tells us to zero in… it ‘s the last hour…
18Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
Illustration: “Back to school” urgency – get school supplies ready, last weeks of summer holidays – long line-ups at the BC ferries terminals and at the US border, urgency to squeeze in last few days of holidays – summer’s coming to a close.
“Last hour” – communicate a sense of urgency (v.18)
A. Review of what Jesus taught about the last hour - Matt.24:4-51
First concern: “watch out that no one deceives you.” (v.4)
“keep watch” (24:42, 25:13) It shows Jesus wants us be prepared and not get caught napping.
As a man who knows his house is gonna be broken into (24:42-43)
Idea of readiness like earthquake drills, kits, emergency supplies here in Vancouver.
What’s Jesus teaching about the last days or last hour?
1. The rise of many false messiahs:
Many false claims of people being the Messiah Christ. (v.5, 11, 23-26) A recent report of someone claimed to be Jesus in Pakistan. Who else has claimed that? Waco? Millennium Bug? False prophets abounds here!
2. It will be visible and swift (v.26-28, 37-40).
Key verse in Matt.24:37 “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” End of history as we know it will be swift as in days of Noah (v.37-40) not in stages as some has theorized. It will obvious and no one be kept guessing if Jesus came back or not. No need to check charts then. No second chances as in the days of Noah. Judgment comes when Christ comes again.
3. It will be filled with lots of deception and international upheaval.
a. Wars and rumors of wars: “but see to it you are not alarmed” (v.6) US- Iraq war talk, Israeli – Palestinian struggle, on-going labor war –baseball strike, war within the Liberal Party re: Chretien’s leadership, war here there, everywhere! Going to war over fishing of Salmon here in BC.
b. International intrigue/problems (v.7): people groups against people groups in Africa, US, India, Sri Lanka, India-Pakistan. Corporate world unrest, distrust, corruption resulting in collapse of many financial kingdoms, unstable markets- chilled investors. French ice-skating judge that got sucked into international intrigue with the controversial decision to award the gold medal to Russian pair instead of the Canadian pair. Drought affecting the beef industry now in Alberta, famine in Africa, earthquakes in various places
c. But Jesus’ view “see to it that you are not alarmed…the end is still to come, … All these are the beginning of birth pains” (v.6,8) Women who exp. Birthing knows what this means, i.e. the worst is yet to come, the end is not in sight yet, and the pain gets worst!
4. It will be a time of persecution and apostasy
a. Persecution (v.9) many Christians are jailed, persecuted, denied basic human rights, in many Muslim countries. Pain gets worst!
b. Apostasy (v.10) - blatant rejection of Christian doctrines with the increase of clergy who don’t follow the Bible, going with what’s politically correct, what’s in vogue saying Bible is out of touch with today’s world. PAIN gets worst!
c. Increase of wickedness – chilling statement “love of most will grow cold” pain gets worst!
d. Call to “remain” true to Gospel (v.13)
e. What will bring in release of this world from these problems – is not social reformation, is not ecumenism, is not government programs, is not money, is not meditation, but the gospel (good news of Jesus) preached to all nations (v.14) then “the end will come”
5. The date-setters are wrong (v.36)
“No one knows… but only the Father” says it all
The Key thought: God wants the Good News to be given to all. His heart is for the peoples of the world. Not wishing any to perish (v.14). God want us to zero into his heart for a lost world in last days… His love forgiveness, mercy must be spread around the world! The love of God for the world has to reach every nation!
Problem with world - focusing on wrong things to better themselves – false teaching, false hope, wars to take out terrorists as if that will bring world peace, international problems – so many will be deceived, claims of false Messiahs will sound so good, so true.
B. The enemy comes in as we focus in wrong things and sow confusion. “even now many antichrists have come” (v.18) LOSE FOCUS WHEN we are led astray by false teaching. But you can Spot the false teachers by their: