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The Signs of the End Times

Mike Connell

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The Signs of the End Times

Signs of the Coming of Jesus (1 of 3)

The Signs of the End Times (2 of 3)
In Matthew 24, Jesus reveals clearly the signs of the End Times, and of His Second Coming. This message is the second of two messages examining the signs of the End Times. We see many of these signs being manifested in the earth today. We are to recognise the signs, and prepare ourselves for Jesus coming

Signs of the End Times (3 of 3)
In Matthew 24 Jesus reveals clearly the signs of the end Times and of His second Coming. This message is the third of three messages examining the signs of the End Times. We see many of these signs being manifested in the earth today. We are to recognise the signs and prepare ourselves for Jesus coming

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Signs of the Coming of Jesus (1 of 3)  

Sun 21 Jun 2020 AM « Back to Top

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Signs of the Coming of Jesus (1 of 3)

I want you to open your Bible with me; we’re going to look at Matthew 24. I want to share today on the Signs of the Coming of Jesus - the Signs of the End Times.

How many know that there are global shifts are taking place? There's a lot of changes taking place in the world; you can see the massive changes. When 9/11 happened, I remember thinking then: Lord, this is not just about an event that happened in America; this is about a global shift. Something is changing in the nations of the world. People felt they lived in peace and security; but now there was the realisation that sudden change can take place.

Then there's been two waves of pandemic - there was the SARS virus, which perhaps for many didn't have such an impact; but this with latest one, Covid-19, suddenly, within a few days, you find yourself shut up in your home and you can't go out - can't do this; can't do that. Life as you knew it stopped.

These are kind of beginning signs. They're kind of evidence to us, of a time of change in the world; and we want to be anchored to the word of God, in this time. I think the first thing we need to know, if I look on the signs of the times, the first thing I want you to look at, or to just be aware of, is this:

God is in total control, and nothing can stop His purpose being outworked. God is in total control.

That doesn't mean that everything is operating the way He wants. In fact, it's not operating the way He wants, but it will come to a point where it does, and it really helps us to see a Bible perspective.

Isaiah 46:9-10 – “Remember the former things, those of long ago;

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.

I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’”

God knows the end. He understands exactly how the whole thing ends.

We're just on the journey. We're caught in time. If you're in eternity, then you can see the start, and the end, and what's beyond; but when you're in time, then you only see what you've got now. When you're in time, then you often live out of the moment, or out of the experience you're in now, rather than out of an eternal biblical perspective. God always draws us back to Himself, and to the fact He's got your back. He's got the plan - so get connected and listen to the plan!

For example, in the Book of Daniel, there was a king there. The people of God were in a time and season where they were in bondage. Imagine that all the promises of God have gone; and everything they treasured was gone. They're in captivity; they're in slavery; and there's this false prophet, saying that it's not going to happen; but all kinds of things have been happening. In the middle of it, the king of Babylon, which was the greatest world empire of its day… it would be the ‘America’ of its day - it was the greatest empire.

The king had a vision in that; and in the vision, he sees an image - he sees the head of gold, and various parts of silver and bronze, right down to feet of clay and iron. Then he sees in that picture, that suddenly a rock comes, and the rock smites this image, on its feet. Then the image begins to crumble, and collapse, and fall to the ground - and the rock, that smote the feet of the image, now grows, and becomes a mountain that fills the whole earth!

The king is very troubled by this, very troubled indeed; and he says to all the wise men, the astrologers: I want to know the meaning of the dream; but no one could tell him - so he was going to kill everyone! You guys say you're smart, but you can't interpret my dream? Daniel said: give me a bit of time to seek the Lord - He knows dreams; and then Daniel comes back and says: I've got it!

God has shown him not only the dream, and its details; but also, the meaning.

Daniel 2:34 – “While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them”

He's talking of something supernaturally formed, “without hands” - meaning it's happened from God. It struck the image, on the feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.

Daniel 2:44 – ““In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever”

He said: in as much as you saw the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and broke in pieces - the iron and the bronze and the clay and the silver and the gold – “the great God has made it known to the king what shall come to pass in the future”.

In fact, that prophesy is a prophesy of all the world kingdoms that would come to pass; and it says that in the very End Time, there is a kingdom that will come, and it will be a rock taken out of a mountain, made without hands, that will smash that kingdom down, and then expand and fill the whole earth.

He's talking about the kingdom of God.

Daniel 7:27 – “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him”

He's had a vision of the coming kingdom of God, in all its glory. He's seen what will happen. He's seen the disruption of the powers of heaven; the transformation of the earth; and the kingdom of God established. That kingdom starts in your heart. The kingdom is within you.

When God puts His spirit in you, you are joined to the King. You become part of a kingdom. However, you've got to decide whether you'll grow. You must decide - will you let the spirit of God bring transformation? You must decide whether you'll let the Lord prepare you, so that at the time of His coming…

#1 - You're ready

#2 - You qualify for all the things He has prepared, for those who love Him.

The Bible is God's book - His story; and in His story, there are many prophesies through the Bible. The prophesies in the Bible all refer to, and carry a revelation of, Jesus and His work.

For example, when Jesus was born, in Jesus' life and ministry, there were at least 18 prophesies - specific details about His life, that were prophesied through the Bible, by different prophets - and all of those were fulfilled. Then there's another 16 prophesies about Israel, and what would happen to Israel - and all of those have become true. If you've got prophesies or foretelling of the future - firstly about the coming of Jesus; and secondly, about the nation of Israel - and all those ones have been fulfilled… that's a pretty good record!

So then, what other prophesies are there? There's a whole heap of prophesies about Jesus coming, about His return, of which the church remains ignorant; and if you're ignorant of what is coming, then you live in fear of what is now. Across the world, everyone is scared. I mean, to act rationally, and reasonably, and safely - that's one thing; but to be in fear - that's another. That's another.

God knows the beginning from the end. God has a plan that He's outworking; and the prophesies in the Bible are accurate. The Bible can be relied upon, because God knows the end from the beginning. If we were to read today some prophesies of things to come… you better know they're going to come - they will unravel as certainly as you're sitting here. The only question is whether you recognise them – that they're unravelling before your very eyes. We're living in the hour when these things are unravelling now. What a great hour to be alive! Glory to God!

Let's read in Matthew 24. I'll read about 14 verses, and Jesus brings revelation of the End Times. In other words, He acts as a prophet. Jesus not only was a great apostle, He's also a great prophet. That was prophesied by Moses - another prophet will come. He's the Great Prophet. He's now standing in His office as a prophet, saying: I'm going to tell you things are going to happen at the End Times. I'm going to prophesy for you the next 2000 years.

Matthew 24:1 – “Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple…”.

The buildings were massive. They were a massive sight - it was glorious; one of the wonders of the world really, just tremendous building. And Jesus said…

“…Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone will be left upon another that shall not be thrown down”.

That's a staggering claim to make. He's now prophesying. They're all saying: look at this awesome building, wow! Look, the gold, all the beauty of it – massive! He says: the whole lot is going to be thrown down. There won't be two stones left on top of one another. That's a whole study of its own, to find out what happened in there.

Then He sits down, and so they ask Him some questions. They just admired this big building, but Jesus said: don't put your hopes in the building. That building is coming down, and so of course, once they got alone, they sat and talked, and they asked Him some questions. As they sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. That's what disciples do - they ask questions privately. They said: tell us, when will these things be? What will be the sign of Your coming; and the end of the age?

So, there's two key questions that are asked here. 1) The destruction of the temple - what will indicate it's happening? 2) What will be the signs that indicate Your return is imminent? Jesus then answers that, and His answers are spread, as they often are in the Bible, in more than one place. You've got to read the different places to find them, but Matthew 24 and 25 is a good place to start. You could also go into Mark 13, and Luke 21, but we'll just mostly look in Matthew, and then a little bit in Luke.

Matthew 24:4 - “He answered them and said, take heed that no one deceives you”.

His first thing is to warn them of the possibility of being deceived. To be deceived means that you think something's true, when it's not true. He repeats this warning: Take care, in case you be deceived. That you start to believe things that are not true, as though they were true - and that affects how you live your life.

Matthew 24:5 - “For many will come in My name, saying I'm the Christ, and deceive many. You'll hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you're not troubled.”

Don't be anxious when you hear all these reports or read the news. All these things must come to pass, but that's not the end.

Matthew 24:6 - “For nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There'll be famines, pestilences, earthquakes in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows”.

He says: then they'll deliver you up to the tribulation and kill you; and you'll be hated by all nations for My name's sake. Then many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will arise and deceive many.

Notice the “then… then… then”. He's talking about a sequence of steps or actions that will take place, one after the other.

“…but he who endures to the end shall be saved, and this gospel of the kingdom of God will be preached in all the world, as a witness to the nations, then the end will come”.

Now you have an idea of what must come before the end, and we're not waiting for anyone or anything… God is waiting for us. This gospel of the kingdom must be preached throughout the whole world - then the end will come! So, don't wait around for Jesus to come. Pray… and get busy!

He's now asked two questions. The first question (in verse 3) was: what will these things be? They're asking about the temple. What about the temple? Tell us about the temple?

In Luke, it's described a little differently...

Luke 21:20 - “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is near”.

He's now giving them a sign. He's saying: when you see this, you know. This is what you can absolutely be certain to know, that its desolation, or its total ruin, is very close. That's the sign that He's given them; and this is a consequence - it's about to be destroyed. Then He tells them what to do.

So always in the Bible, God gives a hint, or an indication, of what will come; and then He tells us how to prepare. Next week, I will talk about preparing for the second coming of the Lord, because you need to know how to prepare; but if you don't believe that He's coming soon, then of course you won't want to prepare. You'll just do your own thing.

Luke 21:21 - “Let those who are in Judea flea to the mountains. Let those who are in the midst of her, depart”.

He tells them: get out of the city when you see the sign; and it says:

Luke 21:22 - “Let not those in the country enter her, for these are the days of vengeance, that all the things which are written, may be fulfilled”.

Luke 21:23-24 – “And woe to those who are pregnant, those with babies in those days, for there'll be great distress in the land, great wrath upon the people. They will fall by the edge of the sword, be lead away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled by the gentiles, until the time of the gentiles are fulfilled”.

Here's the sign: “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies”. Now when I was in Rome, we did a visit to Rome one time, and we went around the Colossium... I loved it - the history is just stunning! We went through what's called the Arch of Titus, it’s a phenomenal structure. It's a memorial arch, that was built in honour of Titus.

Titus was a Roman general, and when you look on the inside of the arch, you see something interesting. You see inscriptions on the sides of the arc. On one side, it has a Roman general in a chariot, and then behind it's got people in chains, who are captive; and then behind that, it's got loads of treasure, and in particular, one item of treasure is the candlestick (or the menorah) from the temple in Jerusalem.

Now Jesus said: when you see this sign, that's what's going to happen. When you go to Rome now, you can see the picture - that it did happen!

There was a rebellion in Judea, around about the period of about 66AD. They began to revolt against the Romans, and so the Romans sent an emperor - a military commander called Vespasian, who surrounded Jerusalem, set up a siege around Jerusalem… the sign! “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies” - There it is, right there!

What do you think the believers, who remembered Jesus' words, all thought, when they saw the armies encamped around them? Jesus told us this would happen! We need to get out! Of course, they can't get out, because they're surrounded. Then suddenly, there's a death of a Roman emperor; and Vespasian is going to replace him. He's going to become the new emperor - so they call him to come back to Rome, to take over his new role as the emperor. He withdraws all his armies from Jerusalem, and goes back for a short period to Rome, in order to receive his positioning as emperor, to take over the running of the empire. Of course, now that he's running the empire, he's not going back to Jerusalem… so he sends Titus. There is a gap! The armies surround the city; then the armies withdraw from the city; then the armies return, and surround the city - so there was a window of time, and in that window of time, everyone who remembered Jesus' words…

“when you see Jerusalem surrounded, flee. Don't come into the city.”

History records that every Christian in that city left the city, and they went to a town, I think it's called Bella, somewhere in East Judea (or West Judea? Somewhere in another place) - so all the Christians left. They just left! It must have been amazing to watch them all leaving the city. Thousands upon thousands of Christians left the city. They're leaving - just leaving everything; giving up their jobs, everything they have built. They leave with whatever they can carry, and just go - because they've heard Jesus' words: when you see this, it's all about to be destroyed.

You can imagine the difficulty that people would have, and the act of faith it requires to let everything go, because you've heard the word of Jesus, and yet everything looks so comfortable. The enemies have all retired... We're doing okay now, we're all right... But very soon, Titus came; he encamped around it, he besieged it, he cut off all supplies to the city. He starved the occupants, and then breached the city; there were 3 million people, and I think he put two million to death.

A lot of people died trying to escape, but no one was able to escape. People tried to get out, but they couldn't escape, because they built literally a wall right around it. There was no escaping! The people that did come out - a rumour went around that they had swallowed jewels and diamonds, so they killed them, and gutted them. There was just no way they could escape - because they weren't ready, and responsive, to the word of God. About a million people were carried away as slaves, which is what was represented on the Arch of Titus in Rome. What you read in history is, there were so many slaves, they just went for almost nothing. They were sold cheaply.

What's called ‘The Time of the Gentiles’ began. The ‘Gentiles’ refers to people outside of Israel, outside the covenant of God. They ruled over, and had dominion over, the land of Israel; and that went on, and on, and on, until…. There's going to be a change, because of the promises of God! Let's read on - this is exciting!

When did all that change? Well, it changed in my lifetime! You see, the Times of the Gentiles ceased 1948. Israel got rid of all the British, and took over that place, which is now a source of conflict.

If I were to ask: what city, in the whole world, is the source of conflict… you know what it is. It's Jerusalem! That's where Jesus is returning again. It's like it's going to be the governmental centre of the earth; so of course, it's the source of all conflict.

So the Jews took over, and then in 1967, for the first time, apart from being a nation, now they took over the temple area, or the area there in the old city; so now they had access to Jerusalem, and of course there has still been a battle, because there's still a mosque there, that the Muslims have, claiming that this is their ground. But it is not their ground. This is the land promised to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob - and Israel will possess the land.

So, you've got to think, when you hear all these arguments about the Middle East - where do you stand? Will you stand on God's side, agreeing with what He says is going to happen; or will you take the world view, or the secular media view, and take the view of all the people who are so critical of what's happening in the Middle East? I'm not saying it's not all right or wrong; it's just you've got to get God's perspective, amen?

Here's another thing... Last year, Donald Trump moved the embassy, and called Jerusalem the capital. That is historic! It's historic! When you see it in the bigger picture of what God is doing, you see that it's totally historic; and we'll see some things on this, that actually in the scripture, He tells about that!

So now… we want to look at just the End Times. What are the signs then, of the End Times? What are the signs that we are approaching the End Times? Jesus made it very clear: you won't know the day, or the hour; so, if anyone says they know the day, and give a date - they've got it wrong. He said: “no man knows the hour, nor the day, only the Father” - even Jesus doesn't know the day.

What you can know, is the seasons; it's the seasons, we've got to know. Jesus warns about it. The first thing He did was He warned about deception.

Mathew 24:4 – “Jesus answered and said: take heed no one deceives you”.

There's only one remedy for deception. It's found in the Book of Thessalonians. Receive a love for the truth, be passionate about truth. Be passionate about the word of God. Learn the word of God, find out what God has to say. If you don't know what God says, then you're a prime candidate to believe something wrong. You just won't know.

We should be students of the word of God. We need to have a love for the word, and even more so in the days we live now. When you turn on the news, or look at social media, you've got to understand that it’s all being manipulated to present a narrative, depending on who's saying the thing; so whatever you read is distorted, with an agenda behind it. That leaves you open to deception, and of course I see people that spend all their time on news media… but where's your Bible? Why aren't you learning the word of God? You're just a prime candidate for deception, because you're going to follow what the world is saying.

You're going to follow people who hate you, who have an agenda, presenting a case that's not true - deliberately presenting a false narrative, that’s not the news. You've got to see these things - that's the hour we're living in. We have never lived in an hour quite like this one; and it's one of the things that Jesus warned about - End Time deception! You will find that most of these things provide a narrative that is contrary, and contradictory, and hostile to, the values of the kingdom of God. So, you need to know the values of the kingdom of God; and God's order for relationships. If you don't know God's kingdom order, then you'll take it all onboard, and just come into agreement with it. Tolerance soon leads to agreement.

The narrative that is presented in the world, is hostile to the kingdom of God. It has another spirit arising, the spirit of antichrist, rising to oppose the kingdom of God, and eternal values. If you're not aware of that, then you will just draw into it, and then tolerate it, and become part of it. You will build that way, and we've already got a whole generation of families that are destroyed, because they bought into all this stuff. So, build your life on the word of God; not on the social media - or even the news.

Here's the second thing… Jesus warned about the “beginning of sorrows”.

Matthew 24:8 – “All these things are the beginning of sorrows”.

The word ‘beginning’ means the commencement of a series of things happening. The word ‘sorrows’ is a word meaning ‘childbirth’. Literally, to bring a child to birth.

Any woman here understands what that's like! Most men haven't got a clue! Oh, a child's born, yay! But women all understand… Once those pains start, you're on the journey to a child being born. There’s no stopping that journey. You can't say: oh, no, I've decided no. I've changed my mind! I don't want to! No, it's going to happen; and every day, you've got a reminder of it. Every day, your body is showing the fatigue, and then the pains start! The pains come, and they come, and they ask: how far apart are the pains? Oh, quite a long way, quite a long way... Then they start getting closer and closer... How close are the pains now? Ooh, you better get in a car and get to hospital, you are about to have a baby!

That's what He's saying. If you understand about babies being born, then you will understand this is what happens in the End Times. There is a painful situation; then it's followed by another painful situation; then another… then another… then another… getting closer and closer together. Then, what God has decided to do, will suddenly birth into the earth - and surprise everyone!

