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Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the series "The End". This sermon looks at some events that must take place before the tribulation occurs.

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Sunday Evening April 7, 2002 Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: The End [#2]

WE ARE GETTING CLOSER

Isaiah 35

Introduction:

1. A couple of weeks ago, in the first sermon of this series, we looked at signs of Jesus’ coming. This evening, I want us to identify some events that must take place before the beginning of the tribulation.

Departing

1. Can you believe that anyone claiming to be a Christian would question doctrines such as the resurrection of Jesus, the validity of the Bible, or the virgin birth? Can you believe that the church would endorse homosexual behavior and sex outside of marriage? As hard as it is to believe it has already happened.

2. Paul told us that there would come a time when people will turn from the faith and follow heresy.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

3. Notice the phrase, “until the rebellion occurs”. This gives us a “heads up” to the end of the “Church Age”.

1 Timothy 4:1-2

2 Timothy 4:3-4

4. Another illustration of this departure from the faith is found in Revelation 3:15-18. There is a theological method of study called dispensationalism. Dispensationalists teach that the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 represent different times in church history. Those that believe this theology teach that our time represents the last church, Laodicea. Let’s see if this matches our time.

Revelation 3:15-18

5. Laodicea was a rich city with the best of Greek culture and learning. It was a thriving city. The church there was a wealthy church. This church was also the only church out of these seven churches that God had absolutely nothing good to say. This church was plagued by apathy. They were neither hot nor cold.

6. Does this sound like the church of today? Our churches are definitely rich in comparison to years past and the buildings are much nicer than ever before. How about the evangelism of this church era? Preachers today are punished for preaching the Word. When the people are told how it is, often times they get mad and leave. They go somewhere that they can hear “nice sermons”.

Desert

1. Not only will there be a departing from the faith, but there will also be a blessing by God placed upon the land. Now from my study I do not believe that this will be completed until the Millennial reign, but you will be able to see some definite changes.

2. It is natural for grasslands to be taken over by the desert due to the blowing sands, but who has ever seen a great desert turned into a beautiful garden?

Isaiah 35:1-2; 6-7

Isaiah 41:18-20

Isaiah 43:19

3. God will show the world that He has not forgotten Israel.

4. I hope our nation does not forget that Israel will again flourish. God says so.

5. Since Israel became a nation in 1948, the rainfall in Palestine has increased dramatically. The result of this is a large production of crops.

6. When God puts His hand upon something it has no choice but to flourish.

Disaster

1. Along with a departure from the faith and a blooming in the desert will be a disaster in the making. There will be a huge sneak attack upon Israel. So who will attack?

Ezekiel 38:1-9; 15-23

2. If you study Gog and Magog, you will find that this is Russia. Also Gog’s allies- Persia, Libya, Gomer (which is probably Turkey), Ethiopia, and Togarmah- are all Arab Muslim countries that just happen to be Russia’s faithful allies. We all know how Muslims feel about Jews.

Ezekiel 39:1-12

3. So what happens to the attackers? Ezekiel 38:13 shows us that Israel’s allies see this attack coming but offer no help or no aid and then God steps in.

4. God sends an earthquake and a mighty shaking. He then rains on God hailstones and fire and brimstone, along with flooding rain and pestilence. When this is over, all of the enemy will lie dead.

5. The carnage will be so great that it will take seven months for Israel to find and bury those dead.

6. They will all be buried in a common grave called the Valley of Hamon Gog. It will also take seven years to destroy all of these weapons.

Conclusion:

1. At this point in our study, I want to again remind you of the urgency we must have for the sharing Christ with the lost.

2. Many things are happening right now that should be alerting us. Are you ready?

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