Summary: Understanding God’s calling to preach the Gospel, as our time on Earth is running out.
Understanding Today’s Situation (Part II)
Matthew 24:4-8, 14
Recap of Part I from last week:
We began looking at the current situations in the world to understand where we are in relation to Jesus Christ making his triumphant return.
Go with me to Matthew, Chapter 24: 4-8, 14 - Pray
I mentioned last week that it is sad fact that some members in our churches today that call themselves Christians - will in fact spend their eternity in hell because they do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior – because they have allowed Satan to deceive them.
We have been given a time of warning on our lives.
Rumors of wars - Nation will rise against nation - Kingdom against kingdom
The “Roadmap for Peace” treaty signed in 2002 has three parts to it: Israel is to withdraw from Gaza (done), Israel to withdraw from the West Bank (working), and Israel to give a portion of Jerusalem to the Arabs for the new Palestinian state (discussed).
At this moment, Secretary of State Rice is pushing for this Roadmap of Peace to continue moving forward. Why? Even if all believers are involved in this why is it still happening? Because God has ordained these events before the creation of the world - There is no putting off His plans for His creation.
We also discussed the importance of God promises to Jerusalem in Psalm 48 (Zion)
Beginning of birth pains – recap of events unfolding in the Middle East
We discussed our calling – to preach the gospel to every nation (v14)
Three of the worst famines (food shortages) in history were the Great Famine of Bengal, India, that took place in 1769; the Great Irish Famine that began in 1845; and the Chinese famine of 1878. During the Great Famine of Bengal a total of 10,000,000 people died of starvation.
Famine is a lack of nourishment.
Even with this physical suffering (which continues today in some of the largest continents on the globe) - there is a spiritual famine plaguing our churches at this very moment. Christians have forgotten their first love – there is a lack of devotion to God across the entire scope of believers, and we are wrong for it.
I believe this is what God was telling us about in Rev 2:4 (church of Ephesus) – God was telling John to write to this church and tell them of the importance of loving God first – that your love for Him is what matters most.
lord’s prayer -- "... give us our daily bread"
Everything else third
1556, January 23 Senshi Province, China Over 830,000
1976, July 28 Tangshan, China Over 242,000
1920, December 16 Kansu, China Over 180,000
1923, September 1 Toyko-Yokihama, Japan Over 140,000
1290, September 27 Gulf of Chihli, China 100,000
1693 Catania, Sicily and Naples, Italy 60,000 and 93,000, respectively
1667, November Shemakha, Caucasia 80,000
1908, December Messina, Italy 75,000 to 80,000
1932, December 26 Kansu, China 70,000
1970, May 31 Northern Peru 50,000 to 70,000
Tsunami were destructive (caused by earthwuake in the ocean)
Can you tell me that we are not in the beginning of birth pains?
Nothing compared to the one in Revelation 16:17-18 “The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.”
Even after God’s judgment, man continues to SIN.
What is God’s clock for these to happen? Unknown – but He gave us warnings.
What is his timing? Does it matter? He is God and ours is not to question – but to understand that today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to stop playing games. Today is the day to recognize the situation, and take action!!
Some good news - it is not ALL bad ...
III. Forecast of the weather for the future:
Easy travel – Something to look forward to:
Daniel 12:2-3 says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise [a] will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”