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Saturday, May 22, 2021


5-22-2021 Signs of the Times

Matthew 24:1-13

Jesus left the temple and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple.     

And Jesus said to them “Don’t you see all these things?  Not one stone shall be left atop another that won’t be thrown down.”

Having berated the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy, Jesus left the temple with His disciples following when He tells them about the destruction of the temple.

As He sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples privately came to Him and asked when these things should be (the end times).  What will be the sign of Your coming at the end of the world?

A logical question.  ‘When are You coming back so we can be with You for all eternity?  Don’t we all want to know that?     

And Jesus answered:  Be careful that no man deceive you.

            For many shall come in My name saying “I am the Christ” and they shall deceive many.

Now, I’m not an historian, but two recent ‘messiahs’ come to mind:  Jim Jones and the People’s temple who committed mass suicide in Guyana, South America after killing House Rep. Leo Ryan; and David Koresh, leader of the ‘Branch Davidians’, who, along with other Davidians, died in a fire following an assault by federal law-enforcement. 

Even in the disciples day, false prophets rose up as one Gamaliel cautioned the Jews not to be too concerned about Peter and the rest of the disciples for if they were a false sect, they would eventually become nothing (Gamaliel cited examples), but if the church leaders pursued, they could find themselves fighting against God, Himself (Acts 5:33-39).

Jesus, Himself, tells us there will be many false Christs (Matt. 24:22-27).    

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but don’t be troubled for these things must happen, but that is not yet the end.

Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.  There shall be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Wars and rumors of war?  Nations and kingdoms fighting each other?  Look at the world.  In the past 100 years we have experience two wars which have involved all the major power of the earth (1914-1918 & 1939-1945).  The 1950’s saw Korea, the 1960’s saw Vietnam.  This doesn’t take into consideration all the unrest in the Middle East from 1900 to present!  Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and so on.  Rumors of wars?  The Cuban missile crisis with the USSR (1962), Threats from North Korea and even now the terrorist threats in the Middle East and beyond.  The ‘Cold War” hung as a threat over people from the 1960’s until the USSR collapse in the 1990’s so, at least the cold war, seems to have ended.  But the threat of violence continues to linger.

Over the past several decades, I can’t remember how many time I’ve thought to myself earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, all happening in places where they were not expected to occur and, along with wildfires, occurring with intensities that makes us wonder just what is going on!

And what did Jesus say?  This is just the beginning of our problems!          

Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted and they shall kill you.  You shall be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Then Christians shall be attacked, simply because we’re Christians!  Check it out!  Even today, in Asia and Africa, Christians are being jailed and executed simply because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

And then many of you shall be offended and betray one another, even hate one another.

Christian brother will even turn against Christian brother.  Parents will be against the children and children against their parents and so forth (Matt. 10:17-23).  The ‘world’ is going to be a mess!  Way to go, Satan!

            Many false prophets shall rise and deceive many.

This goes along with claiming to be Messiah but claiming to “know the way” isn’t quite the same as claiming ‘to be the way’.  A false prophet’s job is to keep us from developing a relationship with Father.  Or giving it his best shot to draw us away from the Lord even once we’ve professed our faith.  It could happen.  But by the grace of God, it won’t.  Father has given us free choice.  The Holy Spirit prompts us and it is our choice to agree to accept and receive Jesus into our heart.  Once we have done that, it is still our choice to live for our Savior.  That is, learn how to abide in His love – and do so.  When I was young, the focus was on ‘getting people saved’.  The pastor’s sermons and Sunday School would take care of the growth.  At least that’s what they thought.  But that only happens when souls became involved in listening to, learning about and abiding in God’s love.

Jesus cautions us to continually draw closer to Him, for if it were possible, those false Christs and prophets might even deceive God’s elect (Matt. 24:24).  That’s us, who walk and talk with the Lord. 

To have a solid relationship with Father, through Jesus, is most important. 

            And because sin shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Wax cold?  Grow cold!  To become comfortable in ‘our own salvation’ then grow cold in our walk and wander away from Father. 

Too much of the church today has become a closed social club.  You’re a brother in Christ?  Welcome aboard, but we really don’t want any sinners in our midst!  Too much of today’s church has become comfortable in going to church when the doors are open, listening to a ‘good’ sermon and singing a few songs and some folks may even toss some coins into the pot.  But, hey, some of those ‘weirdos’  even raise their hands in church – and it’s not to ask a question!!!  (???)

Back in my youth, I remember our pastor almost begging someone to give him an ‘amen’ that he could know that someone knew what he was talking about.  But, alas, we weren’t supposed to talk in church, unless, of course, it was with your neighbor about things which we were curious about.

Again, from the day we receive Jesus into our heart until the day Father calls us home, our relationship with Him needs to be and should be continually growing (in some form or fashion).  That is drawing closer to Him!

            But he who endures to the end of all this, it is he who shall be saved.

Endures?  The closer our relationship with Father is (through Jesus), the more able we are to endure.  He WILL NEVER leave us nor forsake us.  He is Always there (Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13:5), the Holy Ghost is within our heart (2 Corinth. 1:22) and the angels without (Psalm 91:11-12).  Psalm may be a prophetic word about Jesus but we are all brothers (& sisters) in Christ (Rom. 8:29).  What Father does for Jesus, He’ll do for us (John 14:9-15).

Even though Jesus never actually says when the end times will come (Mark 13:32), He surely has given us enough information to know when those times are approaching.  Look around at the world today.  By the grace of God we have not had war on a global scale for eighty years, but there sure have been plenty of ‘little skirmishes’ all around for the past eight decades.  World hunger?  And look at how nature has gone ‘bananas’ over the pasts several decades – just in America (much less the world).  Flooding, earthquakes, fires, the intensity of the storms!

Look at how people are rejecting God!  Does it sound a bit like some of those cities we read about in the Old Testament?  Even today’s church has been setting aside things God has said and is trying to conform to the world’s standards.

Yes, God is love (1 John 4:8) and He surely doesn’t desire that any should be separated from Him (2 Peter 3:9).  But He does require our faith to receive from Him (Mark 11:24) but He also asks our obedience so He can bless us (John 14:15).  Faith and obedience are required to be with Him throughout eternity.  Children naturally accept everything mom and dad say.  Just as parents expect the children to be obedient to them, Father expects the same from us.

So, am I saying we are in the end times even now?  I believe we are definitely are in the ‘foothills’ of those things which must come, but the end is not yet?

Father is closing out a seven year preparation period this year.  Next year will be the beginning of a seven year Spiritual Explosion, a time for mankind and the church to get back on track.  Father has said that there is yet another seven year period following that.  What happens then?  I don’t know.  Does anyone?

Are we reading the signs of the times?

Could have gone on more, but my prayer is that this at least stirs up the ‘juices’.


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