IS THIS THE END OF THE WORLD?
(Sermon from: March 2011 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to this audio message, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Are we living the last days?
When people watch the news or read the newspaper, they hear of wars (like what’s happening in Libya right now) and rumors of wars, and famines, earthquakes and tsunamis (like most recently in New Zealand and Japan), and people wonder: are these the signs of the times that Jesus talked about? Everyone wants to know the answer to that question. Especially with the “Mayan Calendar” / Dec. 21, 2012 date looming!
“Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come…” (Luke 17:20).
The disciples wanted to know about the timing: “Therefore, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).
- For two thousand years, people have been asking questions about the last days:
- Example: Edgar Whisenant’s book called, “88 Reasons why Jesus Will Return in 1988.”
THE BIG IDEA: The signs of the times in the world around us point to the reality that we are living in the last days. Jesus is our Soon Coming King, and our job is to get ready for His return!
I. UNDERSTANDING THE KINGDOM:
Before we can understand correctly the events surrounding the second coming of Jesus, we must learn a little bit about the Kingdom of God…
1. GOD IS THE SOVEREIGN KING OVER ALL OF THE UNIVERSE:
“In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” (Genesis 1:1).
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1).
- God has been reigning as supreme King for all of eternity.
- When we say Jesus is our Soon Coming King, it doesn’t mean He isn’t the King now.
2. MANKIND WAS GIVEN DOMINION ON THE EARTH:
“Let Us make man in Our image… let them have dominion…” (Gen. 1:26).
- God delegated authority to mankind in the Garden of Eden on the Earth.
3. AT THE FALL, ADAM AND EVE GAVE THEIR AUTHORITY TO SATAN:
Genesis 3:1-6 – Satan tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God.
- The temptation: “You will be like God.” You don’t have to have God as your King!
- Adam and Eve lost their right to rule the Earth, and handed it over to Satan.
- God’s promise: God said to the serpent: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15). In other words, “HE is coming!”
- Daniel prophesied about Jesus: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44).
4. JESUS CAME PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM:
“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15).
- In the NT, there are 137 references to the Kingdom of God.
- QUOTE: “To what does the Kingdom refer? It refers to God’s sovereign rule in the universe – He is the King of the Heavens. But more specifically, here it refers to the entry of God’s long anticipated Anointed One – the prophesied Messiah, who would not only be the Saviour and King of Israel, but of all mankind… Declaring the Kingdom ‘at hand’… John was announcing that the rule of God’s King was about to overthrow the power and rule of all evil.” (Jack Hayford, The Spirit-filled Life Bible).
- How do we enter the Kingdom? Repent (turn from sin) & believe (faith in Jesus).
“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:12-15).
Jesus said to Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36).
- When Jesus came to the Earth the first time, He came as King.
- However, there is an aspect to the Kingdom of God that is now / not yet.
- The Kingdom of God is here now, but it is not yet all that it will be one day.
- From now until Jesus returns, our job is to pray that God’s Kingdom would come, and the King’s will would be done on the Earth as it is in Heaven.
II. JESUS IS OUR SOON COMING KING:
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES?
“3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
1. SPIRITUAL DECEPTION:
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
2. POLITICAL UNREST:
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (nations = races/people groups and kingdoms = countries)
3. NATURAL DISASTERS:
And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
4. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION:
9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (This is happening to many Christians in many countries today).
5. RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWNS:
10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound (that’s happening today!), the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
- Add in Scripture from 2 Tim. 2:1-5 (?)
6. THE KINGDOM PREACHED:
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:3-14).
OUR RESPONSE: HOW THEN SHOULD WE LIVE?
“36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be… 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:36-44).
- The important thing is: Jesus is coming soon, and we need to WATCH & BE READY!
THE RAPTURE: WHAT WILL THAT DAY LOOK LIKE?
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:16-18). This is an event many people call the rapture, when Jesus takes us home to Heaven.
THEN WHAT? AFTER THAT, THE JUDGMENT!
“10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:10-15).
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca