Summary: A sermon examining the signs of the times in light of the tsunami disaster that struck Japan.
What On Earth Is Going On?
Sunday, March 13, 2011
End-Times Series : Sermon One
TEXT: Matthew 24:3-14 ; 21-22 ; 27; 29-44
Luke 21:9-11; 25-33
In his book, "A Tale of Two Cities", Charles Dickens wrote...
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
Does that not fit the world that we live in today?
"Best of times" when it comes to technological advancement and conveniences...
"Worst of times" when it comes to the moral and spiritual fabric of society...
Right now, we're living through some of the worst economics we've seen in our lifetime...and not just nationally, but internationally!
We continue to experience more and more natural disasters...increased frequency of events...AND increased devastation...
This tragedy in Japan follows on the heels of tragedies in New Zealand, Chile, and Haiti just over the last year...
Unexplained deaths to thousands of birds and fish recently...
More and more new diseases we've never known before, and a return of some old diseases we thought medicine had conquered!
So you ask..."WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?"
Your Bible speaks about these times we're living in right now...and calls it "The end of the age"!
NOTE: You and I are living in the last days of human history!
Matthew 24:3-4a, "Now as [Jesus] sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately saying...'what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?' "...and Jesus began telling them how it would be...
Someone would say, 'Oh Pastor, we've seen times like these before...this too shall pass...no need to be alarmed!'
Well, as a child of God, you'd be partly right...no need to be alarmed, but we would do well to BE ALERT!
Luke 21:28, "Now when these things BEGIN to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near"(Jesus)
But on the other hand, there are things that have happened over the last century that in fact ARE different from times before!
"Assuredly I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place"(Jesus)
SO WHAT MAKES THE TIMES YOU AND I LIVE IN DIFFERENT?
That's what I want us to look at this morning!
The Sands in the Hour-Glass of the End-Times began on May 14, 1948!
[EXPOUND..."the fig tree" relates to the nation of Israel...]
Other Bible Verses related to the "Fig Tree"...
Judges 9:10 (Verses 7-15 is called 'The Parable of The Trees')
"Then the trees said to the fig tree, you come and reign over us!"
Proverbs 27:18, "Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit: so he who waits on his master will be honored"
Hosea 9:10, "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits of the fig tree in its first season..."
Joel 2:22, "...and the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their strength"
These verses are speaking about more than just "agriculture"!
Hosea and Joel, both being prophets, were speaking prophetically!
Before May 14th, 1948, the nation of Israel had been non-existent for over 2,000 years...
The Jewish people were scattered among the nations of the earth with no homeland...the Hebrew language was nearly extinct...
Bible Prophecy concerning Israel and the Jews in the Last Days...
A) The Jewish People Re-gathered Back to Their Homeland:
Isaiah 11:11-12, "It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left...He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth"
---Fulfillment: Began in the early 1900's, and continues today!
B) The Nation of Israel Re-established:
Isaiah 66:7-8, "Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such things? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children"
Ezekiel 37:21-22, "Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel..."
---Fulfillment: May 14, 1948
C) The Jews Re-Occupy Jerusalem:
Zechariah 8:4-8, "Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets...If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, will it also be marvelous in My eyes? says the Lord of Hosts. Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; I will bring them back, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness"