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Summary: Recognize the signs, rather than being caught in the Worldview of the day. Pray Always, rather than allowing addictions to dominate your consciousness. Stand before the Son of Man, rather than falling into the traps of the devil. Watch, Pray always, Stand

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Luke 21:34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet. 38 Then early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.

1. Recognize the signs, rather than being caught in the Worldview of the day.

2. Pray Always, rather than allowing addictions to dominate your consciousness.

3. Stand before the Son of Man, rather than falling into the traps of the devil.

(Watch, Pray always, Stand)

In 79 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted.

Mount Vesuvius spawned a deadly cloud of volcanic gas, stones, ash and fumes to a height of 33 km (20.5 miles), spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. The towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were obliterated and buried underneath massive pyroclastic flows and lava. An estimated 16,000 people died from the eruption. Wiki- Eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79

Giuseppe Fiorelli took charge of the excavations in 1863. During early excavations of the site, occasional voids in the ash layer had been found that contained human remains. It was Fiorelli who realized these were spaces left by the decomposed bodies and so devised the technique of injecting plaster into them to recreate the forms of Vesuvius's victims. This technique is still in use today, with a clear resin now used instead of plaster because it is more durable, and does not destroy the bones, allowing further analysis. Wiki-Pompeii

Bodies were preserved in precisely the form they were in when the destruction occurred. [SLIDES] People and animals were preserved in exactly the state they were in when the cataclysm occurred.

THE SIGNS

The Romans grew accustomed to minor earth tremors in the region; the writer Pliny the Younger wrote that they "were not particularly alarming because they are frequent in Campania". Small earthquakes started taking place [four days before the eruption], becoming more frequent over the next four days, but the warnings were not recognized. Wiki-Eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79

1. Recognize the signs, rather than being caught in the Worldview of the day.

2. Pray Always, rather than allowing busyness to dominate your consciousness.

PRAY ALWAYS

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 5:13-18

ESCAPE

The first time the word escape is found in the Bible is, as you might guess, in the book of Genesis-it is repeatedly stated concerning Lot and his family. A servant escaped the kings that had taken Lot and his family captive along with all of Sodom & Gammorah, in Genesis 14. He runs to tell Abram about it, and Abram takes his trained mini-army and rescues all of Sodom & Gammorah. Angels warned Lot concerning the imminent destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah about to take place. They told him to escape to the mountains, but he begged to escape instead to Zoar.

Surely we can see some similarities here. Lot is called a righteous man in the New Testament. Yet he pitched his tent toward Sodom and was at the gate of the city, along with other prominent men-this was a place for a judge or village chief to spend his time. Lot lost his family to the sin of Sodom because he failed to recognize the essential nature of holiness-of sanctification. He was counted worthy to escape, but he lost his wife and married children to the destruction brought by God’s judgment. I don’t know if God would have called Lot to stay out of Sodom completely, if Lot had listened. But surely God would have had Lot be “in the world but not of it”. Lot had become addicted to Sodom’s culture and lifestyle. He lost his devotion to the Divine. In the process he lost his family and his peace. Jesus calls us to keep praying always, no matter how debase our surrounding culture becomes.

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