Summary: When it comes to end times: 1. Jesus warns us about deception (vs. 4-5, 11-12, 23-28). 2. Jesus warns us about disasters (vs. 6-12). 3. Jesus' warnings must have double application (vs. 15-21). 4. Jesus promises His deliverance (vs. 13-14, 21-28).
The Second Coming of Christ - Part 2
Matthew 24:4-28 (Initial reading vs. 1-3)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - June 3, 2015
*Tonight we may get as far as vs. 28, but let's start back at the beginning of Matthew 24. Jesus had just finished condemning Jewish religious leaders in the strongest way. He condemned them for their hard-hearted rejection of their Messiah and much more. Let's see what happened next in Matthew 24:1-3:
1. Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple.
2. And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.''
3. Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?''
*The disciples wanted answers, and that's what we are looking for in Matthew 24. Some of the things Jesus says here are mysterious: Like will the rapture of the church be before or after the tribulation? And when will the Lord return?
*Finding the answers can be hard, and there are different viewpoints. But everything the Lord said would happen here is going to happen. So we need to learn everything we can about the Second coming of Christ. And God will bless us as we look into His Word.
1. First tonight: Jesus warns us about deception.
*In Matthew 24, Jesus actually gives us three warnings about spiritual deception.
*First in vs. 4-5:
4. And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.
5. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many."
*Then in vs. 11-12, Jesus warns us with these words:
11. "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold."
*We see more dangerous deception down in vs. 23-26:
23. "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it.
24. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25. See, I have told you beforehand.
26. Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it."
*Many false Christs. One of the most well known in our lifetimes was a Korean named Sun Myung Moon. Mr. Moon was born in 1920, and he was the founder of the cult called the "Unification Church." Mr. Moon preached that he was the Messiah and the second coming of Christ. Moon also taught that he was here to fulfill the work of Jesus that was cut short when He died on the cross.
*In 2004, at a ceremony in a Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. of all places, Mr. Moon crowned himself with what was called the "Crown of Peace." There he gave a long speech in which he stated that he was "sent to Earth to save the world's 6 billion people."
*Mr. Moon also said, "Emperors, kings and presidents . . . have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."
*Mr. Moon died on September 3rd, 2012, at the age of 92, but his cult still has a presence in over 100 countries. Membership estimates range from 250,000 to 3 million. (1)
*An even more troubling false Christ is the Twelfth Imam looked for by Shi'a Muslims.
*[PIC 1] Here is a picture from one of their websites.
*Shi'as believe that Muhammad al-Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam, will reappear when the world has fallen into chaos and civil war. At that time, the Twelfth Imam will come wielding God's Double-Bladed Sword, and this supposedly heralds the apocalypse.
*When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was Mayor of Tehran, he reportedly ordered the city council to build a boulevard to prepare for the Twelfth Imam. In 2006, the Washington Post reported that after Ahmadinejad became president, he told his cabinet that he expects the Twelfth Imam to arrive in a few years. He actually looked forward to a clash with the West, believing it could speed up the arrival of the Twelfth Imam."
[PIC 2] This is a picture of the Jamkaran mosque in Iran.
*Many of the devout believers in the Twelfth Imam pray at this mosque, because it houses a well from which, they believe he will emerge. When Ahmadinejad won the presidential elections, he immediately gave $17 million of government funds to this shrine to the false messiah. (2)