But it won't surprise you, if you know that it's a spiritual childbirth, and that there's a sequence to look for, that will happen. The beginning of sorrows! The beginning of sorrows is simply this… It's worldwide conflicts! He says: what are the birth pains?

Matthew 24:6 – “You will hear of wars, and rumours of wars; but see that you're not upset or troubled. These things will come to pass, but that's not the end yet. Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines and diseases and earthquakes in diverse places”.

So, wars, and natural disasters, are the first sign.

“Kingdom against kingdom” refers to ‘political’ wars. They're wars by one government, against another government, to gain dominion and power; so, World War I & II are political wars. They're wars to expand territory, to take the territory that belongs to someone else; and of course, there's been millions of lives lost.

The second type of war are what you call ‘ethnic’ wars, where it says: “nation against nation”. That word ‘nation’ is the word ‘ethnos’, meaning ‘ethnic’. Ethnic speaks of a certain culture, a certain language often, certain ways of doing things, certain history that they have - that's an ethnic group. The Bible tells us that ethnic groups will rise against ethnic groups.

Let me just have a talk about some of the ethnic wars. In 1913, the Armenians were killed by the Turks. They're still in denial about it - more than a million people, and they were crucified! They were tortured! They were sold into slavery! They were put to death! That was all ethnic and religious. It was radical Islam against Christians.

In 1941 the Nazis and the Jews - millions killed, an ethnic war. In 1947, in Kashmir - Indians, Pakistanis, ethnic war. In 1978 in Afghanistan, ethnic war; 1991 in Somalia, still going on; 1997 Rwanda, some of you would remember the Hutu and the Tutsi, and the millions that were slaughtered. What was it all about? It's tribal ethnic wars. Millions killed, slain. Iraq, 2003. Sudan is still in turmoil right now, in poverty and turmoil, and it's religious and ethnic wars.

In Nigeria, most people don't know what's going on in Nigeria, but you may have heard of Boko Haram? Boko Haram is a word meaning literally, against western education. It's radical Islamists, and they're against Christians. They're against people of other tribes and groups - and they're killing them, every week. Every week, people are being killed. If you get the right access to the right news and find out what's happening in the globe, you'll find out what's going on - and so this is happening.

In North Korea, people were shot just for having a Bible, and so it goes on. China has got the greatest wave of persecution against religious freedom right now, and against ethnic minorities. They've literally got internment camps, with more than a million people, Uighurs from the northern area. They say it's ‘re-education’, but it's a prison camp.

Right now, the persecution against the church has increased, right across China, right now. Even the organised church, the Three-Self Church, even that is suffering right now. They want the 10 Commandments taken down, and they want their doctrine of the Chinese Communist Party up there instead. They want the Chinese Communist Party to be God in the nation, so no other God is acceptable.

This is like in Nebuchadnezzar's day, when they put up the big image, and said: everyone must worship it; but three men stood up and said: “we won't”; and God redeemed them, and saved them, and promoted them.

In Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and right across the Middle East… Look at what's happened there - all the ethnic wars that have been going on, in our time - millions killed and displaced. This is in our day, that this is happening. This is happening now.

In Hebrews 13, it tells us not to ignore the suffering that's going on in other nations, among the family of God. Amen!

Currently, Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the whole world right now. There are more people killed for faith in Christ now, than at any time in history. In China, they are paying people to report the ones they know are Christians. You understand? This is not to just shock you. It's just to make you aware, this is a sign of the times - just one of the signs!

The next sign I want to share is, a worldwide hatred against Christians.

There are ethnic wars, and pandemics. There are earthquakes; and the frequency of earthquakes seems to me, to be bigger, and we're far more aware of earthquakes - major earthquakes now, shaking up nations all over the earth. The issue of the Covid is something we've never seen in our lifetime, of a whole world pretty much being shut down. These are all signs leading to something. They're all the ‘birth pains’, and these are all these natural signs.

Jesus said: that's only the beginning! If you can't handle the footmen, how are you going to handle the horses? If you're upset by little stuff now, how are you going to handle the big stuff, when it comes?

The reason that God brings our attention to all of this, is so we can prepare. It's all to prepare the church. I love it! So, there's a spirit of hatred being released, right across the world, to all who follow Christ - and it's horrendous! If you make a stand for Christ, for Christian values, for godly marriage, for purity - if you build your life around those things, you are now a target. There is a spirit of hatred released, right through the world, against Christians and followers of Christ. It's the rise of an antichrist spirit. I read an article, and it said there were relentless persecutions against Christians, in over 140 countries in the world - imprisoned, tortured, enslaved, raped, sold into slavery, sold into forced marriages, all kinds of things. It's happening now!

What about in the west? Well, in the west, it's a little bit different, but it’s here. In the west, increasing hatred is being shown towards anyone who has either a conservative, or a Christian, or a Bible perspective of life - increasing hatred. If you hold an opinion that is different from the progressive left, you will be vilified. It's not like, oh well, I disagree - I've got my opinion, and you've got yours. No! If you hold a different opinion, there will literally be a whole range of things happening. They will name you, blame you, shame you, and just attack and destroy you, in every way possible.

A person holding a Christian view, in much of the western world now, is likely to be bullied - publicly and privately. Two forces are coming together - religion and politics. You see the political system (the far left particularly), and the religious system (Islam) coming together, and forming friendships. What do they have in common? They've got nothing in common! If you go to any of the countries where there's radical Islam, you'll find they kill homosexuals! They don't promote them; but the left is promoting them - so how can they come together? It's because they have a common enemy.

The common enemy is Christ!

Mark 3:6 – “The Pharisees went out, and plotted with the Herodians, on how they could kill Jesus”.

The Pharisees were religious; Herodians were political. They had nothing to do with one another. What brought them together was a common hatred. This is what's emerging in the world now. Once your eyes are opened, you can see; and Jesus taught people how to respond. He said: when it happens… when you get hated by all men, for My sake - then rejoice, and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

He said: don't get all ‘oh no, it's all bad’. No! He said: listen, when this comes, they realise you've got something, and that you're a danger, and a threat, and they're pushing back on you - and it's because you identify with Jesus Christ! Man, stand up, hold your ground, rejoice - because God's says He will reward those who will stand their ground, and faithfully serve Him. Hallelujah!

He said: love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you, and spitefully use you, and persecute you.

The next sign will be… offences and hatred - among Christians.

Matthew 24:10 – “Many will be offended, and will betray one another, and hate one another”.

Many! Many! Many Christians are carrying offences in their heart. The question is, are you carrying offences in your heart? Offences inevitably are about relationships with people who are in authority over us. Offences - the word literally means ‘to be scandalised’. It refers to the bait in a trap. Literally, when you set a trap for a bird, you put the bait in, and the thing you attached it to was called the ‘skandalon’ - that's the offence. That's the trap-stick; and the bird would see that, and come and eat the food, and then the trap closes.

It's very easy to want to be offended by people. People get offended everywhere. You know, they happen to have, in some places, a thing called ‘safe-spaces’. Some of you may not have heard of that. A “safe-space” means that I'm not allowed to say certain things, in case I might offend you. It's happening in the American education system now, right through up to tertiary. I've got to be careful about “trigger-words”, in case I upset you, and hurt you with the words I say, because my opinion might be different to yours. That's because people are growing up with an “offended spirit”, so little things offend them.

Little things offend them, and then it becomes “hate speech”, if you've offended them. They've taken having a different opinion to mean that you hate them. How wrong is that? We need a love for the truth; but offence is a horrendous thing. Offences lead to betrayal in relationships, and then to open hatred - and it's far easier to get into this state, than you realise.

Why do people get offended? To be offended means ‘to be tripped up’. So, you're running well, then you trip up, and fall on your face. Splat! A lot of Christians are in that state. They've tripped up and fallen on their face. Maybe you're like that now?

It happens for two reasons; one, you were treated unfairly, some injustice took place. That happens. Welcome to the world! It happens everywhere. Racial things happen everywhere. They've been happening all through history, everywhere. It's just that in the west, you hear about it in the media, because they're making a big show of it right now. It doesn't mean that something didn't happen – something is wrong. There is injustice. But the problem is not that there's injustice - the bigger thing is what does it do to you.

Are you a carrier of injustice, and offence; or are you a carrier of healing, and restoration, in life?

You've got to understand - you can't be both! If you're carrying injustice, and offence, then you will be angry, and hate, and then you'll destroy. We tend to think - oh, that's America! That's not us! No, no, no - it happens here too. Come on!

The two reasons that people get offended… One is, they've been treated badly, or unjustly, or unfairly. They've got a genuine grievance to get over (or they think they have). That's where Christians get stuck. They think - oh, it wasn't fair, I wasn't treated right, and they get upset. Usually it comes out of unmet expectations - I thought you were going to do that, and you didn't! I'm upset! No, you're offended. Get over it. Deal with it.

Address it in a godly way, otherwise it's going to stumble you, and you'll end up breaching the relationship. When people get offended, they get so focussed on themselves, they don't realise they're trapped in a snare.

Their focus is not on Jesus. Their focus is not on being like Him. Their focus is not on being able to love people, and bless people, and restore relationships. Their focus is on me, and my, and mine. Their focus is on the injustice, and the hurt; and while they're focussing on injustice and hurt, they're not aware - I've got an offended heart, and I'm operating under pride. The pride blinds my hearts condition. I can't see, because I'm so full of myself.

Proverbs 18:19 – “A brother offended is harder to win back than a strong city; contentions separate friends like a gate locked with bars”.

An offended person will build a wall around their heart. Now get this... They build a wall around their heart, but they will let in one kind of person. Who will they open their heart to? Oh, another offended person! Oh, you're offended too? Oh, let me tell you about my offence… and they let them in! And now, they're not sharing the life of Christ; they're not sharing blessing… they're sharing offence! The spirit of offence, and bitterness, and hatred, begins to grow. This goes on, all the time! They just want someone who will agree with me!

If I think that you agree with me, I'll share, and I'll welcome you in. The problem is, when people are offended like that, they misinterpret the actions of people. So, if you've got an offence in your heart, you'll misinterpret everything - especially if it's an offence against your father or your mother. You will have issues with authority your whole life.

One of the biggest issues of offences that come is when we have expectations that are not met – oh, but I thought... We maybe didn't even realise there was an expectation, we just get offended; or when pastors or leaders try to help you grow up, and talk into your life something you can't see, because you're blinded by your offence. And then, instead of welcoming the truth, and loving the truth, even though it hurts… people get more offended. The wall goes up.

What Jesus said is: many will become offended, and betray one another, and hate one another. It's going to progress. They're not going to stay static, if the offence is in your heart. You're going to sell the person out to their enemies. You will go to someone who also hates them, and share your story with them, and give them more fuel for the fire. You're betraying the relationship you had.

You will withdraw from a relationship that was important. Maybe God had ordained that relationship, but you've withdrawn, because of your pride and offence, and now you've walked away. Now you've betrayed the relationship. You've sold them out, by sharing confidences; or you've sold them out, by withdrawing, when you were most needed. That goes on all the time. It's evidence of pride, and immaturity. It's time to grow up! We cannot stay in that state. We can't remain like that.

We must have a love for the truth. Who could speak into your life, in a way that you won't get offended and upset, and take a hike? When someone last tried to say something to you, how did you respond? Are you a lover of the truth, and welcome the truth? Or is your pain, and your hurt, so driving you, and preoccupying you, that all you can do is react?

Jesus said: in the last days many will be offended – multitudes; and they will betray one another, and then hate one another. How do you hate people? Lots of ways… It can be active, by hostility coming against them; or it can be just in this way… The word ‘hatred’ in the Bible means ‘to love less’, or ‘withhold love’. You may not think you hate people, but when you withhold love - is something wrong? Yep. Nah. Nothing is wrong. Won't talk about it. Build a wall. Just walk away, further and further...

You're not walking away from that person. You're walking away from God. He's trying to help you, to grow you, because He needs you mature, in the End Times. He needs you to grow, in the End Times. He needs you to be in a good place, spiritually and relationally. He needs you locked into a community of people that can help you grow, and support you, and help you in your journey. He wants you connected, and offences are the main stumbling block of the devil, to take people out of God-given relationships, that were designed to help them, and bless them.

The four things that I notice, comes whenever there's offences...

Number one is distance - relational distance; because now you're preoccupied, not with love and building together - you've now got another agenda: preserving yourself.

Prov. 18:1 – “a man who isolates himself seeks his own desire, and rages against all wise judgement”.

The second one is demons. When you allow offences to get in your heart, you will become demonised. You will. Jesus said that will happen. That's a prophesy!

Matthew 18:34-35 – “If you will not from your heart forgive your brother every one of his trespasses, then you will be handed over to the tormentors”.

Unforgiveness, and offence in our heart, leaves an open door for demonic spirits to wreak havoc; to torment you, with remembering all the things that were done against you, causing you to be angry and upset. They torment you!

Someone shares something, or you read something, or see something on the news, and now you're angry, and you don't even know why you're even angry. Why are you angry? We're just lost in some dots on a screen. No, there was something tapped into the spirit that was there, and it stirred up your anger, stirred up your issue.

The third one is deception. Deception comes when you're offended, because you become blinded, and you can't see why your life's going the way it is. You can't see the truth, when you've got offence in your heart.

1 John 2:11 – “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness”.

When there's hatred in our heart, when we've withdrawn love, because of offence, it says we ‘walk in darkness’, and we can't work out what we're stumbling over.

When you're offended, you have a lot of things go wrong in your life, and you can't work out why these things are happening, because you can't see. If you can't see, then it's like you keep tripping up all the time, and you can't work out why you're having these setbacks. It's because your heart is offended, there's anger and hate in the heart, and now you can't see.

The hatred blinds your eyes. It causes you to be in a spiritual darkness, where you have no perception. Then when the word of God is preached, you don't even pick anything up. These are important things. In the last days, many, many, many will be like that - so deception is another one.

The last one is defilement. Defilement will come.

Hebrews 12:15 - "See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Make sure that everyone guards their heart, to keep themselves in the grace of God, lest a root of bitterness spring up and defile many. Injustices, hurts, offences, and anger - they breach all our relationships. They cause you to have walls, become demonically empowered; then they cause an isolation, and then they overflow with defilement. You start to poison your marriage, poison your children, poison your friendships and relationships, and everywhere the bitterness just flows like a river.

That's not what we're called to be. We're called to be in the house of God, where the river of life flows out of, and that river of life can only flow out of a pure heart, a heart that's free of offence. You've got to keep yourself free of offence. If someone offends you, forgive them. Just forgive them! If it's breached the relationship, go have a talk. Pray. Get your heart right, get all the anger out of it, or you'll end up with a bigger row than you had before.

You can't fix a relationship if you're angry. Get over your anger. Get over your injustice. Grow some meekness in your heart, because meekness, in the eyes of God, is very high price! Offences get you out, but meekness gets you in. You could nut-off, but you don't, because you've surrendered to the Lord, and you understand that He permits offences, in order to grow your character of meekness, like He had. He was reviled and offended, but He didn't react.

He could have called down angels, and burned them up, but He didn't do that. It's His meekness, and His humility, that caused Him to be separated to the purpose of God. He had a joy ahead of Him, seeing people like you and me coming out of darkness, coming out of the dark place, coming into a place of life, coming into the things God has for us - free of offence, free of these things! He did it for us!

Luke 21:16 – “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death”

We must understand then, the signs of the times we're in. Wars, rumours of war, ethnic conflicts, famines in diverse places, pestilences or viruses that no one can do anything about - that's the hour we're living in now. That's the hour you and I are in right now.

And He says: these are just the beginning of all kinds of things that will come on the earth, and they're leading up to the return of Jesus Christ, the overthrow of the kingdoms of the world, and the establishment of His kingdom.

He has got you in a preparation process, so He gives you a heads-up: guys, when you see these things coming, what do you need to do? He says: watch and pray! Watch and pray! He says a whole number of things we're called to do, to prepare ourselves.

If you have a look right now, you can see right now, how difficult the issue of offences is, and how widespread, the opposition and hatred for the things of God are. You see and feel in the world, a gathering momentum of the antichrist spirit, against everything that's good and right. It's not about left versus right. On the right, there's people just as bad as well. On the extreme right, you've got fanatical people. On the extreme left, you've got fanatical people. In religion, you've got fanatical people. God is looking for kingdom people, that are not caught up in political games.

They say: I want to stand for the kingdom of God! I want to be a part of that rock that brings down the kingdoms of the world and fills the whole earth and makes Jesus Christ Lord!

Matthew 24:30 – “when the last sign comes, then they shall see the Son of Man coming in the glory, His own glory and the glory of His Father, and the glory of all the angels”

Rev 22:12 - "Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”

Listen, our greatest day is ahead of us! There is a global revival, there's a global moving of the spirit of God in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ. Right now, we need to in our heart say: God, I see! I've been asleep. My prayer life has been slack. Lord, I've been compromising, I've been offended, I've been in my heart Lord, turned against people.

Today I repent! Today I come back! I want to watch and pray. I want to be and man, a woman of prayer. I want to be a child of God. I want to be right at the forefront of what You're doing. Holy Ghost come upon me, I need a fresh encounter, even today, Holy Spirit. Come on church, let's stand, let's stand right now. Come on, let's begin to worship Him…

Closing Prayer

Lord, we honour You. We worship You. You are coming in majesty. You are coming in glory. You are coming with great power. We honour You Jesus. What a privilege to be a part of Your kingdom. What an honour to be a child of God. What a privilege to have such a destiny and calling.

Father, we love You. Jesus, we love You. We honour You Jesus. Come on, let's worship Him. Lift your hands and worship Him. Perhaps there's some of you today, you're saying God, I need to repent. I've become lukewarm. My prayer life is gone. I'm in the news more than I'm in the word of God. Lord, I've got offences in my heart. Lord, help me today. I see I'm living in an important hour. Lord, put a fresh vision in my heart. I need a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, I need You to come. Come. Come. I present my life. I build an altar to Jesus Christ.

I will live my life in these difficult times. I will endure. I will persevere. I will be on the Lord's side. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. We will serve that eternal kingdom. Lord, we honour You. Father, we pray Your kingdom come, Your kingdom come, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Let heaven come, let heaven come to earth. Come to me! Cause fire to come in me. Yours is the glory. Yours is the kingdom.

God wants to put a spirit of prayer on you, wants to put a spirit of faith on you. When the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth? Will He find persevering prayer? Will He find purity? Will He find people who love Him? Will He find true worshippers? Will He find in you a heart set on the kingdom?

Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the power, Yours is the glory forever! Come Lord, let Your kingdom come, let Your kingdom come, come in power, come in majesty!

Every eye shall see Him. Every knee shall bow to Him. Everyone shall declare He is King of Kings, He is Lord of Lords. God is speaking to us in this hour. Prepare for His coming. Prepare yourself. Grow. Change. Don’t just carry on. Set your heart: God, I need a personal revival. I want to have a deep intimacy with You. I want a deep intimacy with You, opening my heart, hearing Your heart, communing with You.

Lord, I want You to transform my life. Heal the broken places. Come to the places my life is imprisoned with fear and bitterness and disappointment and grief and injustice and defilements. Uncover all those places. I invite You to come. I want to change. I can't do it by myself. I need You to come with healing, deliverance, revelation. I want to become like Jesus Christ. Lord, help me to be faithful, faithful in the small assignment You have given me, have entrusted me.

Let me see every assignment I have as an act of worship and bring Your presence into it, just the little things at home, the little things that are insignificant that You're interested in. Let me do them to You as an act of worship.

Lord, I see the signs of the End Times and I commit to Your word and Your spirit to be changed and ready for Your coming. Just let the spirit of God rest on you right now. He's speaking to some of you. There's things to let go of. They're not necessarily bad things, they're just distractions. There's things He's wanting to build in your life, in your marriage, with your children and your finances. This is an hour of change. Whenever God calls us to change, He will provide the power to do it. He just wants you to be available.

Jesus, You have captured my heart. I hear the cry of the bridegroom. You are coming. I want my lamp to be filled with oil and to burn with a passion for You. I sense the spirit of God is touching many people.

From the first time I heard about things of the spirit, the thing I cried for almost more than any was the spirit of prophesy, the revelation of Jesus. Today Lord, in Jesus' name, I decree new beginnings for the members, the families, the friends of this church. I release now upon your life the spirit of prayer. I release upon your lives a spirit of faith. A door of opportunity is opened to you. If you will step into it, your prayer life will accelerate. The miracles will begin to accelerate. Your life will begin to change.

A new day is coming for the church! When it gets darker and darker in the world, our light shall shine! Today Lord, we arise, we arise, we shine! Our light is coming! Our light is here! The glory of the Lord upon our lives and hearts! Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the power, Yours is the glory forever, amen.

Summary Notes

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Signs of The End Times (Part 1)

I.The Bible Reveals Many Global Events
 
1.Global Shifts
- We are living in a time of Global upheaval and change…
Many people feel fearful and anxious about the future
- Two events recent have introduced immense change to the world…
The 911 attacks and war on Terror, and Two Pandemics…Sars & Covid-19
- In such short space of time nations have changed
- The coming Economic Impact on the nations of the latest pandemic is yet to be seen `
 
2.God is in Control…He Knows the Future
- Isaiah Declared God Foresees the Future
Isa 46:9  Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,
Isa 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'
- God knows the end from the beginning…no one can stop His purposes being fulfilled
- His Counsel, His plans shall stand…nothing can stop them.
- Because He knows the end of the plan he is able to reveal what lies ahead and warn us
“Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” ( Amos3:7).
- "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”(Deut.29:29)
- God keeps some things secret….other things He reveals, not only for our benefit but also for the next generation
 
3.Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzars Dream of Coming Kingdoms
Dan 2:34  You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
Dan 2:44  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.
Dan 2:45  Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."
- Nebuchadnezzar was King over the greatest world military and economic empire of his day
- God revealed to the King a dream in which each of the successive major World Kingdoms that would come, were revealed in the form of an image
- Daniel interpreted the Kings dream…prophesied of the coming world Kingdoms and the EndTime
- He revealed a Kingdom which would start very small and would overcome and replace all the world Kingdoms, in the end times ( “in the days of these kings”…the final world empire)
- Daniel also himself saw in a vision the Kingdom of Jesus Christ coming in great Power and Glory
- Dan 7:27  Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'
 
4.The Bible is a Reliable Source of Prophecy of World Events
- Jesus First Coming ……at least 18 specific prophecies were accurately fulfilled
There are many more prophecies regarding His Second coming that are yet to be fulfilled
- The Nation of Israel …. At least 16 specific prophecies regarding Israel and its land have been fulfilled
There are more prophecies regarding Jerusalem and Israel yet to be fulfilled
- Because God sees “the end from the beginning” He is able to declare things that are to come
- The Bible has a proven track record of accurately foretelling events affecting nations
- Some things are revealed….somethings are not
- Mat 24:36  "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
 
5.Jesus Prophesied The End Times
- Jesus was a Prophet…
- Moses foretold hundreds of years earlier of a Prophet like him that would come ….referring to Jesus
- Deu 18:15  "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,
- Mat 21:11  So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee."
- Jesus gave gave revelation of the Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and of the End Times
- His endtime prophetic revelation are found in Matt.24-25, Luke 21, and Mark 13 and other places
 
 
II.Jesus Revelation of the End Times
 
1.Key Passage
Mat 24:1  Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.
Mat 24:2  And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
Signs of the End of the Age
Mat 24:3  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?"
Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.
Mat 24:5  For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.
Mat 24:6  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.
Mat 24:7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mat 24:9  "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.
Mat 24:10  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Mat 24:11  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Mat 24:12  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Mat 24:13  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Mat 24:14  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.
 
2.Two Questions Came From the Disciples
Mat 24:3  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?"
- The disciples had been overwhelmed by the size and magnificence of the temple built by Herod, and which which compared to some of the seven wonders of the world.
- It seemed impossible that such a great structure could be destroyed as jesus described
- The Disciple privately asked Jesus about the destruction of the Temple and also about His Coming and The EndTimes
 
 
III.The Temple: When will it be destroyed?
 
Luk 21:20  "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
Luk 21:21  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.
Luk 21:22  For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
Luk 21:23  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
Luk 21:24  And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
- Jesus Gave the Key Sign: “ when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies”
- In AD 66-70 Jerusalem was besieged by Roman armies led by Vespasian
- When he received word from Rome that he was being made the new emperor he lifted the siege temporarily and returned to Rome to receive his new position.
- Jewish believers remembered Jesus words and fled Jerusalem to a town of Pella
- Vespasian’s successor Titus returned and laid siege to Jerusalem and destroyed it.
- Many people had died from famine, many were killed by the Roman soldiers until blood ran in the streets
- Over one million Jews were killed and a 67,000 taken into captivity
- Titus Gate in Rome…..There remains a Mural display of his triumphant return to Rome
- Jewish Believers escaped because they believed Jesus warning about the destruction of the Temple
- We also are to recognize the signs of our times, believe what Jesus says and respond
 
- Jesus also gave a Sign of the EndTimes
- “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”
- Times of the Gentiles refers to Jerusalem being under the control of foreign nations…..2000 years
- 1948: Jews returned to Israel….Israel birthed as a nation
- 1967: Israel regained control of most of the old city, except the Temple Mount ( Mosque still there)
- 2019: Jerusalem is recognized as the Capital City of Israel by America
- Because Jesus will return to Jerusalem and rule from Jerusalem, the city continues to be the centre of conflict and world news.
- No peace plan proposed by nations will work apart from the promise to Abraham being fulfilled
 
 
IV.The EndTimes and Return of Christ: What will be the Signs?
 
1.Jesus Warns about EndTime Deception
Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.
- The only guarantee against deception is having a love for the truth (2Thes.1:10)
- We must have a passionate love for truth and commit to living the Word of God
- Social Media and the News are widely manipulated to promote a narrative, not truth
- Most of what you see and hear in media comes with an agenda …..contrary to Kingdom values
- We must build our lives upon the Word of God …not on current social media or media narratives.
 
2.Jesus Warns about the Beginning of Sorrows
Mat 24:8  “All these are the beginning of sorrows.“
- Beginning”….the commencement, the emergence the first is a series of events
- “Sorrows”…..birth pains, the pains accompanying childbirth, labor pains
- Once labor pains start they cannot be stopped …they are leading to an event ..the birth of a child
- The nearer the birth the more frequent and intense the birth pains
- What are the Birth Pains Jesus described…….. …The Signs of the End?
Mat 24:6  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.
Mat 24:7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
 
3.First Sign: Wars and Natural Disasters
- There are two kinds of wars…Political and Ethnic
- Political…. “ Kingdom against Kingdom”
World Wars 1&2 were political wars for domination and control ….Millions of people were killed
- Ethnic…….“Nation against nation”…. Greek.”ethnos”
- The majority of wars now are ethnic wars….millions have been and are being killed currently
- Eg 1913 Armenians, 1941 Jews, 1947 Kashmir, 1978 Afghanistan, 1991 Somalia, 1997 Rwanda, 2001 Iraq, 2003 Sudan, 2009 Nigeria, 2014 Libya,
- Ethnic and Religious differences are the single greatest cause of conflicts today
 
4.Second Sign: Worldwide Hatred Against Christians
Mat 24:9  "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.
- “Then”….means there is a progression of events occurring that follow one another
- The persecution of Christians today are at near genocide levels all around the world
- The greatest persecution of Christians currently is from Radical Islam
- Middle East, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, North Korea’s, China, Somalia, Libya, Iraq,
- Relentless persecutions against Christians is occurring in over 140 countries around the world….daily
- Christians are the worlds most persecuted religious group in 21st century
- They are being imprisoned, tortured, assaulted, raped, sold as slaves, crucified, discriminated against
- Eg. China……today…massive persecution of Christians…people paid to dob them in to authorities
 
- There is a spirit of Hatred being unleashed towards people who follow Christ and stand for Christian principles …eg Marriage, Family, Gender, Purity
- In the West increasing hatred is being openly manifested against any one who holds a view that differs from Progressive Left Ideology
- Hate speech… defined by Cambridge Dictionary as "public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation".
Hate Speech has become commonly redefined as having and expressing a different, usually conservative opinion, from the favored left ideology
The common strategy is to …Name, Blame, Shame, and then attack and destroy in every way possible
A person holding a Christian or differing view is labelled and attacked and bullied publicly
- Holding a Christian or Conservative view is considered “hateful”by many because it opposes their views
- Operating together are the Religious (Islam) and Political (Radical Left)
- Mar 3:6  Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.
- The Pharisees were religious legalists, the Herodians were a political lobby group…. They hated each other but were joined as partners in their opposition to Jesus Christ
Jesus taught His Disciples how to Respond…
Luk 6:22  Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake.
Luk 6:23  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
Mat 5:44  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
- Rejection, reviling, exclusion and even persecution is inevitable for a genuine follower of Christ
- Persecution is a spiritual issue…it is Jesus Himself who is being opposed
- God promises eternal reward for those who endure persecution for His names sake
( Not for stupid religious behavior or attitudes that people reject and react to)
- We are challenged to fix our eyes on the honor and reward and rejoice not be miserable and negative
- We are to Love, Bless, Do good to and Pray for those who treat us badly for the name of Christ
 
 
5.Third Sign: Offenses and Hatred among Christians
- Mat 24:10  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
- “ Many”…..A major issue and Key sign among Christians of the EndTimes will be offenses!
- “Offended”….to trip or stumble….Root: Skandalon …. The bait in a trap for birds
- There are daily opportunities to become offended by people
- Offenses lead to betrayal and to open hatred
- Why do people become offended?
They have been treated unjustly, wronged against in some way or
They believe they have been treated unjustly
This is usually because of unmet and unspoken Expectations of people
 
- People who become offended don’t realize that they are trapped in a snare
- They are so focussed on injustice and hurt that they are unaware of having an offended heart
- They are blinded by pride to their true heart condition
Pro 18:19  A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.
- Offended people build walls around their heart to protect themselves from further hurt
- They allow in only those who will agree with their hurt and offense…ie. other offended people
- They share their offense over and over and feed on the demonic spirit behind it
- They constantly misinterpret the actions of others because of heart offense, and this becomes a further cause for offense
Responses People Make when Offended
- Distance:………They distance and withdraw from godly relationships that could help them
Pro 18:1  A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
- Demons: ……..They open the doors to demons to torment
And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers (Mat.18:34-35)
- Deception:…. .They become blinded and unable to see why life is going badly
But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eye (1Jn.2:11)
- Defilement:….They become bitter and defile others by criticism, gossip, destructive talk
“Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Heb12:15)
- Betray One Another
“Betray”….to deliver over to enemies, walk away from relationship, give up confidences
Luk 21:16  You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.
- Hate One Another
“Hate”…….miseo….to detest, pursue with hostile intent, love less…withhold love and honor due
- People withdraw from relationships and withhold love and honor
- People actively hate and resent, and attack the person and their reputation
- People who are offended are easily stirred up to anger by any form of injustice they see or hear.
- They join other offended people and feed off their offenses. They defile and become defiled
- Their love for God grows cold and they either become religious or abandon church
 
 
V.Response: Prepare for His Coming
 
- Mat 16:27  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
- Jesus will return in great Glory and Power and Majesty to establish His Kingdom on earth
- He will reward each man according to his works….how he has lived out his life following Christ
- Today is the time to prepare for His return….signs are clear of His imminent return
 
Jas 1:12  Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
 
For Personal Consideration
1.What has the Holy Spirit spoken to you about through this study?
2.What issues does He want you address and make changes?
3.Are you living in fear and anxiety about issues and challenges you are facing in life ?
4.What could you do to come to a place of peace and joy?
5.How easily are you offended?
6.Can you receive feedback and correction without becoming offended?
7.Are you carrying offenses that you need to address?



The Signs of the End Times (2 of 3)  

Sat 27 Jun 2020 AM « Back to Top

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In Matthew 24, Jesus reveals clearly the signs of the End Times, and of His Second Coming. This message is the second of two messages examining the signs of the End Times. We see many of these signs being manifested in the earth today. We are to recognise the signs, and prepare ourselves for Jesus coming

The Signs of the End Times (2 of 3)

Of all the people, Christians should be the most positive. Man, we're supposed to be filled with hope! Hope has to do with a great, amazing future ahead of us.

If you look at the media, and look at the world, look at all the things going on, you have every reason to feel a bit depressed, discouraged, cynical, or disheartened.

But if you look at the word of God, and what God has to say to us about what lays ahead for us… wow! We should be the most positive people of all, because we have an insight into what's coming. We just need to search the word of God and find it.

Matthew 24:1 – “Jesus went out and departed into the temple, His disciples came to show Him the magnificent buildings of the temple (they were just amazing). And Jesus said to them, do you see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone will be left upon another. Everything will be thrown down”.

He goes on, and He begins to talk… The disciples come to Him, as He sat on the Mouth of Olives.

Matthew 24:3 – “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. Tell us, they said, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Two questions: when will the temple be overthrown; and what will be the signs of the End Times?

Matthew 24:4 – “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”

The first thing He warns about, is the possibility of deception.

Matthew 24:5-13 – You will hear of wars, and rumours of wars. See you're not troubled. These things must come to pass, the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There'll be famines, pestilences, earthquakes in various places. These are just the beginning of the sorrows. (This is the beginning of like a childbirth). They will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you. You'll be hated of all nations for My name's sake. Many will be offended, and betray one another, and will hate one another. False prophets will rise and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved”.

He's warning about deception; and His encouragement of the need to persevere in our faith, and our journey.

Matthew 24:14 – “For the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, then the end will come”.

As we start, I just want to just go back to a couple of the things that we touched on last week. We talked a little bit about the massive global shifts that are taking place. We're living in a time when there's massive global change is occurring. America has been a massive power in the earth, for as long as I've been alive, and now you find now its power is weakening. All kinds of turmoils are going on, and people get a bit anxious when they see what's happening in the world. We see the impact of the 9/11 attack, that caused a change in the world.

There were other things have happened since then. Now there's Covid, and the SARs that went before it, which have caused an upheaval, that we can't be so sure everything's going to carry on like we expect. Mostly we carry on, and expect everything to be unchanged, and then when something like this comes, your whole world is shaken, and many people become fearful and anxious. There's also an economic issue that’s going to come…

After I preached this message last week, I opened up one of my news feeds to look at, and ‘Rumours of Wars’ was the title, and it talked about what's the looming war between Pakistan and China, and then other wars, in other places, that are happening around the world. So, if you look at the headlines, you'll start to see many of things that we've talked about.

How many read about the, for example, the plague of locusts that's going around, and it's of a size that’s unprecedented. These plagues of locusts are so big, they cover 100 square miles. That's just full of billions of locusts, and they're in Africa, and then also up into some parts of Asia as well. When you have that kind of plague come, then you have after it, famine.

We see those things in Jesus' statements. So anyway, the things we looked at was that:

1) Global shifts taking place - and were more to come.

2) God is in control. God has the beginning, and the end, worked out.

He has all things under control. That doesn't mean events in the earth are under control. It means in the bigger plan, God knows, and nothing is taking Him by surprise.

We saw then that Jesus revealed signs to watch out for. We read in one place for example, how He rebuked the religious leaders. In Matthew 16:1-3, He said: you guys are religious leaders – you’re supposed to know the Bible. You can tell the signs of the weather. You know that ‘red sky in the morning is the shepherd's warning’. It's the same here - we all go by seasons here. You can tell that it's winter; you can read the signs - trees are bare. He said: you can read all these natural seasons, but you can't read the signs of the times. You had the Bible, with all the prophesies of My coming; but when I come… you don't even know where I am! He's giving us a heads-up, that it will also be like that in the last days.

In Luke 9, it tells us that He wept over the city of Jerusalem. He grieved over it. He grieved, because He said: you didn't know the time of your visitation. You didn't recognise in the season of history - what God was just doing in your midst; and because you didn't recognise it, now your enemies will come against you, and will destroy you - which happened about 70 years later.

Notice in those contexts, He's saying: it is important that we be aware of what's happening in the world - and relate it to what the word of God says, not to opinions of people. The first sign was: wars, and natural disasters. There would be wars, and rumours of wars; nation against nation, ethnic wars; kingdom against kingdom, global wars, or conflicts. There would also be famines, pestilences, earthquakes… He said all those things.

Have a look! You will see Covid-19, and you see the riots that are taking place, that are in every nation of the earth - all kinds of issues that are happening, that are kind of almost unprecedented. There's a looming global depression. They're just printing money, like it's just going out of style. You can't print money without a consequence. The consequence is that there's going to be an economic upheaval in the world.

The low interest rates, for example, have affected the ability of pension plans in the United States to be able to provide for the future. A few years ago, they said they'll all expire in 2045; now they're saying 2030. Suddenly it's decreased, because the amount of money they can gain by investing is so low, it's not keeping up with the demand that's coming. So before, it was known that by 2030, the American pension plans will all collapse. What happens then when there's no money to provide for elderly?

We're living in a season of unprecedented change, and we're not to be ignorant of the signs, nor to be afraid of them. The Bible says to ‘look up’ when you see these things coming - fix your eyes on Jesus, not on the circumstances, or carry on like nothing's happening.

He said the second sign would be: widespread hated towards Christians. If you have a look through the world, and start to read some of the material, and watch what's really happening, you'll find there's unprecedented persecution of Christians across the world. Just look up ‘persecution of Christians’ on Google. You can find it - it's very easy to find. Look for statistics - you'll find there's more Christians being killed now, than at any time in history, around the world. Become informed about what's happening - look for the signs.

The third sign that He mentioned was the sign of offences - ‘many would become offended’, many!

Right now, one of the big issues is people get offended. You just have a differing opinion, and now they suddenly get wound up, and angry, and offended, and they walk away. You try to talk to people about issues, and they get offended, and rise up. That's what Jesus said - many will be offended! Many, many!

There's going to be a big problem of people being offended very easily. Are you offended very easily? Wait until your next offence comes… and we'll see! I've found that Christians get very upset, very easily - over little things! Mostly, when you try to give them a bit of feedback, on how they could grow, or how they could change, or how they could do something better. Then they get huffy…

The fourth sign is… many false prophets.

Matthew 24:11 – “Many false prophets will arise and deceive many”.

Three times, in Matthew 24, Jesus warns the disciples about deception. Three times He says: look out, don't be deceived. Here's the thing about being deceived… you don't know you're deceived! You just think - I'm right; they're wrong.

If Jesus tells you something once, it's good to listen to it. Twice, He's really getting your attention. Three times - He's saying this is a big issue. Deception - believing that you're right, when you're wrong.

There will be lots of false prophets; and false prophets essentially draw people to themselves, and not to God. If I just take away the word ‘false prophet’ and instead just use… people that are very spiritual, but draw people to themselves, rather than building them to the kingdom of God, and Jesus - that would be a false prophet, see? They appear very ‘spiritual’, and they have encounters - all kinds of things. But what are they drawing people to?

There are some distinct signs… A false prophet will draw people to themselves, not to God, and His word. The message that they have will lack the essence of the gospel, repentance, and a changed life.

If ‘prophetic’ messages are all about all the great things that will happen, but don't call you to repent, and to transformation, then something is essentially missing, at the core of it. Prophetic messages always have a change - admit you were wrong, and turn to what's right, so God can bless you. That's what repentance means. I was wrong, but I turn around now, because this is what God says - this is right. I'll follow that.

Repentance is called a ‘foundation’ for your faith. It's not something you just do once. You continue to do it, all your life - every time you realise, from the word of God, that you're wrong… “God, I'm wrong. I ask You to forgive me. I turn around and now I embrace Your truth and walk in Your truth”. That's what repentance is - it's a change of heart, a change in your way of thinking.

The false prophet will lack a call to repentance, and to transformation; and often draw people by fancy words, or experiences, or things like that. This is not my opinion - this is exactly what God says in His word, that characterises people, who move in a false prophetic.

Remember, it doesn't mean that they don't talk about God. It just means they draw people to themselves; and they do certain things, it's quite easy to see…

Jeremiah 6:14 – “They dress the wound of my people, as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”

They fail to address the real hurts, and issues of people. They ‘heal My people lightly’, meaning that they talk about external things, but don't address the real need for heart change. This is one thing we've been very passionate about - your need (and our need) for heart transformation.

They fail to call people to repentance and transformation. The message is one of: you will be okay, God loves you, God's going to bless you, everything will be fine! Listen, that's a false hope! What you really need, is change!

It also says (in that same verse), that they prophesy peace, when there is no peace. They flatter people, and tell them what they want to hear, instead of warning them what's about to come.

When did you last hear a message on the fear of God? When did you last hear a message on Eternal Judgements? When did you last hear one on standing before the Judgement seat of Christ, and giving account for your life?

The western world has moved from the essence and core of the gospel, which is transformation, walking with God, repentance and acting in faith - to a message which makes you feel good, by promising you blessing after blessing. It's all on the blessings - what God can give to you, and how you can benefit - which is not requiring you to have a transformed life. That's why we've got churches in the west that are full of people who attend, but during the rest of the week, they're not really doing anything to build the kingdom of God.

That's a deceptive message - it's plausible, and it gathers a crowd, because it appeals to people. In other words… tell me how I can get ahead, but don't talk to me about changing my life. That's very widespread - and don't talk to me about deliverance, especially! You'd be amazed how many churches are totally resistant to the deliverance ministry.

Deliverance has to do with transformation of the heart, transformation of your character, transformation of your life - about freedom. If there's no message that Jesus paid the price for you to be delivered from demons, then that means you're going to just continue with them. That's a false peace! It's a false peace!

Here's another way of saying it… Let’s say that I had rust in the car, and I say: we can just sand it a bit, and paint over it. That's what they're talking about here - healing the people's needs lightly, instead of… Everyone knows that if there's rust in a car, you have to cut out the rust, put in some fresh metal, paint it over - and then you've got something that'll last. If you just paint over it, then it does look good, but the rust is continuing, and soon the problem will be severe, to the point the car may be off the road.

Jeremiah 23:16-17 – ““Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts, they say: ‘No harm will come to you.’”

It says that false prophets will “speak visions from their own heart and not from the Lord”.

They're speaking what's come out of their own heart; but they are saying it like “oh, God is saying this, God is saying that, I believe… blah blah blah”. But they're failing to address the real issues of people - that people live a life that says, by the way they live, that they deny or despise God, and despise His word.

If you're a follower of Christ, you follow Him - you keep His commands. You take the word, and you apply it into your life. Simply saying that you're following Jesus means nothing, unless you actually follow Jesus. To follow Jesus means that we're serving Him and letting Him change us – that His word is very important in our life. It's very important to see these things.

He's talking about the false prophetic - a message that promises much, but doesn't end with transformation, and doesn't warn people about things that are to come.

For example, what if you knew that only had 24 hours – that you were going to finish your life on earth, and stand before God; and every detail of your life would be before Him, to see what you qualified for in eternity. What would you go home and change? That tells you where you're living! We are to live with eternity in mind, all the time; and then it's not whether anyone's watching me. I'm always under the eye of the Lord, and I'm always living to please Him.

How I do marriage, family, finances; how I treat people, relate to people, build my life, and priorities has all got one fundamental thing... I've got an audience of One, that I'm trying to please, every day of my life, in every moment. Why am I trying to please Him? Because He's sacrificed so much for me, and I love Him. There's a big outcome for me, for eternity, in this. How I respond to Him will affect me for all eternity - my destination, not just heaven and hell, but the realm that I will live in, for eternity.

False prophets speak a vision of their own heart. In Matthew 7, Jesus said they present as sheep, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. What does that mean?

They present a sheep means - they look like Christians. They come and praise the Lord, brother! They come in with their stuff, but inwardly they have an agenda. A wolf wants to devour, to take something from you.

The true prophetic will have Jesus as the focus, and lead people to experience Him, and they will confront anything that's in the way. That's why deliverance always takes place around the true prophetic ministries, because there's a real need for the demonic to be shifted off your life, in order to encounter they greater atmospheres of God.

2 Peter 2:1 – “They bring teachings that cause disunity and division”.

Whenever you find that people are divided, not by the truth, but by teachings that flatter - that make you feel good about yourself, make you very important… “oh brother, you're going to have a great, wonderful ministry”. Well, here's the thing… God calls everyone to greatness, but there is a path you take, and it's called humility in serving. So, if all the words are always great - wonderful things about the future, then you've got to ask: what are the conditions, entailed in all of this? What's my part?

The tendency that false prophets have is to move, and the agenda is often to make money, exploit people, or to draw a gathering to themselves. There are true prophets, of course, but here's what Paul's warning was… Paul's warning to Timothy: “preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; convince, rebuke, exhort, with all suffering”.

He's saying: this is what the remedy is - preach the word of God. Not a hang a scripture in on your own ideas, but rather, see what God has to say, and proclaim it.

Then it says: convince! Persuade people to follow the truth.

It says: rebuke! Confront people, when they're missing the mark.

You don't get a lot of that these days, because people are too afraid that they will upset someone; but if they're wrong, they're wrong. Tell them they're wrong! You're doing them a favour. You're showing that you love them.

2 Timothy 4:3 – “For the time will come…”

Which time do you think he's talking about? He's talking about the End Times. The time will come, and something is going to happen!

“…when they will not endure sound doctrine”.

A time will come, in the church, where people don't want good, sound teaching. They don't want sound doctrine. Sound doctrine means sound teaching, and it has a purpose. Sound teaching is Bible teaching that establishes you in your faith, and in maturity.

Many young people, when they walk out of church, go into the cities, and they get into an environment where there's another spirit operating, very strongly - and they haven't got sound doctrine. They've had a great experience. “Oh, it was great - someone prophesied, I got a touch from God!” I love all of that, it's wonderful, but you need sound doctrine.

Sound doctrine (teaching) shapes the way you think, and what you believe; so that when someone comes up with some weird thing, you don't believe them, because you know the word of God. You've got a reference to the word of God. If you're not in the word of God, how will you know the truth?

The time will come (the end of the times) when people will want messages that make them feel good. They won't want things that change them. There are some truths, but here's the thing about truth - it's incredibly uncomfortable! We are in an age where there's this thing of ‘tolerance’ - just include everyone; and accept everything. It's fine to include, to accept; but tolerance is another thing. Tolerance is we go along with what they're saying and believing, rather than standing up and saying: that's actually wrong!

Fornication is wrong - it keeps you out of the kingdom of God. Homosexual acts are wrong – they will keep you out of the kingdom of God. Pride is wrong – it will keep you out of the kingdom of God. Gluttony is wrong – it will keep you out of the kingdom of God. There are many things the Bible says will keep you out of the kingdom of God. Do you know what they are? They're in the word. They're spelt out in two or three places, in the word, very clearly.

They won't endure sound doctrine. He says: they will have “itching ears”. He describes a condition where people ears are itching – meaning that you want someone to scratch it. You want people to tell you the messages that you like to hear - you'll be great, marvellous, wonderful, fabulous! Now listen, there's a place for encouragement, and exhortation… but not for flattery!

Having itching ears means you're looking for the things that are nice to hear, but don't challenge you to change. I had a friend of mine, a pastor, who brought a message which was truth, at a very significant world conference; and was told afterwards - don't preach that. It was about the rightful role of men and women, working together, in partnership, under God. How about that!

They will have “itching ears” - so they're looking for messages that make them feel good, but don't require Godly living.

Here's the next thing... It says: “they will turn away their ears from the truth”. If you're not going to incline your ears to the truth, then you will turn your ears away to something else.

The only thing that keeps you from deception, is having a love for truth. I love the truth! If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Tell me the truth. See, that’s what keeps you from being deceived!

You all know people, you look at, and think - you're not in touch with what's going on, you know; someone needs to tell you something. Maybe you're that person? Have you got anyone that can tell you things? That's why we have a body of people, to be part of - because maybe you can hide in a big crowd, but in a small group… you can't pull off your junk in that small group! They all see who you are. They say: “come on, cut that out”! That's why small groups are a great chance to grow. You're connected relationally, and you can't pull the wool over everyone in a small group. If you're dominant and bossy, either you go, or the group just breaks up, because of your bad influence. Someone in leadership needs to tell you: listen, don't do that - it's not all about you!

It says: “they will turn to fables”. Here's the thing… If you haven't got a heart that's turned towards truth - God teach me; God I'm hungry for the truth; I want Your word; I want revelation; I want the spirit of revelation on me; I want sound doctrine; I want to grow; I want to be established; I want to live my life by the word of God - it says you'll be “turned to fables”.

Fables are fiction stories! Christian fiction stories - mythology, all kinds of weird and wonderful things, and there's a huge draw of people, away from serving God, and advancing the kingdom, and attracted to experiential things, that make them feel good, and give a sense of having all this knowledge of great things… but actually, when you look on the ground, it doesn't lead to sacrificial love, serving ministry.

That's why Paul said: “sound doctrine”, and “endure hardship” - endure difficulty! Do the work of an evangelist and fulfil your ministry. He's saying to Timothy, don't just send around any experiences; you've got a work to do, so “endure hardship” - because sometimes, serving God has got a lot of hardship. There are difficulties in it, because it doesn't always go well. You've got demonic opposition; you've got people opposition; you've got setbacks and difficulties.

He said: just endure hardness; toughen up; be a strong believer; not someone who's dropped over quickly. He says: you're called to be an evangelist, so do the work you're called to do. At the end of it, you want to end your life knowing: I did what God called me to do, I fulfilled my ministry. What has God called you to do? What is the ministry that He's called you to? Are you preparing, and developing?

The fifth sign is Lawlessness. The love of many will grow cold, because of lawlessness.

Matthew 24:12 – “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold”.

Many means many - lots of people. Their love will grow cold. Their passion for God will grow cold. They will be lukewarm, half-hearted believers. They're no longer loving, and serving, people. If you love, you show kindness - you serve people, you have a great attitude to people. You have a focus on making life better, investing in people. And it says what will happen in these days - that the love of many will grow cold, no longer passionate for the Lord. In Revelations 3, the Laodicean Church, Jesus said: you've done lots of things, but there's no passion, no love, no fire. Where's the fire? Where's the love for God?

The love for God is shown by willingness to do what He says. If you love Me, keep My commandments. Keeping your passion for God alive requires that I respond to Him, and not just have great worship experiences. You've got to ask yourself: am I just coming along, and someone else is providing an atmosphere for me to be charged up; or am I living a life where I'm constantly being recharged, because of my own work with God, my personal intimacy with Him? You can't live off someone else's experience. They encourage you, they bless you, they help you, they keep you going - but you can't live off it.

The reason the passion will go is because “iniquity will abound”. What do they mean by iniquity? It comes from the word ‘anomia’ – ‘a’ means ‘without’, and ‘nomia’ means ‘law’. Unrestrained, no boundaries, no restraint of the laws of God - and that expands to having no restraint of the laws of the nation either. It's a deep-seated attitude of wanting to do your own thing, to act independently of any boundaries. So, iniquity means to act without restraint - doing what pleases you, without any respect for boundaries or laws.

Have a look what's going on in America right now. Firstly, there is real, authentic injustice, and deep-seated wounding in the core of the nation, among many people. There's no doubt that there is a very deep and true injustice. However, demonic spirits exploit unresolved injustice, and turn it into iniquity, and lawlessness, so that it becomes destructive. It's one thing to raise a voice, to challenge the system; but it's another thing to enter wanton disruption. It's a spirit! It's a spirit that gets on people, and they don't even know what's going on. They violate the laws of God! They show contempt for the law, and contempt for boundaries.

Where are you at, in all of this? Often the spirit of lawlessness just shows up in the attitude towards authorities, when you encounter them. All authority comes from God, so even if an authority on earth misrepresents Him, and doesn't act well, I still need to keep my heart of respect for God, and His authority; and not try to justify rebelling against what is in front of me.

The Bible says that if you love God, it's demonstrated by how you treat people. His authority, His Lordship - you see it by how you respond, when an authority person comes in front of you. We're not to be afraid of them, and we're not to disrespect, or despise them; we're just to recognise that's what it is.

Commonly, lawlessness is shown by independence; disrespect for authority; abusive names to people in authority - criticising them, running them down. It's shown by passive rebellion, or defiance.

If you have a look at the methods of raising children in the last 50 years, their whole philosophy of parenting is never saying ‘no’ to the child. When the heck will they learn that ‘no’ is a part of life? What they learn is that my will is more important than anyone else. You've trained them in lawlessness.

The End Times spread of lawlessness will be deeply connected to what's happening in families, and the raising of children, so that they get used to living with no restraints. You can't say no to them. You can't point out things that are wrong and get them to change. All of that has a rational thinking behind it, but it endorses the spirit of lawlessness. There are such things as boundaries, and if you teach people healthy boundaries, they learn respect for authority, and a fear of God. If you don't have healthy boundaries, then people learn that nothing can stop me. I will have what I want, when I want, how I want, and I get what I want - so they throw tantrums, and parents give in.

If you're a parent that gives in to your child's tantrums, and lets them have everything they want, when they want it, then you are training them in lawlessness. You are literally ruining them. They won't respect you, when they grow up. You will have problems later on.

We've got a great family. I'm proud of my children. I have seven children, with seven wonderful spouses, and 24 grandchildren - and there's honour and respect that flows through the family. There's a reason for that. It doesn't just happen. There are principles that you put into family life, into raising children, building family culture, and it has to do with the fear of God, and respect.

If there's disrespect in family for those who are older, then you're going to have the spirit of lawlessness unleashed. This is a huge problem, and a lot of parents need to have a re-think of what you're doing. Where did you get these ideas from? Did you get them from the word of God? Some of the stuff that's been current - I've been around long enough to see when they changed it, from this to that; and years later they had to change it back again, because they got it all wrong. I was in confrontation back here, because I said: this is the right way to do it. I thought later, when I went to one of the schools, and they're making this big announcement about the change, I thought: who will stand up and say “we got it wrong, for a whole generation of children, about their reading”?

Spirit of lawlessness - are you getting the idea what lawlessness is? Where does it come from? Lawlessness originated in Lucifer. That's why he got kicked out of heaven! If he got kicked out of heaven for lawlessness, then what's going to happen to your expectation of a great thing ahead of you, if you embrace lawlessness? We can't embrace lawlessness!

Ezekiel 28:15 - why he fell from heaven: iniquity was found in him. Whenever you allow lawlessness to come around you, you become rebellious, and independent. You either actively rebel against authority; or quietly resist it. You say yes, but actually its no! You smile, and say ‘yes; but inside, you’re saying ‘no way’, and what outworks is a passive resistance - their will against someone else's will.

I mean, you've all seen that as a parent, with a child. You tell them to do something, and it's just a fight all the way, because there's no willingness to do it, and it's a passive resisting. Here's the thing… When you don't understand this principle, around the kingdom of God being a kingdom with order, and authority, then you embrace lawlessness - independence, doing my own thing.

Guess what kingdom you become influenced by? The demonic realm of lawlessness starts to come around your life! You can be in church, but under another spirit in all your life, and how you run it; and so, what you're seeing in America now, is a spirit of lawlessness that has come on people, and the end is always the same. It's destructive!

Matthew 7:23 – “In the last days, many (many, many, many) will say to Me ‘Lord, Lord’ (He's talking about Christians) we did miracles in Your name, we cast out demons, we prophesied in Your name. And I will say to them, I didn't know you…”

There's no deep intimacy, and surrender to be transformed, and your work is of iniquity. You did your own thing. You used My name, My gifts, everything I had, in order to advance yourself. The core of iniquity is an independence - I'll do what I want to do. That's why Jesus died for our iniquity.

Isaiah 53:6 – “We all like sheep have gone astray, everyone to his own way, and He laid on Him the iniquity of us all”

Iniquity - going my way. The only way to be free of iniquity, is through repentance, and understanding the principles of the kingdom - of surrender from my way; and we have His way.

Here's a sixth sign… He says: “As it was in the days of Noah”. The sixth sign is seeing in the earth things that were in existence in the days of Noah.

The seventh sign is… seeing things in the earth, that were in existence, in the days of Lot.

Luke 17:26-27 – “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.”

Look in Genesis 6:1-11, to find out what was happening, in the days of Noah. The first thing was, there was a population explosion…

Genesis 6:1 – “It came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth”.

Firstly, people started to multiply, and fill the earth - there was a population explosion. Secondly, there was widespread engagement with the occult.

Genesis 6:4 – “There were giants in the earth, in those days and afterwards, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and bore children to them, these were the mighty men of old, men of renown”.

There were some angels, called ‘watchers’, who were given an assignment by God, to watch over men and to progressively instruct them, so that there be revelation of technology, and various other things, so that man would gradually grow in their capacity to fill and take dominion over the earth.

However, the watcher angels saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and it says then they left their position and rank, and they were involved forcibly in having sexual relationships with women, and the offspring of those are what's called Nephilim. The Nephilim were giants. When you read in mythology, of the great giants that they talk about, these are the Nephilim.

Not only that, the giants in the land, these Nephilim (they're also called Fallen Ones) were very brutal, very violent, and they were taking control. Their whole goal was to destroy the seed of the woman, to corrupt mankind. That's why God had to wipe it all out.

Then there was another eruption that took place, and some of the giants ended up in the Land of Canaan, that Abraham went into. When Joshua came, these are the giants they had to overcome. They're not natural. They're a mixture of angelic and human. They're the result of a complete defilement of occult into the earth.

The next thing is, there was widespread corruption of the imagination and thoughts of the heart.

Genesis 6:5 – “The Lord saw the wickedness of man was great, every intent of the thoughts of heart and man was evil continually”.

There was a constant corruption in the heart, and what people wanted. Here's the next one - there was widespread lawlessness and violence.

Some of these things you're seeing in the earth now, are exactly what was in the earth in Noah's day.

Genesis 6:11 – “The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence”

Genesis 6:13 – “God said to Noah, the end of all flesh is come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them”.

Violence means injustice; use of force to injure people, and abuse people, and kill people.

Proverbs 4:17 – “They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence”

The “wine of violence” speaks of how violence becomes intoxicating, and addictive to people. The earth was filled with violence, injustice. Have a look what's happening in the earth now… Violence is increasing. In the 20th Century, over 200 million people were killed in two World Wars. That's violence on a massive scale. Up to 300 million have been killed in the ethnic, and other armed conflicts – more than the Great Wars! 44 million in a year are killed by abortion - that's violence against a child. New Zealand (per capita) is in the top four in the world, and will grow higher, because of the recent law change, while you weren't looking, during Covid. There are things changing rapidly in the world, and we need to be aware of that, so we're prepared for the coming of the Lord.

Genesis 6:11 – “the earth was corrupt and filled with violence”.

Now one of the most widespread forms of corruption today is sexual slavery. It's estimated that over 40 million people today across the world are in slavery of some kind or another. Forced to do things that they would not do, if they had the choice - forced marriages, and child slavery. The estimate I picked up yesterday was 25 million people, in sexual slavery. Human trafficking is a big, big business today. Violence is filling the earth. It's in every country. It's a global issue.

Violence filled the earth… and the Lord saw it. The things that we're seeing are symptomatic of a movement - birth pains, getting closer and closer, until we get to the end time, to the coming of the Lord.

In the days of Noah, there was widespread resistance to the word of God…

Hebrews 11:7 – “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith."

Noah was warned by God, of things not yet seen. By faith, he built an ark. God spoke to Noah, because Noah was upright, and walked with Him. He spoke to him: prepare!

God said: I'm going to do something you've never seen before. I'm going to cause rain to come, and floods to come. The whole earth will be covered with water. He said: rain? What's rain? He was speaking of something he had never seen before. It had never happened! The Bible says that there was a mist that went up, from the face of the earth, that watered the land. The whole of the earth was covered with a canopy, right around the whole earth.

He said: it's going to rain, and every place you can see will be covered with water, and the only way that you will escape, is if you build an ark. I'll tell you exactly how to build, and what to build, and it will be for the saving of your family. So, for 120 years, He did something very, very crazy. He was the crazy man! He was the real crazy prophet man, who had this idea that life would not continue the way everyone expected - that something was about to go down. He was the crazy man that laid down his life, to build something, so that his family would survive.

He was the crazy man that preached for 120 years about righteousness and getting right with God; and they mocked at him and ridiculed him. In other words, there was no love for truth. There was resistance to the word of God.

His message would have been repentance - if you don't repent, then you can't be saved. Get this. If they had repented, they would have come and joined him, in building the ark. Now no one knew what was coming, until it came; and when it came, what were they doing? It says they were eating, drinking, laughing, working. They were having marriages, giving and receiving in marriage; doing everything normal. Life was just going on, and then suddenly, one day, something came out of the air, that they had never seen before - spots of rain!

It says that the whole of the depths of the earth were opened. Something they'd never seen before, subterranean reservoirs of water, came up out of the earth; and the earth, with the heavy rain, and the subterranean waters, and the gradual, progressive, loss of all of that canopy over the earth… gradually came to a point where the whole earth was flooded, and everything perished - except those who believed God, and prepared the ark. It says: he did it, by faith.

What if we were to tell you there's something coming, you've never seen, that no one has ever seen? It's described in the word of God, in many different places. I've got no time to give it all to you now, but…

“as it was in the days of Noah…” - widespread demonic occult activity, corruption, violence, injustice, slavery, trafficking; resistance to the word of God… That in those days, God had been planning something he would do. He's promised that He will never ever destroy the earth by water, so you don't have to worry about the world being flooded… He's got something different in mind!

Here's the thing... Many Christians, their biggest thing is, we want to judge all the sinners, and we're going to be right. You really want to get out of that mindset! It's not the heart of God that any man perishes, but that all will be saved.

So, one of the signs of the End Times, will be that the gospel, the preaching of the kingdom of God, in power, will spread through the whole earth. God so desires that people not perish. He's longsuffering, waiting, wanting no one to perish. God is not willing any perish, but all be saved; so before the very End Time, when judgements start to come on the earth, there will be the preaching of the gospel throughout the whole earth. The gospel of the kingdom, in the power of God, bringing healing, deliverance, and supernatural transformation.

For that to happen, God must raise up the church, with a passion to spread the gospel, in the power of God. That's going to happen! Why? A lot of people think it's just going to get worse, and worse, and worse, and they will all get what they deserve. No, that's not the heart of God! God paid a huge price for everyone to be saved, but not everyone's saved, if they don't hear the message; and not everyone's saved, because when they hear it, they don't respond.

God wants to raise up a company of people, throughout the earth, like Noah, that believed: yes, something is coming on the earth! Yes, I see the sign of it! Yes, I will give my life to build the kingdom of God! I will lay my life down, because God has given me a vision for what I must do with my life! I have a vision to build!

It could be in teaching, education, finance, somewhere in the community; or could just be your family. What God calls you to build is not so important. It's that you do get into it, and build - build your life, your marriage, your finances, the local church. Build a place where God's presence is. Come, prepare to worship! Come with a heart that desires God! Come with a heart that knows things are uncertain in the earth, but God is our answer! God gives us the breakthrough! Come with a spirit of faith, saying: God, I can't settle for what I have. I want more of You!

Now we're just about to go into another season of fasting again. I need more of God! I want to know Him. I want to touch His power and see people's lives transformed. Noah warned of God, of things that were not yet seen; by faith he committed his whole life to building an ark, and the result was all his family, the next generation, were part of what God did.

The next generation of your family… maybe you've made mistakes, but it's not too late to start to pray for them, and start to put things right, start to sow again, and build. That's in your own natural family, but the family of God is bigger than our natural family. It involves other people. We need to be committed to build the local church. We need to be committed to build small groups, to be built places where God can come because we're praying and believing.

It's not the how of it, it's just the function of it - that we gather, and build up one another, and encourage one another, exhort one another. When you come… come with the truth! Spend time in the word of God, bring something God is speaking to you about. Come, not with an empty life, but a full life.

I'm passionate for God, I'm hungry for His kingdom, I'm seeking the Lord with all my heart! I'm in the word of God! God is speaking to me and changing me, oh I have something to give. That's for everyone. It's for everyone.

Closing Prayer

Why don't we stand to our feet right now... Come on, I want us to give honour to Jesus. He is warning us of things to come. He's saying: lift your eyes - look! You can read the signs of the seasons. Look at the sign of the times, look at the time you're living in. Look at the time we're living in! How exciting to be alive when the greatest things that God has planned will come into the earth! How glorious! God's glory will be seen in the whole earth and we're called to be a part of it. Oh, we want to arise, come on, let's worship Him. Lift your hands to Him right now! Thank You Lord! Thank You Lord! We give You the honour. We give You the glory! Come upon us, glory of God! Come upon our nation. We commit to prayer. We seek revival. Awaken Your people. Awaken our hearts. Awaken the city.

Jesus said: beware, take heed, lest you be deceived, lest you think you're doing okay and you're not. Get a love for the truth, and then as He goes through the parables He says this: I tell you, watch, pray, watch, pray, watch, pray. Build your prayer life. Build your prayer life. Build intimacy with God. Spend time with Him.

He begins to tell of the parables of the Servant and the House, who begins to abuse the other servants - speaking of having a bad attitude to the body of Christ. He talks about the virgins who were prepared, who had paid the price of intimacy with Jesus. He talks about the faithful servants who had served faithfully. God is telling us - wake up, wake up church, wake up! Wake up!

Thank You Lord! Awaken us! Thank You Lord! We honour You Jesus. Come in strength! Come in glory! Come in power! We reach out to You Lord. We hunger for You Lord. Come in revival! Thank You Lord. Come awaken us Lord! We honour You Jesus. We cry out, pour out the spirit of revival. Have mercy on Your people. Let the glory of God be seen upon us. We honour You. We praise You. We bless You. We give You thanks. Our hearts are filled with joy and expectation for the things You're bringing in being. Amen.

I want you to consider your own prayer life, your own walk with God. Take the message, go back over it again, and ask yourself: what is the Holy Spirit speaking to me about. Read Matthew 24 & 25. Start to think about it. The days of Lot, what was going on? What was happening? You will find that it's happening in the world today. Read 2 Timothy 3 - in the last days, perilous times, what will people be like? Look around, you can see it now.

Church, prepare. Prepare. Say God, awaken my heart. I want to be like Noah, who being warned of God, of things not yet seen, built an ark. Amen. There's a great presence of God here. Carry that presence out into the community. Our prayer as a corporate body is for revival in our city, revival in our region, revival in our nation. Amen. God bless you.

Summary Notes

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I. The Signs of the End Times (Part 2)

1. Global Shifts
· We are living in a time of Global upheaval and change
· Many people feel fearful and anxious about the future
· Two events recent have introduced immense change to the world:
· The 911 attacks and war on Terror, and Two Pandemics: Sars & Covid-19
· In such short space of time nations have changed
· The coming Economic Impact on the nations of the latest pandemic is yet to be seen `


2. God is in Control and Know The Future: The End is Glorious


3. Jesus Revealed Signs to Observe Indicating the End Times
· Jesus rebuked the Religious leaders for knowing the weather signs but not knowing the signs that He was the promised Messiah (Mat.16:1-3)
· Jesus grieved and wept over Jerusalem because they did not recognise and respond to the Day of their Visitation (Lk.19:41-44), and the suffering they would experience as a consequence
· Jesus revealed to his Disciples the Signs to look for: The Temple destruction, and the End Times
· When we look at 2020 we can see many events like Jesus describes in Matt. 24
· Eg. COVID-19, Global Riots, Looming Global Economic Depression, Swarms of Locusts (East Africa and Middle East), Rumours of Wars



4. We Need to be Aware of The Signs of The End times and Prepare
· First Sign: Wars and Natural Disasters
Matt 24:6 - "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. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places".

· Ethnic wars, political wars, famines, contagious diseases, earthquakes


Second Sign: Widespread Hatred towards Christians
· Matt 24:9 - "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake".


Third Sign: Widespread Offences among Christians
· Matt 24:10 - "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another".




II. Signs of the End Times (Cont)


1. Fourth Sign: Many False Prophets
Matt 24:11 - "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many".
· Three times Jesus warns His disciples against the danger of deception in (Matt.24:5, 11, 24)
· A False Prophet draws people to themselves and not to God and His Word
· Their message will lack the call to Repentance and transformation
· Frequently they draw people by promises that flatter people and are in fact a false hope
· Characteristics of False Prophets

(i) Fail to address the real hurts and issues of people (Jer.16:14)
“Heal lightly” address only external issues instead of addressing the real issues of the heart
Fail to call people to repentance and transformation

(ii) Prophesy “Peace” when there is no peace (Jer.16:14)
Flatter people giving them what they want to hear instead of warning them what lay ahead

(iii) Speak visions from their own heart and not from the Lord (Jer.23:16-17)
Fail to address the issue of people despising the lord and His Word
Refuse to confront sin, and instead promise false hopes for future peace and prosperity

(iv) They present themselves as sheep, but inwardly are ravening wolves (Mat.7:15)
They appear to be genuine believers but have an agenda to take advantage of others
They are identified not by their messages, but by their fruits, & influence on others (Mat.7:19)

(v) They bring in destructive teachings that cause disunity and division (2 Pet.2:1)
Paul’s Warning to Timothy
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

2Ti 4:3 - "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry". (2Tim.4:2-5)

“The time will come” refers to the End Times and the condition of believers and widespread deception
· They will want messages that “feel good” but do not challenge them to change.
· Truth is uncomfortable

(i) “Not endure sound doctrine” - Sound Bible teaching establishes believers in their faith and maturity

(ii) “Have itching ears” - Desiring something pleasant, something that they want to hear, and not something that challenges them to godly living and personal change

(iii) “Turn away their ears from the truth” - Only a having a love for truth keeps us from deception

If we do not cultivate a love for truth, we will turn away from hearing and responding to truth
Itching ears become deaf ears - no transformation

(iv) Turn to fables - Fiction, plausible stories that turn us away from sound Bible truth

· Notice Paul’s Words to Timothy: Watch, Endure, Do the Work, Fulfill your Ministry


2. Fifth Sign: Lawlessness, The Love of Many will Grow Cold

Mat 24:12 - "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold".

· “Many”…… this means a multitude of Christians
· “Love”…..refers to the agape Love for God and selfless love for people
· “Lawlessness”……iniquity….from word anomia….without law or restraint, acting independently of laws

· What is Iniquity?
To act without restraint, doing whatever pleases you with no respect for laws/boundaries
To go your own way, doing whatever seems or feels right to you without restraint
To violate the laws of God, to show contempt for the law and for healthy boundaries

· It expresses itself commonly by independence, disrespect for authority, resistance to boundaries, instruction or correction, active or passive rebellion and defiance
· The recent riots, looting, fighting, and destruction, hatred and anger against authorities in USA are examples of the spirit of lawlessness at work

What is the Root Source of Iniquity?
· The root source of all iniquity was Lucifer himself…this was why he fell from heaven (Ezekiel.28:15)
· Iniquity causes people to come under the influence of the spirit realm of darkness and to be manipulated by demons…it is the nature of that kingdom
· When iniquity abounds, the spiritual atmosphere changes.
· Iniquity, people being self-centered and doing their own thing, causes the love of others to grow cold
· What are The Personal Consequence of Iniquity?
· The Revelation of the Kingdom of God is also a revelation of His Authority and Right to Rule
· Iniquity Excludes believers from The Millennial Kingdom Rewards (Mat.7:23)

Mat 7:21 - "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
· When people are unrestrained they cannot fulfill their destiny, and authentic love grows cold


3. Sixth Sign: As it was in The Days of Noah
Luk 17:26 - "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man"
Luk 17:27 - "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all."

· The account of Noah and his family is found in Gen.6:1-14

What were the conditions that prevailed in the Days of Noah?
(i) Population Explosion
Gen 6:1 - "Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them"

(ii) Widespread Engagement with the Occult realm
Gen 6:4 - "There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

The Watchers, fallen angels left their God given position and had sexual relations with women, to corrupt and destroy humanity
The Nephilim, “fallen ones” were the offspring of these relationships.
They were giants, distorted creatures who became the Giants of Greek Mythology
A second irruption after the flood caused the giants that occupied the land promised to Abraham

(iii) Widespread Corruption of the Imagination and the Thoughts of the Heart
Gen 6:5 - "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
“Continually” - every day, non stop corruption and desire for evil
The heart is the seat of motivation in life…they were totally corrupt

(iii) Widespread Lawlessness and Violence
Gen 6:11 - "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence."
Gen 6:13 - "And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
"Violence" - Injustice, use of force to injure, oppress, abuse, and kill people
Prov.4:17 - "Violence is like wine - it is attractive, intoxicating and removes judgment."

Violence in the earth is increasing….Global Terrorism, Abortion, ethnic and religious wars
Eg. Up to 203 million people killed by wars in 20th Century
Eg. Up to 300 million killed in armed conflicts
Eg. Up to 44 Million Killed by abortion. NZ is one of the 4 top nations in the world per 1000 people

(iv) Widespread Corruption, Sexual Perversion, and Sexual Abuse
Gen 6:11 - "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence."
Eg. Today one of the most widespread forms of corruption is sexual slavery
Eg. The estimated number of people in some form of slavery across the world is over 40 million
About 25 million of these people are in some form of sex slavery


(v) Widespread resistance to the Word of God
Heb 11:7 - "By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith."

2Pe 2:4 - "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly"

Noah preached righteousness for 120 years but people were resistant to his message of impending judgment and the need to repent and walk with God
Only 8 people believed the Word of God and were saved
Noah was warned by God of things never before seen, and commanded to prepare an Ark
No doubt Noah was subject to ridicule for his building an Ark in obedience to the command to prepare

(vi). Total Unawareness of the Impending Global Crisis
Luk 17:27 - "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all."
They continued in their daily activities completely unaware of the impending danger to them
Gen.7:16 - When the rain came it was too late to enter the Ark - The Lord shut him in


4. Seventh Sign: As it was in The Days of Lot
Luk 17:28 - "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
· The account of Lot and his family are found in Gen.19:1-13 and Ezekiel.16:49
· What were the conditions that prevailed in the Days of Lot?

Lot dwelt in the City of Sodom. He was daily troubled by the conditions in the city
(i) Brazen open homosexuality
(ii) Aggressive sexual violence
(iii) Hospitality and covenant relationships ignored
(iv) Intergenerational sexual perversion - Old and Young given over to sexual sin
(v) Pride
(vi) Materialism - Fullness of bread, Self-indulgence
(vii) Lack of concern for the poor and needy

· Jesus mentions 8 common activities that occurred both in the days of Noah and the days of Lot
Luk 17:27 - "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all."
Luk 17:28 - "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;"

· They were so immersed in these activities that they failed to recognize what was about to happen
· Materialism and the cares of life blinded them to eternal realities and they suffered consequences
· Jesus Warning:

Luk 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. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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."


5. Eighth Sign: The Fig Tree and All the Trees
Luk 21:29 - "Then He spoke to them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near."

Luk 21:32 - "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."
· “The Fig Tree” refers to the nation of Israel
· “and all the trees” refers to the other nations of the world
· The change in nations will begin with the fig tree…Israel first and then the other nations


Israel Becomes a Nation
· In 1948 Israel became a nation……” it began to bud and form leaves”
· They became free of rule by the British, and established their own history culture and language
· In 1967 Israel took control of Jerusalem. In 2019 Jerusalem was acknowledged as their Capital

The Rise of Nationalism
Across the globe now the nations are beginning to put for the leaves of their own identity
There is an upsurge of nations wanting to establish their own identity, history and culture

Mat. 24:30-32 - "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place."

· Jesus specifically taught that these are the signs of the End Times, and His imminent return
· It is near - at the doors - this generation


6. Ninth Sign: Great Change in the Culture - Selfishness
2Ti 3:1 - "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!"
· “Perilous times” - fierce, dangerous, reducing strength, hard to bear


7. Tenth Sign: Cosmic Upheaval and Great Global Fear
Luk 21:25 - "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring"
Luk 21:26 - "men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken."
Luk 21:27 - "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
· There will be great Fear as a result of increasing upheavals in nature


8. Eleventh Sign: Increase in Travel and Knowledge
· Dan 12:4 - "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."


9. Twelfth Sign: The Gospel of the Kingdom Preached
· Mat 24:14 - "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."
· End time revival …….the Gospel will be preached in all the world….this is the Key Sign
· Gospel of the Kingdom….The message of the Kingdom of God
· Gospel of the Kingdom…..With demonstration of the Supernatural Power of God (1Cor.4:20)
· 2Pe 3:9 - "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."



III. Prepare for Jesus Return!
1. Jesus will return in great Glory and Power and Majesty
· Mat 16:27 - "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works."
· Luk 21:27 - "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."


2. The Day of the Lord will be a Great and Terrible Day (Joel2:11)
· It will be Great for those who have prepared for Jesus return
· It will be Terrible for those who live unprepared


3. We Must Personally Prepare for the Second Coming of The Lord
· Mar 13:32 - "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
· Mar 13:33 - "Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is."
· Luk 18:7 - "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?"
· Luk 18:8 - "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes"

Will He really find faith on the earth?"



Signs of the End Times (3 of 3)  

Sun 5 Jul 2020 AM « Back to Top

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In Matthew 24 Jesus reveals clearly the signs of the end Times and of His second Coming. This message is the third of three messages examining the signs of the End Times. We see many of these signs being manifested in the earth today. We are to recognise the signs and prepare ourselves for Jesus coming

Signs of the End Times (3 of 3)

Open your Bibles with me, into Matthew 24. We're looking at a series, three messages called the Signs of the End Times, and this is the third one. I will go through the 12 signs, and then focus on just one.

Matthew 24:3 – “As he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us, when these things will be? What will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?”

He's been in the temple. He's seen how great the temple is - the massive, big walls, it was just an amazing construction, and the disciples are impressed by that - but Jesus said: don't be impressed, because that's all going to fall. Everything will be torn down. There won't be one stone left upon a stone.

They were astonished, so when they got with Him quietly, they said: what will be the sign that this is about to happen? What is the sign of the End Times, when You will come? Two questions - and as you read through Matthew 24, Jesus answers those two questions, but not quite in the order they asked, and He spreads it out over Matthew 24 & 25.

Matthew 24 and 25 are all one series of teachings, and all the parables in Matthew 25 relate back to that one simple question - what will be the signs of the end, of Your coming?

He talks in parables… Then at the End Time, the kingdom be like this… five wise virgins, and five foolish… the kingdom be like the servant… He's trying to get you to understand, and have an insight, to the End Times - what it will be like. We've already shared a little bit about that, and what we found was that Jesus three times warned them about deception. Three times! That means that you will think you're right, but you're wrong! You will be listening to things that are wrong… but think they're right. He warns us three times!

In the context of His second coming, and the turmoil in the End Times in the world, He says: you need to be careful that you're not deceived. In another message, I will talk about how to prepare yourself at the End Times - the kinds of things you need to do. The primary one is to become grounded in truth - in the Bible truth. If you're not grounded in Bible truth, then you won't know where you stand, or what you believe. You will be carried with every wind and doctrine.

The second thing, that He repeatedly said - He repeatedly said these two things, and they're different words but they really refer to the same thing. One of them… He said: prepare; or be ready. He tells us to be ready. He tells to watch and pray - and that's mentioned four times, all together.

Three times, He said there's going to be some tough times in the End Times. It will be difficult. There will be a lot of funny ideas going around, and people will be drawn away; and He said: here's what you need to do… Make sure that you personally prepare yourself - that you're a place of prayer, and spiritual sensitivity, and awakeness. In other words, wake up!

I want to just list for you now, the signs. I've already done six of them. I want to list the remaining six, and then I will pick up one, and just work with the one.

Jesus responded to their question, regarding the signs of times…

1) Widespread upheaval - wars and natural disasters across the world (verses 6 & 7).

2) Widespread persecution of Christians (verse 9). He said, you'll be persecuted, and hated by all men. There will be resistance to Christ, resistance to the word of God.

3) Widespread offences (verse 1)0. Many shall be offended and betray one another. One of the signs of the End Times is how easily people are offended.

4) Many false prophets. People who present themselves as Christians, carrying a ‘word for the season’, or a ‘word from God’… but they're not. They have an agenda to enrich themselves, and they exploit God's people, for their own ends - and by their fruit, you will know them.

5) Widespread lawlessness. A disregard for law and order, for authority - and it would be widespread, across the globe, in the End Times. A consequence of that (verse 12), is that the love of many would grow cold. Love for God, a passion for God, a selfless love that serves people with no agendas – that is what will grow cold. People become very self-centred.

6) Widespread corruption and violence (verse 37) – “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man”. There will be situations in the earth, like the days of Noah.

7) The seventh sign is not found in Matthew 24, but in Luke 17:28. “As it was in the days of Lot, so it will be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man”.

Luke 17:28 – “As in the days of Lot, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built. But on the day Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, destroyed them all. Even so, it will be like that, in the day that the Son of Man is revealed”.

As it was in the days of Lot… As it was in the days of Noah… He's saying that the coming of the Lord will be unexpected. They thought everything was going on like normal, and they were caught out by surprise.

The coming of the Son of Man will catch many people unaware. They will just think the world is carrying on like normal, when in fact it's about to go to cataclysmic change. We are to be ready - to prepare. Live your life as if the Lord is coming today; but plan your life like He's not coming in my lifetime. I need to prepare, and plan, and set out my whole life course - invest in the next generation, invest and build, and so on

8) The next sign is found in Luke 21:29 (and in Matthew 24). The fig tree, and all the trees... We live in an area which is very seasonal, so we can look at the fruit trees, and if you see the blossoms, then you know what season it is, and it's very clear. Suddenly, there's blossoms everywhere. Fruit is coming. Spring is on the way. There will be little lambs everywhere. We know something is about to change.

He said: here is the sign - it's about the fig tree, and all the trees. The ‘fig tree’ refers to the nation of Israel. Israel is constantly referred to as a fig tree, or a vine. All the ‘other trees’ means all the other nations. He said: look at the fig tree - look at Israel. Israel is a key figure nation. Watch what's going on there - it reflects what is going to be happening, spiritually.

Secondly, He says: look at all the other trees. When they're already budding, you know that summer is near. When you see these things happening, know the kingdom of God is near. This generation will by no means pass away, but all these things take place. He says: heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Jesus' words have stability in them.

In 1914, they began to section off an area called Palestine, and it became a place where Jews started to travel. When the Jews were dispersed in AD70, they dispersed to all the nations of the earth. There was no place called Israel, and the people were dispersed. There is never in history, ever, ever, ever recorded, any people that were dispersed into the globe, and lost their land, that survived as a culture and as a language, and then came back together, and found their piece of land again. It just has never happened before - it's impossible. It can never happen, and yet it happened to Israel, and it follows the promise in the Bible… “I will scatter you to the nations, and then I will show mercy, and I will regather you again”.

And so, we see an amazing fulfilment in 1948, when Israel came together as a nation. That is the fig tree budding! That's the sign summer is near! What's happening in Israel is a sign. In 1967, they took control of Jerusalem.

Who would've ever thought, 200 years ago, if you had said that Israel will come back together… it's just impossible! Then suddenly, within our lifetime, it's come back as a nation, and it's now established in Jerusalem, and Jerusalem has been acknowledged as its capital. What's happening with Israel, is a rising tide to their identity as a nation - but that's happening all round the world. People are saying, we want to hold our identity, as a nation. We want to hold on to who we are. You've got other ethnic groups now, who have been displaced, saying: we want our nation back.

That's happening all over the world, and it's just another sign of the season. Nations are now looking to start to build their own identity, have their own culture, their own language, and start to establish themselves. It's a messy thing, very messy. It’s been a reaction to colonialism, a reaction to all kinds of things, and people are trying to find their identity, and stand up. It's a global phenomenon.

9) 2 Timothy 3:1-3 – “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good...”

In the last days, perilous, or incredibly dangerous times will come; and then he lists a whole lot of signs. This is what the cultural condition will be, and he says it's perilous. It's fierce. It's difficult, hard to handle; drains away your energy. This is what will be the widespread cultural condition…

Narcissistic people, self-obsessed people. People will be lovers of themselves, self-centred - it's all about me. Lovers of money - greed will take over, exploitation of people. There will be boasters - empty pretenders, proud, appearing better than others, abusive, disobedient to parents; unthankful or ungrateful (meaning entitled). Abusive. Disobedient to parents; unthankful, unholy, unloving.

That word ‘unloving’ means literally, to be devoid of natural family bonds. No natural family love, families full of a lack of love for one another. They will be unforgiving. They will be truce-breakers; unwilling to enter into covenant, or literally, unwilling to commit into covenantal relationship (like marriage).

They will be unforgiving. They will be slanderous. They gossip; no self-control; savage, cruel; despisers of good, and despisers of those that are good; traitors, or treacherous - betraying one another; headstrong or rash; arrogant; lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God, having (in the religious area), a form of godliness, but resisting, or denying the power. A church which is lukewarm - without the power of God but proclaiming itself to be the true church. So that's one of the signs – do you recognise any of it?

10) Cosmic upheaval, and global fear.

Luke 21:25 – “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.”

There will be signs in the heavens, and signs in the sun, moon and stars. The earth in distress of the nations, perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and the expectation of things coming on the earth, for there will be a shaking of the powers of heaven. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in glory. Across the globe, there will be widespread fear, because of global catastrophe - things that are happening, possibly a reaction to a shift, where the devil is cast out of the realm of the second heaven, and then you start to see widespread demonic manifestations in the earth, including disruption of natural conditions.

I don't think we've seen all this yet. It will be global fear, because it's so unpredictable. Have a look what the movies are all doing - the earth coming through catastrophe, and then the Rock comes and saves them… saves Los Angeles… saves the people! They've got all sorts of those stories - near misses with asteroids… earthquakes… tidal waves. They carry a message of global catastrophe, widespread fear and chaos - everything breaking down.

Hollywood’s gift is to be creative, but it's been distorted, so it's often polluted; but notice the interest in superheroes. Superheroes have become the latest big thing – love or hate them! It's just a matter of personal opinion, but I think that it's all a signal for what God is planning to do - when the Sons of God manifest in the earth. Ooh, how exciting!

11) Daniel 12:4 – “But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge."

Daniel - shut up the words, and seal the book, until the time of the end. Close the book, because what I've revealed to you won't be understood by anyone, until the very end. Then suddenly… oh - that's what it means!

He says in that time (the End Times), many shall “run to and fro”. Travel will be incredibly widespread, with many running to and fro, all over the earth. Knowledge shall increase!

A lot of these things you can just check for yourself - Google them. They're all there - rumours of war, and wars, and how many people have been killed. You can look it all up and find for yourself what's going on. So, what's the story about the increase in knowledge, how has it been going?

In 1900, knowledge doubled every 100 years; but by 1945, it doubled every 25 years. In 1980, it's doubling now, because of computers, every 13 months. IBM has predicted that in 2020, knowledge will double every 12 hours! If knowledge is doubling that fast, you can't keep up with it! We have to learn how to live in a world where knowledge is changing so fast, that you have to build something different inside you.

12) The last sign, and the best one of all, is that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached globally.

Matthew 24:1 – “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world, as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached globally - with signs, and miracles, and wonders! There will be a massive End Time harvest! It's going to be an amazing time! That's why you'll find, increasingly, and globally, there will be an emphasis on the kingdom of God – preaching, of the kingdom of God. Churches have not taught enough on the kingdom of God.

Jesus' whole message was - repent, the kingdom is at hand!

The glory of God's kingdom - His rule, His dominion over nature, His culture, and values. The Sermon on the Mount is about the culture of heaven - what it looks like; and how, when heaven is on earth, how people live. How awesome is that!

So those are the signs, and I want to go back up to the seventh sign – “as it was in the days of Lot”.

Luke 17:28 – “Likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, they ate and drank, and bought and sold, and planted and built - until the day Lot went out of Sodom, and then it rained fire”.

I've never seen it raining fire before; but then with Noah, no one had seen it raining rain either. They hadn't seen it - it was something different. In the last days, there will be things that we've never seen before. The day he left, it rained fire and brimstone - destroyed them all; and so it will be, when the Son of Man is revealed. Now, Lot dwelt in the City of Sodom, and he was troubled all the time by what he saw.

It's quite interesting to watch his journey. He starts off walking with a man of faith, Abraham. He was his nephew. And then, because he's walking with a man of faith, who was in the anointing and purpose of God - he prospers; but when he prospers, he forgets to be grateful, and honour where his source is, so he ends up competing with Abraham. Now Abraham, was very gracious. When you're connected to God, and God is your source, you can be gracious. You don't have to fight over stuff, because God can get you more. He didn't fight. He said: listen, we want peace between us. So, you can choose whatever you want to do.

Abraham had every right to say: listen, I'm in charge here. This is my mission journey. I get the best piece... But instead he said: you choose whatever you want. He looked down - oh that land looks nice and flat. I can see some nice cities there, as well, so I'll choose that bit. What happened next is a gradual progression, where he dishonours the source, and starts to compete, and promote himself. Next, we find him camping outside the city; and then he's living in the city; and then eventually, he's in the gates of the city, meaning that he's now in a place of leadership and influence in the city. He's been submerged in the city, and in the culture; so, in his heart, he's troubled by everything that's going on.

