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Signs of the Coming of Jesus (1 of 3)

Mike Connell

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?