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May 12, 2022 6:00 am
There are some people who have unhealthy preoccupation with prophetic things. That's all there about all the study they look for signs they see signs in everything. There's a flower by the road that was be a sign of the time, preoccupation, but it can also become a healthy patient is fascinated with the future and how the world might wind today on connect with Skip Skip start language from Scripture can expect in the future. First, we want to let you know how you can stay updated on the latest from Skip this ministry get encouragement and important announcements on social media. Just follow Skip Facebook, twitter and Instagram that's Skip Skip HIZI. Second Peter as we join.
Skip Heitzigs reported a study that I was a little kid prayers. My mother taught me to pray see if you've ever heard of this for now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep, was in x-rays if I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take. That's pretty heavy prayer for a five-year-old is a five-year-old being being taught the possibility of the eminence of his death.
If I should die before I wake at the same time, however, it's a possibility for any of us. Every person will have an end of their life and just like every person has an end this world will have an end this world, this universe, this earth will someday come to an end. But when will it come to an end. While people have made predictions about that one well-known Christian said the last days are upon us way carefully. The times look for him who is above all time eternal and invisible was interesting about that quote is it was not given by a modern-day prophecy expert.
It was spoken in 110 A.D. by a church father named Ignatius. He said that we are in the last days church father named hip elitists in three or 236 A.D., wrote that Christ would return by A.D., 500 in the 1500s, Martin Luther, the great reformer wrote and I quote, we have reached the time of the Whitehorse of the Apocalypse.
This world will not last any longer than another hundred years."
And then a little-known fact about Christopher Columbus. Did you know that he was a student of the Bible prophecy even wrote a little volume called the book of prophecies where he predicted the world would end in the year 1656 and he even wrote there is no doubt that the world must end in 155 years, a question that Christians have asked for every generation is are we in the last days, when will the world and is not a new question. That's not a new curiosity. Even the followers of our Lord Jesus Christ were curious about that on the Mount of olives. They came to him and said what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age so it preoccupied their own thoughts.
Are we in the last days.
Is this in and it seems that every generation has its authors.
It's profits since prognosticators and based get us thinking about that II remember the 1970s, a very popular book by Hal Lindsay was put out called the late great planet Earth sold millions of copies. It got people thinking about Bible prophecy again and then in in the 1980s. I still have the booklet in my office called 88 reasons why Jesus is coming back in 1988 course 1988 came and went, followed by 1989 and Jesus hadn't showed up so the author revised his dates and Jesus didn't show up. Then they revise it again and didn't show up then and finally does sort of went away in 1996. Another popular set of books is called the left behind series that only was it a set of books that became a set of films as well and then do you remember just before the year 2000, the fervor about Y2K is that all the chips are going to melt down. This is garment getting right so what were dealing with is an area of study that is called in theological parlance, it's called eschatology. Eschatology is the study of last things. It comes from the Latin word that means that last things or last events or end time events that we been doing a series here on the weekends called 2020 seeing truth clearly and essentially it's been course on theology. We looked at theology, the study of God, the nature of God, the attributes of God. That was followed by Christology. The person nature and work of Jesus Christ. That was followed by a few weeks on new mythology. The study of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in the world. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. We did a few weeks on so to rheology the study of salvation.
I was a person saved what is salvation entail weave and did a week on angelology study of angels where you where to go class and then demonology. The study of Satan and demons and then for three weeks.
We looked at ecclesiology. The church we talked about how the church is essential.
We look to Jesus praying for anticipating certain characteristics of his church out of John chapter 17.
Now we turn to another section that is eschatology, the study of in time events. What I want to do today is look at the last days generally. Next week I want to consider Jesus promise to return for his church and then were going to look in the third week at the second coming of Christ him and to try to piece together sort of a calendar of end time events. The best that I can during that time. Now II think you will agree that the study of prophecy can be good, but can also get weird that there are some people who have a unhealthy preoccupation with prophetic things.
That's all there about this all the study they look for signs the see signs in everything. There's a flower by the road that must be a sign of the end times may it can be, and unhealthy preoccupation, but it can also become a healthy occupation. It can engender hope and it's something that the churches had for 2000 years. Ever since Jesus taught the church to pray by kingdom come. We have been looking for that kingdom. We been anticipating. So what I like to do is look at five hallmarks of the last days five hallmarks of the last days and try to answer the question, are we in the last days know I asked you to turn to second Peter for a very important reason the theme or at least one of the themes or at least a sub theme, a major sub theme of the book of second Peter is our theme. The last days. That's what Peter is talking about talking about features of the end times of the last days so I'm to begin with you. In chapter 3 of second Peter and Alma to give you these five hallmarks in the first is that the last days are foreseen by Scripture there predicted, there talked about their written about. I want to take you to chapter 3 a. Beginning in verse one, and Annamarie down a few verses because I want you to see the phrase it's in here.
Beloved, I now write to you the second epistle in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior. Knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days. There's the phrase the last days, walking according to their own lives not to get back to the meaning of those verses in a minute, but let's just think of that phrase for a moment the last days. It's a phrase that shows up five times in the New Testament five times. Once by Luke in the book of acts once by Paul in second Timothy once by James and the little epistle. He writes once in in Hebrews and then once here, second Peter chapter 3, so five authors in the New Testament use the phrase the last days. Now the Old Testament speaks of the same period of time, generally, but under a different designation. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea and Micah use the term the latter days.
Daniel calls it the end. Also Daniel calls at the appointed time. Also because of the time of the end. And finally, Daniel designates it the end of days back to the question, are we in the last days. Here's my answer. Yes, we are but we been in the last days for 2000 years. I want you to get this because according to the Scriptures we have been in the last days. If you look at all of world history from the beginning, whatever that beginning was the beginning, the, the time between the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ falls under the designation, the last days so me so that you in Hebrews chapter 1 the author begins by saying God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to our fathers by the prophets. Listen has in these last days spoken to us by his son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom also he made the world. These last days then you remember Peter on the day of Pentecost, the day of Pentecost. You know what happened. The church gets together and date are filled with the Holy Spirit.
They begin to speak in tongues.
The people in Jerusalem don't know what to make of this. And so the best they can come up with is these Christians are drunk right member that and so Peter gets up and says you met in Jerusalem.
These are not drunk, as you suppose, since it's only the third hour of the day, guys. It's only nine in the morning, they're not drunk, he says, but this is that which was spoken out by the prophet Joel who said he quotes the prophet Joel visited a valiant I will pour out in it shall come to pass in the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh your sons and daughters will prophesy, so he saying this what you are saying is a fulfillment of what the prophet said that in the last days. This is going to happen. So, according to Peter.
He was living in the last days.
So to answer your question, are we in the last days. Yes, we are but so was Christopher Columbus and so was Martin Luther. And so was Ignatius and so was the apostle Paul and Peter. Now, having said that, obviously, when you're dealing with a 2000 year.
Some parts of that are much later than other parts and so we are much further along 2000 years than Paul or Peter you know Paul taught the church to anticipate the return of Christ to look for in Titus chapter 2 Paul writes looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Did you know that the early church had a greeting one word greeting.
I which we bring it back. I love the greening of the word mirror, not a single word.
It's an Aramaic term, it shows up in the old King James translation, but it was a word that even replace the common greeting shalom peace Christians with each other and they would say mirror enough which means the Lord is coming to great word. It's a great reminder to say to one another mirror enough.
The Lord is coming in CS Lewis's the Chronicles of Narnia I not quoted that a few times last few weeks, but in in in one of the volumes called the voyage of the Dawn treader there's a conversation.
CS Lewis writes about Aslan. This Christlike figure lion was a conversation with little, little Lucy once again and Azlan says do not look so sad we shall meet soon again and she says please Azlan, what you call soon and Azlan says I call all times. Soon many vanished in the last days.
Yes is Jesus coming soon yes the sort of an easy way out. No, it's not. It really is true we are in the last days and we were given signs about the very end of days.
And Jesus said when these things start to happen. Lift up your head for your redemption draws near, there are indicators will look at those later on with this thought in mind, go back to chapter 1 for just a moment.
We have been started there.
So let's look at chapter 1 and I'm taking a couple verses when it begin with you. In chapter 1 verse 16 because what Peter is going to do here is talk about the coming of the Lord based upon an experience. He is already had with the Lord. Verse 16, chapter 1, for we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his Majesty, for he received from God the father honor and glory. When such a voice came to him from the excellent glory hears the voice this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, and we heard this voice which came from heaven we were with him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed auras.
The authorized version puts it, we have a more sure word of prophecy. So we have the prophetic word confirmed what you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart. Help Peter's telling them of the fact that Jesus is coming, but the prediction is based upon an experience. He is already had and you remember what that experience was called the begins with a T. Transfiguration, the Transfiguration. It mentioned in three Gospels when Jesus appeared or or was was changed in front of them transform miraculously the bright light along with Moses and Elijah. What Peter, James and John saw at the Transfiguration of Jesus is what they call in the movie industry. A trailer, a preview of coming attractions. A clip if you will highlight you know you guys remember the days when there were movie theaters in people went there and saw films what the beginning of those just refresh your memory, the beginning of movies they would show previews of other films that would be released and what I have often discovered is that those trailers are actually better than most films in their entirety you're seeing the best parts put together what what Peter saw was a clip I trailer a preview highlights of an event that is described in detail in Revelation chapter 19, the second coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus coming in his glory.
What Peter is saying in these verses is I saw with my eyes.
What the Scripture predicts will happen and is confirmed by the Old Testament writings and if what the prophets predicted of his first coming happened and what they predicted. Of the second coming is sure also to have. So are we in the last days. Yes, we are but what is the focus of the last six is the focus of the last days mark of the beast focus of the last days the European common market, no, nor is the focus of end time prophecy. The antichrist focus of prophecy or the end days is Jesus Christ that gives us the second hallmark is seen by Peter. Not only is is that they are the last days foreseen by the Scripture, but their focused on Christ to go back to chapter 1 verse 16 we do not follow cunningly devised fables.
We made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We were eyewitnesses of his Majesty the Transfiguration, for he received from God the father honor and glory. When such a voice came to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved son in whom I am well please let me tell you about what happened you know it is you read it, but at the Transfiguration.
We are told that Jesus took Peter, James and John took them to a high mountain where he was transfigured before them, and they saw him in glory. And we are told that Peter, James and John had fallen asleep and then they woke up and they see this glorious vision of the transfigured Christ and Peter starts talking and he remember what Peter says is, let's build three tabernacles here one for you, Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah and the Bible says Peter said this, not knowing what to say.
You notice you a copy to the word just come whatever worked so these are Peter's words and what Peter records that God said was God interrupting Peter's interruption Peter so let's build three tabernacles. Essentially, the ideas I'm placing Jesus, Moses and Elijah all on the same level and so God spoke from heaven saying this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.
Listen to him very important message in what Peter learned that he is recounting here God is saying I am. I put Jesus. My son on stage center when it comes to Bible prophecy. He is the star on center stage.
He is the focal point of Bible prophecy.
He is the capstone of the last day fact you could take and I'll make it even easier for you want to sum up the whole Bible all 66 books written by 40 authors over 1500 years you could send the entire Bible up by saying it's about one person and two events is about one person or two events. Jesus Christ is the one person the two events are his first coming in a second coming is first coming to deal with sin is second coming to rule and reign with people who have been forgiven of theirs as a whole Bible in a nutshell, so he is the focal point of biblical prophecy is what we talk about the scarlet thread of redemption can follow it all throughout the Scriptures when Jesus had died and risen from the dead.
We are told that he appeared with two unnamed disciples who were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus one day is recorded in Luke chapter 24 these two guys were walking down the road there talking to each other about what happened. They don't know Jesus has risen and they don't know that the stranger comes walking up to them is Jesus. So they start talking to this stranger and he does what he does talk about is if he did know our talk about this guy named Jesus, I have you heard the things that happen and the stranger Jesus is.
Thanks so they start telling them about the things that have happened and then at at at at a certain point, Jesus is this all foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written on not the Christ to have died and enter into his glory.
Listen to the next part and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in the Scriptures, all the things concerning himself. There was ever a Bible study I wish was transcribed or we had an MP3 itself. Jesus tell them he expounded them in all the Scriptures all the things concerning that the message from the series 21 to tell you about a resource live with both faith as you follow Jesus wherever he leads you in life stands between you and a more fruitful walk with Jesus, help for prominent women in the Bible think they are struck with any new teaching theories for my height income cleans up the Bible and the Queen of Sheba hearing is the first step toward spiritual life right now, hearing that blessing because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God hear more from lying. She exploits the faith in the feelings of four different queens in Scripture. The Queens of the Bible collection of teaching is only saying thank you $35 or more today to support Bible teaching ministry.
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Tune in tomorrow Skip Heitzig six years what you can face the last days with the Bible clearly predicts the last days which he does benefit Bible in depicting the last days describes it as being full of spiritual apostasy and will attentive also in the last days of old, filled with secular mockery and it will then for those of us who are believers should not