It really vexes his soul, the Bible says. It troubles him. Then, when you follow the story, you find that he loses everything. He literally loses everything! His character was eroded; he lost his wife; he lost all his resources; he lost his other children, their wives, their grandchildren… Everything was taken away. Everything was lost, destroyed; and the two daughters that he had, they got him drunk, and he ended up sleeping with them - had incest with them. The two tribes that descended from them, the Moabites and Ammonites, were incredibly sexually perverse idolaters, who resisted God's work all through history.

It was a little thing at the beginning, but it become a big thing at the end. When you make your decisions, they may seem little at the beginning, but they can have major consequences at the end. You've got to watch then, and see, that the decisions you're making are aligned with the word of God.

Now, when we think of the City of Sodom and Gomorrah, you're going to think straight away of homosexuality; but the Bible identifies what the real sin is. It's very frequently, among Christians, that we judge and condemn people. We show a very deep blind spot to our own issues, but we love to pick on something that we can hammer.

Ezekiel 16:49 – “This was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

He's talking to the church, saying that City of Sodom - it's your sister! You're in the same family. He's trying to rebuke the church for its condition. Then he says: this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom. Her and her daughters had pride - fullness of food; abundance of idleness; and neither did they strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. They were haughty; and committed abomination before me. Therefore, I took them away, as I saw fit.

The word ‘abomination’ refers to homosexuality, but notice it's not even named. It's just called ‘abomination’. It's all the other things that God identifies, that lead to that. The condition of it, was haughtiness and pride. The core thing that God identifies is the heart condition, because always, the fruit in our life springs from the heart. So, if you look at the fruit, and get all strong on the fruit, then you're missing the whole thing. You can't change it, by attacking the fruit. You've got to deal with the heart, and the issue with the heart was pride, and haughtiness.

Pride is to elevate yourself. Haughtiness is to look down upon others, and to despise others. He says that firstly, it's the heart condition of pride (rather than humility and gratitude). Secondly, there was “fullness of bread”. They were prospering. They were doing well. They had no need of anything. It sounds like the Church of Laodicea. Thirdly, and here's the real bite… There was a neglect of justice. There was a neglect of the poor and the needy.

I just want to catch what the problem that God has with the church, in His day. He said: there's pride, arrogance, and a looking down and judging people. There's a satisfaction because you're doing well, and a focus on your prosperity; and there's a lack of heart for the people that are suffering injustice, suffering because of poverty, because they're needy. You are indifferent to the plight of those who are suffering, because you're preoccupied with yourselves.

That was the condition of His people, and the best picture I can tell you about Sodom, right before I destroyed it. It's to do with the heart, and the care for people. When the heart is full of pride, and there's brokenness, and wounding… homosexuality is a by-product of those things.

2 Peter 2:7 – “He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless”.

Lot was distressed by what was going on. God rescued Lot, a righteous man (a believer). He was a good man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless. He was worn down, treated roughly, and was in exceeding anguish. He looked at the news every day, and was really troubled by the things he saw going on in his own city. Some people are not even troubled by what goes on in their own city, not even aware of it; but he was troubled by it - deeply. He was in a distress inside, because he was a good, righteous man, and he saw that what was happening was really wrong.

What was he seeing? Proud, arrogant people, who were full of prosperity, but only looking out for themselves, and didn't care for the poor. He saw the homosexuality as well - that was the outcome of the heart condition, and it was incredibly serious. The Bible is very clear, when it comes to the issue of homosexuality. There's nothing complicated about it. It violates God's order, and God's design.

Leviticus 18:22 – “Do not have sexual relationships with a man, as one does with a woman. That is an abomination (or detestable)”.

Detestable means idolatry, something really disgusting in God's eyes. He's talking about a man having a sexual relationship with another man “as he would lie with a woman”, and the word that is used to describe that, in the dictionary, is ‘sodomy’. The word sodomy refers to sexual intercourse - one man with another, anal intercourse. It also refers to various forms of sexual perversion. The name is given to that sin is identified with the City of Sodom.

I've counselled Christians, and I've found that it’s being practiced in marriages. So don't judge and look down on everyone else, get your own heart right. We need to have a heart that's right before God - and so Jesus reveals very clearly in His teaching, the issue of the conduct - that it's disgusting, and it's an abomination to God. However, He said, the real problem is the heart condition that produces it.

Matthew 11:20 – “He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they wouldn't repent”.

He talks about them - Tyre and Sidon…

Matthew 11:23-24 - “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven in pride will be brought down into the deepest parts of hell, for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. I tell you, it'll be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgement, than for you”.

A lot of Christians don't get that one… Capernaum was where Jesus was ministering, in Israel - a city of God's people. Jesus ministered there - preached the kingdom, did miracles, did amazing signs. But the problem was religious pride, and judgementalism, and unbelief. They rejected Jesus. They rejected His supernatural. They rejected the one God sent, and they did it because of pride. It says: “you're exalted to heaven”, and that's the very thing that the devil did. He said: there is a pride, and an iniquity in your hearts; so, when the gospel was preached, and the miracles were done, you still wouldn't change.

He's talking about His people again, He says: when it comes to the day of judgement, and I have the whole City of Sodom in front of me, with all its homosexuals - I'll go easier on them, than on you! It will be more tolerable for them, in the day of judgement, than for you; because, if the works I did in your city, and the teaching I gave there… if they had received that, they would have all turned. The city would still be going.

There are insights into how God judges. God judges according to the amount of light you have. He's simply saying - if you've been given so much, then more is expected.

The City of Sodom is given as a sign, that God will judge sin - and will deal with it suddenly, when people are not looking. The sin of that city was the same as the sin of the people of God - it was the sin of pride, of haughtiness, of self-centredness, of lack of care for the poor; and He said: that's the same city! That's why I called you ‘sisters’; you are same family, the same kind of DNA – and it's not a kingdom DNA. It's a DNA of the power of darkness; and of course, they had some homosexuality. It was rife, right through the city; but He said: if that's all you can see, then you're not seeing that the real issue is the same thing you've got.

It's pride in the heart, that leads to these sins of the flesh, and indulgence in all those kinds of things. When people are very poor, all they've got to focus on is surviving; but when people have got a lot, they start to do all sorts of other things.

What were the conditions that prevailed, in the days of Lot? What was it actually like, in the city; and can we find some comparisons, to today? The background to the story is that Lot was living in the City of Sodom, and then he received two angels. Two angels came to the city, because God was wanting to save Lot. God has gone into a discussion with Abraham, and Abraham said: oh man, that's tough - you're going to destroy the city? Can we talk about this? Can I bargain with, You God? God said: okay, say your piece… He said: what if You found 50 people that were righteous, would You spare the city? He said: okay, if I found 50, I will spare it. Then he says: Lord, can we talk about this again? What if we could find a fewer number? Yes, I will do it for the fewer number… but there weren't the fewer number there - that was the problem.

So, the angels come into the city, and they're coming in to rescue Lot. They're coming into the city to warn him that there's imminent destruction, and he must depart from the city.

Genesis 19:1 – “The two angels arrived at Sodom, and Lot was sitting on the gateway of the city, and when he saw them, he got up to meet them, he bowed down his face to the ground”.

Notice that he's in the gateway - the place of leadership, so he's an influential person in the city now, because he's very wealthy. He got up to meet them. “My lords…” - so he recognised that they come from God.

Genesis 19:2-3 – “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square. But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.”

Now he knew why they needed to go into the city… Don't stay out in the city, it will be tough for you out there. The streets aren't safe. You need to come into my home.

Genesis 19:4-5 – “Before they'd gone to bed all the men from every part of the City of Sodom, young and old, surrounded the house. And they called out to Lot - where are the men who came with you tonight? Bring them out to us, so we can have sex with them”.

So, even putting them in his house didn't save them! This is a very dangerous city - lawless, out of control, and there were sexual perversions operating.

Genesis 19:6-7 – “Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing”.

They're all bent on the homosexual rape of his visitors, but he stands up, and pushes back. ‘Brethren’, he says - so he's not being judgemental in any way... Don't do this! This is not right, this is wrong. This is wicked to do such a thing, because they're under my house. In our culture, if someone comes into your house, they come into your protection - so he said: now they're under my protection, so please, this would be a terrible thing to break. What's going to happen in our culture, if people come into your house, but you don't look out for them, and protect them? I'm out here to stand on their behalf, to protect them, because, according to our culture, this is a covenant relationship. They come into my house, come under my name, under my protection - I'm responsible for them.

Genesis 19:9-12 - They said: stand back! They said: (talking about Lot) this one came to stay here, but now he keeps acting as a judge. Then they said: now we'll deal with you worse than them, so they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. Then the angels rescued Lot and blinded the people so they couldn't find the door. Then the angels told him: you need to get out of the city quickly.

Here's the condition of the people...

1) Pride, and arrogance. They were just self-important, and self-centred.

2) Self-indulgence, fullness of bread.

3) Cold-hearted, their lack of concern for the poor, and these are the things that come from a culture whose heart has become broken and hard.

4) Brazen homosexuality was widespread everywhere. It was just out in the open - it was brazen; no one tried to hide it, no one was ashamed of it.

5) Aggressive sexual violence. The city was lawless. There's no restraint, people just did what they wanted, and sexual violence was frequent.

Look what's going on in our nation right now - it's a very big problem! Notice that the sexual perversion was intergenerational, “young and old came”, so it was affecting the younger generation. The older generation have failed to preserve the young, and by their lifestyle, they've now given permission to the young to then get involved in these things.

6) Finally, there was a widespread resistance, and reaction to, truth.

He's saying: listen, it's in our culture, that if someone comes into my home, I've got to look out for them, and protect them - so please, please stay away. Don't come here. This is wicked to do this.

They said: oh, you come and live among us… and you're judging us now. They accused him of being ‘judgemental’. They accused him of being ‘intolerant’, and then they said: we're going to deal to you!

It's a terrible thing - they were resistant to truth. They reacted, and they accused him, when he spoke out honestly. They accused him of being judgemental and intolerant. The Bible is very clear that if we practice sin... I'm not talking about a life where you're struggling with issues, and you're working hard to try and overcome them, and you have occasional drops back, and you're in a journey of growing - that's normal. That's just what everyone walks through, and God provides grace to cover all of that. We're talking about those who practice sin - in other words, they stop resisting it. They just tolerate it in their life.

The Bible describes 10 different categories of sin that will exclude us from the kingdom. Here they are…

1 Corinthians 6:9 – “Don't you know the unrighteous (those who are not living right or practicing sin), shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Don't be deceived: neither fornicators (people involved in sexual sin); idolators (a person who's covetous is an idolator); nor adulterers, nor homosexuals or sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor abusers, nor extortioners (they manipulate people) will inherit the kingdom of God”.

He doesn't single out one thing. He just says: these are all the kinds of things that will stop you entering the fullness of what God has for you, and he includes in there - excessive alcohol, including gluttony. The Church gets wound up about homosexuality, but what about gossip? Homosexuality is mostly ‘out there’, but gossip is right here! Gluttony? You know, people get into these things, that becomes their hobby horse, and what's behind it is a prideful heart - a heart that's haughty and arrogant, and looks down on others, judging what's going on in their life. That's the very thing that God identified was the core character, not only of the City of Sodom, and this is what led to its downfall.

Given enough time, if you have pride, a haughty attitude, and a lack of care for the poor, and you're preoccupied with yourself… given time, any nation will corrupt, and dysfunction, and fall apart. So, he's saying that all the things you saw in that city were the consequence of the rapid deterioration from the core issue - which is a heart issue! It's always a heart issue.

Notice the thing they accused him of... They said: this man came here, we invited him in, he came and stayed in the city… and now he's judging us! Notice that he hasn't judged them. He just said: this is wicked behaviour! He wasn't even talking about the sexual thing. He was saying that to come into my home, and take the people out, that are in my protection - that's wicked behaviour! And they said: oh, you're ‘judgemental’ and ‘intolerant’.

So, I want to talk a little bit about ‘tolerance’, because this is an issue that's a very big problem right now. It's a growing issue today. Tolerance means to have sympathy for the beliefs and practices that are different (and conflicting) with my own. It means to have respect for a differing viewpoint and lifestyle. I'm not hostile to you, because you have a different belief - I actually treat you with respect. It means the willingness to let people express a different opinion without fear of retaliation. It doesn't mean that you agree with them, or approve of them, at all. You can live your own life, but you can still disagree.

Jesus said, the problem will be, that when you say the truth, people may not like it too much! So now, the word ‘tolerance’ has been changed. Some of you may not realise it, but you will come across it. Tolerance has been redefined - so we'll call it the ‘new’ tolerance! If you change what a word means, then you can change how people behave! When I think ‘tolerance’, I think that you can have a different view, a different lifestyle, and that's fine. I'll talk, and debate, and we can share a different point of view - and that's okay. I'll treat you with respect. You're allowed to do that. You're allowed to be different, and diverse. God lets you be diverse.

But, he's very clear about what the truth is. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me”. Today people would say: that is judgemental, intolerant, and it's hate-speech! That has happened in our lifetime! The new tolerance - tolerance now is redefined! The dictionary hasn't changed, but this is what it means…

It means the acceptance of any idea, any belief… and it doesn't mean just to accept it; it means to endorse and praise it. So now, I’m not allowed to just accept that you believe differently. I must welcome it and embrace it. In other words, I'm not allowed to have a different opinion - that's what's changed. It's not enough to just tolerate a different belief - I must treat it as having the same value.

Now, when I look at a homosexual lifestyle, it does not have the same value, as the value that God placed on a married relationship - they're not equal. Cultures are not equal. A culture of idolatry and animism will have outcomes and consequences that are different to a culture that was built around the principles of God's kingdom. They are different, and they have different outcomes. If they have different outcomes, they're not equal value.

So, what you're finding is, tolerance has been redefined to mean that everyone's ideas, everyone's beliefs, are of equal value. This is not biblical at all. This goes completely contrary. It’s called humanism.

Disagreement is now redefined. Disagreement means I hold a different opinion. Disagreement is now defined as intolerance. That's what we're facing in our culture right now. If you have a differing opinion, you are called intolerant. If you dare to express it, that's hate speech. If you have a different opinion and you begin to declare it… I have a different opinion about homosexuality, but if I begin to express it now, it's called hate speech.

Hate speech is speech that's designed to stir hostility towards any group of people; they've redefined hate speech as well. To express a different opinion is not hate speech. To express a different opinion is just that - to express a different opinion. The ‘new tolerance’ is actually intolerance, because I can't express my opinion without you treating me as being a racist, or homophobic.

Notice that the new way of dealing with people now, and it's incredibly evil, because it won't allow for any discussion. It puts a label on you. If I say that I believe this, the label is put on; and when you put a label on, then you end up abusing the person. They put a label on you first - that's an idiot; and if it's an idiot, we should do what you do to idiots - you understand? If I express a different opinion about homosexuality, immediately the label is: oh, you're homophobic! If I say something about Islam, and the dangers of radical Islam… oh you're Islamophobic! If I talk about God's views on gender… oh you're transphobic! Your ideas are “hate speech”.

If I talk about the role of a man, as defined by the Bible… ooh, that's sexist! You're a misogynist - you hate women. There's no desire to enter discussion. It's… I want to impose my view upon you, so therefore, the first thing I'll do is to shout you down. The second thing I'll do is to put a label on you; and I will stir people up, to label as a person who is hateful and intolerant.

That's what was going on in Lot's day; and it's very, very similar to what's going on today. The core of this, is the rejection of God, and absolute values - right and wrong. Jesus said: I am the truth; but today people say: that's really, really, judgemental - and it's intolerant.

It is, because He said: “I'm the only way into heaven”, but the world of today says: no, there's lots of religions that can lead you to heaven. No, no, sorry, there isn't. You may not like my truth, but it's the truth. That say that I can have my truth, and you have your truth, and every truth is equal truth. That's what they're trying to say; but it's not true! That's absolutely deception!

Something is either true; or it's not true. Something is either a metre long; or it's not a metre long. There's a standard you could put up… that's not a metre long! If I say that's a metre long, but you say no, that's not a metre long, then one of us is not right. If I say one of us is not right… oh you're intolerant! You're a metre-rule hater! Can you understand? This is what's happening now. We don't want metre-rules, because we want to be able to have our own measures.

Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter”.

The core of this new tolerance is that all truth is relative. It's a total intolerance of any alternative opinion, and expression of opinion; you either embrace their values, or you're a hater… and we've got to do something about haters! First, lets pass some laws, that will make it legal for us to do something about them. Then when we've got the laws changed… now we'll hunt them down! That's the strategy that's working through the west - to change the legal system, to change this and that. There's a positioning then, where all disagreement can be shut down, and can be dealt with.

That's what happened in Lot’s day - they said: stand back! You came in to stay here, and now you're acting like a judge. We're going to do worse to you than… Notice they're no longer addressing the issue. He said: what you're doing is wicked - and He wasn't talking about the homosexuality. He was talking about breaking the covenant of hospitality - that if you're under my roof, I must protect you, and look after you.

He said: you're about to break what is our commonly accepted ‘good’. This is good! What you're doing is wicked! They said: who are you, to judge us? We're going to do worse to you. In other words, having judged him, now they can attack him, and cause him to suffer. No wonder then, at that point, the angels intervened. They blinded the people, so they couldn't find the door; and they took him out.

Noah was warned, and because he responded to God's warning, he gave his life to preparing something that would result in his family being saved. The wisdom from that is, as God warns us of coming End Times, wise people will hear that, and begin to think about how they can build their family, and prepare them for a changed global life.

Same with Lot, and here's the thing with Lot… Lot and his two daughters had to be dragged out of the city!

Genesis 19:14 – “Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.”

