Return of the King: Week 2 – Jim Blazin
Return of the King: Week 2 – Jim Blazin
Signs of the Times
Purpose of series: We want to help you BE READY!
Recap: When it comes to the End Times Conversation:
1. HUMILITY IS KEY – No one knows when the end will be! Even Jesus (Matt 24) said He didn’t know the exact hour.
2. The mystery of the End Times is NOT an excuse to be uninformed.
3. We are called to be Ready!
This week we are talking about “Signs of the Times” – Jesus is going to return some day!
Rev 22:12-13 12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Christians are called by God to be watching and anticipating the RETURN OF THE KING.
1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
Matt 24:42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Mark 13:33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.
For the Christian, the return of Jesus is a really good thing! For the one who has rejected Christ, the return of Jesus is bad news! We are told to look for the signs of the end times and we are called to be ready!
Matt 16 -1-3 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Let’s look at this conversation between Jesus and His Disciples…Jesus had just finished a pretty straightforward talk with the Pharisees…
Matt 23:37-39 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
The Disciples hear this and want more information!
Matt 24:3-5 3 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?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
“Beginning” in the Greek is “Arche” (AR-HEY) – Like the beginning of a yardstick or a ruler
So what are the signs of the end times?
Matthew 24:6-8 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom
Psalm 83:3-5 3 They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. 4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!” 5 For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant
Earthquakes and Natural Disaster – There are more natural disasters today than any other time in history.
Famines and Epidemics – Epidemics and starvation have become more of a worldwide issue.
Apostasy (Abandoning) – People don’t want to hear the truth anymore! The truth is offensive and we are seeing a revising of the Christian faith.
• Gender Issues
• Literal Heaven and Hell being questioned
• Roles within the Church (Egalitarianism vs complementarianism)
Technology and Travel – There is a worldwide push to increase technology and the ability to travel more efficiently.
Daniel 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.”
Gospel will be preached! This is the only positive end times sign!
Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
• This tells us something about our God! He is a patient and waiting because he “wants none to be lost”.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
The point is: Nothing else has to happen for Jesus to return! So where is Jesus going to find you when he comes back? There is a big difference between “Getting Ready and Being Ready”
Getting ready: Means waiting until the last minute to get your “Spiritual Affairs” in order. The Bible says there won’t be time for that!
1 Thess 5:1-3 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a THIEF IN THE NIGHT. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
Being ready: Means that we are confidently living our lives READY for Jesus to return at any moment!
• As Christians we do not need to fear the end times, because we know the most important thing about the end times…JESUS WINS in the end. And if you have made him your Lord and your savior you win!
How can we be ready?
• By being obedient to what Christ has called us to do. Love God and love people!
• By placing the Kingdom of God at the top of our priority list in our lives
• By being ambassadors for Jesus and sharing the Good News about Him
• By walking in confidence (not arrogance) because we know how the story plays out
• By not fearing persecution in any form because the Bible tells us that we will be persecuted for following Jesus.
ARE YOU READY?
LIFE GROUP QUESTIONS:
Read Matthew 24:1-14 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5. What are Jesus and Paul telling us about the signs of the times?
1. What stands out to you about the signs of the times from these passages and from the sermon you heard? What might be some reasons why people don’t recognize the signs of the times in our day?
2. How are you responding to the changing culture which reflects some of the signs?
3. Read 2 Timothy 1:7 & Matthew 24: 36-43. What do these passages tell us about our part in what God is doing?