He obviously had more daughters, at least four. But to his sons-in-laws, it was a big joke. The city's going to be destroyed – that’s ridiculous! Your dad has lost it!

The sons-in-laws, and the daughters, and their children, all died in the city! Now, why did they think it was a big joke, what he had to say? Because he hadn't stood up for what was right, all along. He hadn't raised his family to fear the Lord, and in the ways of God, and so they had been corrupted by the city. They just agreed with the values of the city. Any thought, that what they were doing was wrong, and that there would be consequences, just didn't enter their mind.

That’s what lawlessness is! Acting without any sense of consequences. Loss of the fear of God - and it says that he “lingered”. You can imagine - his heart is being torn apart. God has warned him, this is all about to end; but the people that he loved won't listen to him - and they're going to have consequences!

He's torn apart inside, torn apart. It says that he “lingered”; and it says that the angels urged him to hurry! Hurry, hurry, hurry, take your wife, and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city. That word “lingered” means ‘to hesitate’ - be reluctant. He's unwilling to make change’ to let it all go. His life is invested in this - he's got finances, investments, everything is here. He's getting a warning, about salvation. The warning is to be saved and he's… ooh, oh ah… it's a lot to leave!

His heart was tied to the city, to the culture, and so, in the end, the angels grabbed his hand, and they pulled him out of the city. They pulled him out, because Abraham had interceded for his family. That's why he got saved. The Lord was merciful to him. They brought him and set him outside the city.

Genesis 19: 17 – “As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"

You know the story... As they escaped, Lot's wife looked back. It's more likely that she turned back, to get some of the things in the city, and she was destroyed with the city.

You look at that, and say: oh, this is an Old Testament story, but here's the thing… Jesus referred to it! He referred to it; and gave these three warnings… Three warnings, three! Not one… there's three!

1) Luke 17:32 – “Remember Lot's wife”. Don’t let your heart be so tied up in the culture in the world that you're not sensitive to the spirit of God, and to His warnings.

2) Luke 21:34 – “He says take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with the same things that were going on in the days of Lot and Noah”.

You need to guard your heart. Watch out that your heart doesn't become burdened with all the weights and cares of life, because it will come like a snare on the earth. Don't have your life so tied up with what's going on around you, that you lack an eternal perspective.

3) The need for sensitivity and prayer.

Luke 21:36 - “Watch and pray, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things…”

So, what do you see, when you see all those things? I've done three sessions… What do you see?

You will either see: “doom and gloom”; or you will see: “our greatest hour is ahead”!

If there's unbelief in your heart, and your life is entangled, then all of this will be upheaving, and upsetting, and you will see the worst; but if you know the word of God, and the promises of God…

He said: look up! Look up in the sky! Look up to God - lift your eyes off what is natural - get your eyes on the kingdom of God!

What do you see? You can see through the eyes of unbelief, and fear; or you can see through the eyes of faith and hope.

If you see through the eyes of faith and hope, you will see our greatest hour is ahead!

If you see through the eyes of unbelief and fear, it's all doom and gloom… Ooh, it's getting bad, getting worse… It's how you see it, and there's examples of that….

In Numbers 13, when the 12 spies went in the land. 2 came back, and they brought fruit and figs and grapes - it was a tremendous harvest! 10 of them said: wonderful, but we saw giants, and in our own eyes, we were like grasshoppers! It's too big! It's too hard! See - you either see ‘giants’, or ‘bread’. They said: “the Lord is with us, don't be afraid - these giants are bread!” God used them to grow us stronger.

Two come back and said: the giants are bread for us! God is for us!

The others said: the giants are big, and we're little, and can't do it!

What did the people say? Well, when they heard the report of the 10 spies, they were full of unbelief, full of doom and gloom - and they put 'like', and 'repost', until everyone got that message. Then they sat down, and they began to weep, and cry, and bewail how bad it all was!

What about the other two spies? What did they do? Well, they gave their report - full of faith! God is with us! These giants are bread! We can do this! We can do this! Don't be afraid, don't draw back!

What did people do? They went to their Facebook, 'unlike'. And what did they post? Fake news, fake news! Everyone looked at the fake news, and it got into their heart. Not only did they post fake news, but they probably posted “giant lives matter” too.

You understand, there's a thinking around all of this. We've got to be God-centred. They had gone 40 years in the wilderness to get there. They'd gone through all this trouble in the wilderness, to get to this point. It's a climactic point - do I enter in; or fall away? Two stood up and said: this is what it is, we believe God is with us, God is for us!

That's why that song, The Blessing is so popular. They keep repeating: God is for you, God is for you, God is for you! Church - God is for you! The community may be intolerant… but God is for you! If God is for you, then the giants must come down!

You must be a person of faith. The church must arise. He tells us: watch, pray, prepare. This is the time to build your prayer life. This is the time to be grounded in the word of God. This is the time to become strong in God. This is the time to become a soul-winner. This is the time for you to break out of passivity and apathy. This is the time for you to break out of compromise. This is the time!

Read the signs! They're all pointing to something great ahead of us! Don't look at how bad it is, look to the Lord. Pray that you're counted worthy to escape all these things, and walk in the power of His glory, in the latter days.

Isaiah 60:1 – “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you”.

When darkness covers the face of the earth, and darkness covers the people, then the glory of God will be seen on you. What are your eyes focussed on? Darkness; or the light has come, the glory has come?

God will turn this, to become the greatest hour for us! Church, this is our greatest hour ahead! Rise up; choose to follow God! Choose to hear God; build an ark of preparation! Choose to listen to God! Choose to build your prayer life, choose to be a man or woman of God. Let's give Him the honour!

Summary Notes

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Signs of The End Times Part 3


I. Key Signs of The EndTimes
- Mat 24:3 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?"
- Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.
- Jesus Response to The question Regarding the Signs of the EndTimes
- First Sign: Widespread Upheaval: “Wars and Natural Disasters(vs.6-7)
- Second Sign: Widespread Persecution Christians: “Hated of all men”(vs.9)
- Third Sign: Widespread Offences: “Many Offended& Betray”(vs.10)
- Fourth Sign: Widespread Deception: “Many False Prophets”(vs.11)
- Fifth Sign: Widespread Lawlessness:“The Love of Many will Grow Cold”(vs.12)
- Sixth Sign: Widespread Corruption & Violence: “As it was in The Days of Noah”(vs37)


II. Key Signs of The End Times (Cont)

1. Seventh Sign: As it was in The Days of Lot
- Luk 17:28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Lot dwelt in the City of Sodom. He was daily troubled by the conditions in the city

- Ezekiel Describes the Root Sins of the City of Sodom
Eze 16:49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.

The root heart condition of Sodom was a pride and haughtiness(arrogance)
Haughtiness… blatantly and disdainfully proud, showing an attitude of superiority and contempt for people or things perceived to be inferior (MW)

- Moses Describes God’s Response to Homosexual Actions
Lev 18:22 "'Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.(NIV)
“Detestable”…..idolatry, abomination, something disgusting

- Lot was Daily Deeply Distressed by the Moral and Sexual Corruption in the City of Sodom
2Pe 2:7 and he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless
“distressed”…….to wear down, to be oppressed, to treat roughly, be in great anguish, exceeding pain.

- The name of the city is the root of the word “Sodomy”.. The homosexual action of anal intercourse between males

- What were the conditions that prevailed in the Days of Lot?
Lot received two angelic visitors to the city. He insisted they spend the night in his home because of the danger they would face in the city
The men of Sodom sought to commit homosexual rape against the two angels
The angels struck the men with blindness and rescued Lot and his family

- Gen 19:1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.
- Gen 19:2 "My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."
- Gen 19:3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
- Gen 19:4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house.
- Gen 19:5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
- Gen 19:9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. (NIV)

The Sins of Sodom

(i). Pride and Arrogance: Self important, despising others
(ii). Self Indulgence: Fulness of bread, gluttony, idleness
(iii). Cold-hearted: Lack of concern for the Poor and Needy
(iv). Brazen Homosexuality: It was widespread and openly practiced, (vs4)
(v). Aggressive Sexual Violence: The city was lawless (vs.5)
(vi). Intergenerational Sexual Perversion: Old and Young given over to sexual sin
(viii). Widespread Resistance to Truth: They accused Lot of being judgmental, intolerant

- Paul Describes this Condition
Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
Rom 1:27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

- The Bible describes 10 different categories of sin that exclude people from inheritance in the Kingdom
1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers (abusers), nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
“Homosexuals”…..effeminate, male prostitute, a catamite…boy who is kept for homosexual relations
“Sodomite”…………males committing anal sexual intercourse

- Tolerance: What “Tolerance” Used to Mean
- Miriam Webster definition:
Sympathy or indulgence for beliefs and practices differing or conflicting with one’s own
It meant having respect for differing viewpoints and lifestyles, and treating people with respect who disagree with us on fundamental concepts or beliefs….(this leads to peace with diversity)

- Tolerance is simply the willingness to allow people to express divergent opinions without fear of retaliation. This does not guarantee acceptance or implementation of such expressions that run contrary to biblical morality
- Christ said, “…Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Mt 5:39-47).
- He never said compromise the truth. He did say do not compromise the truth and this world would hate you (Mt 5:11-12).
- You cannot force people to accept the truth whether through governmental laws or personal coercion.
- Today the word “Tolerance” has been replaced widely by “New Tolerance”

- What Does The “New Tolerance” Mean?
- The “New Tolerance” means not only respect….but also endorsement and praise
- Tolerance now means the acceptance of any idea, belief or goal proposed by anyone
- It means that it is not enough to tolerate different beliefs, lifestyles, but I must treat them as having equal value
- Disagreement now means Intolerance…
This results in being labelled..Racist, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Transphobic, Sexist,
Any attempt to reason, argue, deny or defend yourself is called “Proof of Guilt”
- Eg. In practice it is no longer sufficient to tolerate the homosexual lifestyle, I must endorse and praise it
If I do not endorse and praise, or if I question it, or hold another view…I am labeled a Homophobic, a bigot, intolerant
- If I speak an opinion that differs I am accused of “Hate Speech”

- Hate speech… defined by Cambridge Dictionary as "public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation".
=> Hate Speech has now been Redefined: Having and Expressing a different, usually a Biblical or conservative opinion, from the favored popular ideology

- At the core of this New Tolerance is the rejection of God, and objective standards, and the belief that all lifestyles, values and beliefs are equally validity
- Jesus Statement: “I am the Way, I am the Truth”….would be labeled “Intolerant”, and “Hate Speech”

- Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

- What are The Characteristics of “The New Tolerance”?
(i). The belief: “ All truth is Relative”…denying reality of objective truth
(ii). Intolerance. “ Rejection of any Alternative or Biblical perspective.
(iii). Insistence of Conformity … Embrace the homosexual values, and lifestyle
(iv). Demand for Abandonment of Convictions and indifference to evil
(v). Fuels Hatred for Christians……… It turns people and nations against Biblical Christianity
(vi). Teaches it is wrong to `Criticize Homosexuals, but it is Ok to bash Christians

- Gen 19:9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. (NIV)
- Mat 24:9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
- Jesus Mentions 8 Common Activities that Occurred Both in the Days of Noah and the Days of Lot

Luk 17:27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
They were so immersed in these activities that they failed to recognize what was about to happen
Materialism and preoccupation with the cares of life blinded them to eternal realities and they suffered the consequences

- Noah was Warned by God of the coming Judgment….and built an Ark
Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household,

- Lot and his wife and two daughters had to be dragged out of the city
Gen 19:14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!" But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
Gen 19:15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, "Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city."
Gen 19:16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
Gen 19:17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed."

“Lingered”….to hesitate, question, be reluctant, delay, showing unwillingness to take action and leave

- Jesus Warnings:

- (i). The Example of Lot’s Wife
Luk 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.
Although she was dragged almost by force out of the city her heart remained attached to Sodom, and the lifestyle she had in the city

- (ii). The Need to Guard your Heart
Luk 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.
For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

- (iii). The Need For Spiritual Sensitivity and Prayer
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."
This offers a promise of a supernatural escape from the End Time Global turmoil, conditional upon our personal walk with God today


2. Eighth Sign: The Fig Tree and All the Trees

- Luk 21:29 Then He spoke to them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.
When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.
So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.
Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

- “The Fig Tree” refers to the nation of Israel
“and all the trees” refers to the other nations of the world
The change in nations will begin with the fig tree…Israel first and then the other nations

- Israel Becomes a Nation
In 1948 Israel came together as a nation……” it began to bud and form leaves”
They became free of rule by the British, and established their own history culture and language
In 1967 Israel took control of Jerusalem.
In 2019 Jerusalem was acknowledged as their Capital

- The Rise of Nationalism
Across the globe now the nations are beginning to put forth the leaves of their own identity
There is an upsurge of nations wanting to establish their own identity, history and culture

- "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. (Mat24:30-32)
Jesus specifically taught that these are the signs of the EndTimes and His imminent return
It is near…at the doors….this generation


3. Ninth Sign: Great Change in the Culture…Selfishness
2Ti 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
- “Perilous times”….fierce, dangerous, reducing strength, hard to bear

- Widespread Cultural Conditions:
Lovers of themselves (narcissistic, self-centered),
Lovers of money (greed),
Boasters (empty pretenders)
Proud (appearing better than others, despising and looking down on others)
Blasphemers (abusive),
Disobedient to parents, (unable to be persuaded, unwilling to listen)
Unthankful (entitled),
Unholy (defiled),
Unloving (devoid of natural family affection),
Unforgiving (truce breakers…unwilling to enter covenant),
Slanderers (malicious gossips),
Without self-control,
Brutal (savage, cruel)
Despisers of good (and those that are good)
Traitors (treacherous),
Headstrong (rash)
Haughty (arrogant)
Lovers of pleasure (lust) rather than lovers of God,
Having a form of godliness (outward appearance but denying its power. And from such people turn away!


4. Tenth Sign: Cosmic Upheaval and Great Global Fear
Luk 21:25 "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;
Luk 21:26 "men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken."
Luk 21:27 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
- Widespread Great Fear: Result of upheavals in nature becoming more frequent and intense


5. Eleventh Sign: Increase in Travel and Knowledge
- Dan 12:4 "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
- There is a sealing of the book of Daniel so it cannot be understood until the End Times
- In The End Times….. A great increase of Travel and of Knowledge
- Knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate
- Eg. The time take for Knowledge to Double
1900-every 100 years; 1945-every 25years; 1980-every 13months, 2020- IBM predicts every 12 hours


6. Twelfth Sign: The Gospel of the Kingdom Preached
- Mat 24:14 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.
- End time revival …….the Gospel will be preached in all the world….this is the Key Sign
- Gospel of the Kingdom……….The message of the Kingdom of God
- Gospel of the Kingdom………..With demonstration of the Supernatural Power of God (1Cor.4:20)
- 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.


III. Doom and Gloom or Greatest Hour?

1. What do You See?
- The condition of your heart will determine your perspective, how you see the signs of the End Times

(i). You can see it through the Eyes of Unbelief and Fear………….impending judgment and catastrophe
So many so called prophetic voices proclaim impending judgments that do not come to pass

(ii). You can see it through the Eyes of Faith and Hope…..………..our greatest opportunity
- You will see Doom and Gloom…..or Our Greatest Hour


2. Do you See Giants or Bread?
Num 14:6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes;
Num 14:7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.
Num 14:8 If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.'
Num 14:9 Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them."
Num 14:10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.

- God brought them out of Egypt to bring them into a Promised Land, a Divine Destiny
- Twelve spies searched the land and brought fruit (of the age to come) Grapes, pomegranates and figs
- They also brought back a report…how they saw the land…thorough Eyes of Unbelief or Eyes of Faith

- (i). Ten Spies….Saw Giants
“There are Giants, we were like grasshoppers”….a report of Unbelief and Fear
The People Listened:
The people all clicked: “Like”, and “Repost”
The people all Posted: “Massive Leadership Failure, Leadership Change being decided ”
Then the People cried , wept, rejected Moses, and decided to select new leader and return to Egypt

- (ii). Joshua and Caleb:….Saw Bread
“The Land is good, The Lord is with us, and The Giants are our Bread
The People Reacted: “Stone them”
The People all clicked: “Unlike”, “Unfriend”
The People posted “Fake News” and “ Giants lives Matter too”

- (iii). God’s Response:
Num 14:23 they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.
Num 14:24 But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.
- God Judged and Decreed
- God clicked : “Joshua Like”, “Caleb Like”, and posted “Joshua, Caleb and descendants just won Lotto”
- God posted: “Plan still on, Same Leadership , New Team”,
- God Decreed:“All the earth shall be filled with the Glory of the Lord”(vs.21)


3. Darkness or Glory?
Isa 60:1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
Isa 60:2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
Isa 60:3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
- What is your heart focussed upon?
- Unbelief and Fear?...... “Darkness everywhere”
- Faith and Hope?.......... “ The Glory of God is Here”


IV. We Must Actively Prepare for Jesus Return!

1. Jesus will return in great Glory and Power and Majesty
Luk 21:27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Mat 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.


2. We Must Personally Prepare for the Second Coming of The Lord
- Three times in Mark 13 Jesus commands us to Watch
- Mar 13:32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
- Mar 13:33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
- Mar 13:35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—
- Mar 13:36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.
- Mar 13:37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"
“Watch”…..To arouse from a condition of spiritual slumber, to stay spiritual awake and prepared
Watching is always connected to a vibrant strong prayer life and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit


3. How Can We Prepare for Jesus Return?
=> That is Another Message: 8 Ways to Prepare for The Coming of Jesus


V. Questions for Personal Reflection
1. What did the Holy Spirit speak to you about during this message?
2. What areas of your life were challenged in this study
3. What changes do you need to make?
4. How vibrant is your personal prayer life?
5. What issues in the culture mentioned in 2Tim.3 are relevant to you?
6. How well can you describe the Gospel of The Kingdom?
7. Where do you need to grow in ministering the power of the Kingdom?

What action steps will you take?



http://mikeconnellministries.com

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